Grow your Localization Program without Losing the Local Touch

LocLeaders Forum 2017 London – Scaling to Meet Global Needs

Celia Plowright is Localization Operations Manager at IG. Celia is taking part as a guest panellist at the upcoming Welocalize LocLeaders Forum London 2017 on Thursday, May 18. The theme of the event is “Scaling to Meet Global Needs” and expert discussions will be led by a team of Welocalize executives and guest panellists. In this blog, Celia looks at the challenges and opportunities of driving localization programs to meet global brand business objectives and the needs of local consumer expectations.

Localization can hold a magnifying glass up to the tensions between the globalization of big brands and local consumer demands and expectations. Organizations deliver increasingly personalized products and services and localization teams are often tasked with balancing these demands and supporting expansion strategies, while remaining cost-effective.

Satisfying the need for economies of scale, while producing relevant local content can present a number of challenges:

  • Budget: Managing translation and marketing budgets effectively to enable emerging markets and new languages to receive sufficient investment. New locales and markets typically take longer to produce returns.
  • Resource: Imbalanced resources across regions, languages or technical teams can make the simultaneous global release of products and campaigns difficult.
  • Stakeholder Buy-In: Lack of awareness or recognition of the importance of localization teams working closely with product owners, marketing and content teams can detrimentally affect quality and time to market.
  • Lack of Integration: Using multiple request systems, content management systems (CMS) and translation tools across different departments and with external vendors, can significantly increase project management effort and time spent handling files.
  • SMEs and Regulatory Sign-off: Finding skilled subject matter experts (SMEs), quality assurance (QA) and compliance teams is very important in highly regulated industries. Disengaged or overwhelmed SMEs and QAs can create blockers in review feedback loops that can slow time to market. Insufficient rounds of quality control and sign off, on the other hand, can jeopardise a brand’s message and its relationship with consumers.

Although there can be challenges with any translation and localization program, there are ways to overcome these challenges and create opportunities:

  • RAISE AWARENESS

Engage other departments internally to align processes and to raise awareness and build recognition for localization teams. This helps teams across all functions to better understand the various stages involved in bringing products and services to multiple markets. 

  • COMBINE BUSINESS AND LOCALIZATION OBJECTIVES

Connect localization programs to the wider business strategy and use consumer insight and research teams to find areas of competitive advantage in different target markets and languages. Using data to back strategic decisions makes it easier to prioritise product releases, and to identify the most successful content and channels to converts prospects to clients in different markets. 

  • COMMUNICATE BRAND AND PROCESS GUIDELINES

Create standardized brand and localization guidelines for various product lines and content types. Agree workflows that are as straight forward as possible, while accommodating local cultural and regulatory differences. This ensures consistency in processes and language quality when growing the range of languages offered or entering new markets. 

  • LEVERAGE EXPERTISE FROM LANGUAGE PROVIDER

Draw from the depth of expertise and resource of your language service provider to help you adapt to change at a pace that is not always possible internally. We experienced this in October 2016 when IG acquired DailyFX. DailyFX is a news website targeting financially savvy consumers and traders. By working with our translation partner and a localization consultant, IG was able to tackle an aggressive timeframe to:

  • Find a scalable pool of language resource to deliver a new content type, across multiple languages and to manage fluctuating volumes of daily news articles.
  • Integrate a custom CMS and Translation Management System (TMS) to reduce manual workload and aid faster time to market, which is crucial for timely news content.
  • Reduce manual file handling at SME review stage and automate article publication.
  • Maximise the use of CAT tools to improve Translation Memory (TM) leverage and drive cost savings.

Do Not Be Afraid to Share Ideas!

Looking externally can also be hugely beneficial to developing your localization program. Sharing information with fellow localization leaders provides insights into the challenges and solutions others have faced and put into action. Getting inspiration from peers and companies at different stages of localization maturity can bring a fresh viewpoint on how to scale up your globalization and localization program, in order to achieve the sweet spot of a strong global brand with a truly local offering in every market and language.

LocLeaders Forums are great events for localization professionals and global business leaders, facilitating free flowing discussion. I attended Welocalize LocLeaders Forum Dublin 2016 and obtained great insight and inspiration and I look forward to driving some of the discussions as a panelist at LocLeaders London on May 18.

Celia

Based in the UK, Celia Plowright is Localization Operations Manager at IG.

For more information on LocLeaders Forum 2017 London click here