Localization is Key in your Global Marketing Strategy

The era of big brands delivering one standardized message to consumers around the world is ending. Yes, standardization reduces costs, creates economies of scale, and unifies the message of your corporate identity. But customers are becoming increasingly saturated with generic ads from companies with whom they have no connection and feel detached from brands that treat them as numbers.  

Don’t get us wrong! Your brand should have a single voice, but it should be able to adjust to fit the expectations of communities that are diverse in values, lifestyle, wealth and ethnicity. Finding the sweet spot between standardization and localization is one of the biggest challenges companies face when tapping international markets.

But talking the talk is always easier than walking the walk. For example, in a software company with a global product like ours, localization raises complex questions. A well-designed global marketing strategy includes landing pages for new releases, strings within memoQ, playbooks in our chatbot, etc. Executing our marketing strategy requires integrations between systems, a knowledge of our target audience, and the technology infrastructure to support the entire process. 

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s start with the basics: Why do you need to tailor your marketing strategy to the preference of consumers in different geographies and with diverse cultural backgrounds? 

Purchasing Feels Safer in your Mother Tongue

Is English your primary corporate language? Do all of your customers speak English? How many of them feel comfortable enough to buy goods or services in English? English content dominates the web. Most companies create content in English to target the spending power of English-speaking markets. Still, there are billions of consumers who feel uncomfortable making a buying decision in English. The same holds true if the primary language of your company is Chinese, Spanish or Arabic, also among the top internet languages. But no matter your primary language, you won’t reach other audiences without localizing your message to them. If you speak to people in their own languages, you will see higher returns on investment for your campaigns, whether it is content marketing, social media, or other types of marketing.
 

Research from Common Sense Advisory (CSA) shows an undeniably strong link between native-language content and a consumer’s likelihood of making a purchase. This is the main reason companies localize their content--to speak to potential customers in their local languages. Whether large or small, companies planning to operate globally should localize their taglines, slogans, product names and company names for new regional markets. Or at least consider localizing their website, even if nothing else. Why? Because a consistent brand experience for each international market is one of the key factors in global marketing.

 

Like many companies, we at memoQ produce most of our content in English. Localization plays a crucial role in our marketing and product development strategy. We offer the memoQ client user interface in more than ten languages, including Chinse, Japanese, Hungarian, and German. Our website, memoQ.com, is translated into German, French, Japanese and Spanish. We also offer an exclusive Japanese version of our popular eBook LocLand: The Land of Game Localization.

But our efforts to localize content go well beyond translation. You might have noticed that we offer educational webinars not only in English but also in Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, and Swedish.

We don’t localize just because it looks good - we know firsthand that localization creates business opportunities for our company and improves the user experience for our customers worldwide. This Podcast featuring Renato Beninatto and Chris Englund from HubSpot explains how localization drives growth to your business.

 

A Shift to Localization Raises Organizational Challenges

E-commerce has changed dramatically in recent years. Digital transformation of the marketplace makes it possible to reach people in almost every country on notebooks and smartphones.
 
It’s not only huge corporations doing business around the world. Now, even a young, innovative company with a will to go global can find a way to go global, daring to be one of the Spotify’s or Airbnb’s of the world.
 
But even so, going global and selling internationally is easier said than done. Companies going global need an organizational structure and commitment that might not be present, even in mature organizations. Products and services must be made adaptable for global audiences. Companies must also invest in legal services, IT infrastructure, international operations, and localization.
 
Often an afterthought, localization includes adaptation of graphics, design, currency, naming, content, and other elements to meet local requirements for each targeted market. Translation, which can be a large part of a localization budget and schedule, is frequently overlooked until the last minute.
 


With proper localization, you can ensure the link between your message and product finds the sweet spot across cultures and languages. Language services have evolved in recent decades. A company once offering only language translation now likely includes complete localization services, involving words as well as images, graphics, icons, and symbols. Most language service providers can accommodate a wide range of needs, whether you have a simple translation for an instruction manual, an ingenious slogan that requires transcreation, or localization of design elements.
 
If you are new to translation, you might not be aware that there is an extensive industry to support your unique needs. There are 30,000 language service providers and hundreds of thousands of freelance translators around the world. Most have an internet presence and will highlight one or more subject matter specializations. Companies first going global typically start by outsourcing translation to professionals. Your first steps for selecting a translation partner could begin with an introductory conversation and then requesting a small sample translation.
 
Controlling your translation process has become more accessible thanks to technology. Today companies use translation management systems (TMS) to handle all translation work in a fully centralized environment. A TMS allows you to collaborate online with your vendors and track everything they do. Investing in translation technology helps your company save on translation costs and produce messages that fit your global campaigns.
 


Localization Starts with Translation

With proper localization, you can ensure the link between your message and product finds the sweet spot across cultures and languages. Language services have evolved in recent decades. A company once offering only language translation now likely includes complete localization services, involving words as well as images, graphics, icons, and symbols. Most language service providers can accommodate a wide range of needs, whether you have a simple translation for an instruction manual, an ingenious slogan that requires transcreation, or localization of design elements.
 
If you are new to translation, you might not be aware that there is an extensive industry to support your unique needs. There are 30,000 language service providers and hundreds of thousands of freelance translators around the world. Most have an internet presence and will highlight one or more subject matter specializations. Companies first going global typically start by outsourcing translation to professionals. Your first steps for selecting a translation partner could begin with an introductory conversation and then requesting a small sample translation.
 
Controlling your translation process has become more accessible thanks to technology. Today companies use translation management systems (TMS) to handle all translation work in a fully centralized environment. A TMS allows you to collaborate online with your vendors and track everything they do. Investing in translation technology helps your company save on translation costs and produce messages that fit your global campaigns.

 


Going Global with memoQ


 

 

The GAMEVIL COM2US Story

GAMEVIL and Com2uS are mobile video game publishers founded in 2000 and 1998, respectively, with offices in South Korea, Germany, USA, China, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam. In 2017, they decided to set up their international offices as GAMEVIL COM2US. Their translation technology stack includes two memoQ servers (one in South Korea, the other in Europe), which they use to translate into 16 target languages. They are also equipped with extra memoQ translator pro licenses to cover outsourcing needs. 

In addition to localizing games, the publishers also translate marketing and customer service material and content for social media, intranet and web-based apps. Most of their content needs are product-related, with the remaining coming from other departments.

For GAMEVIL and Com2uS teams, turnaround-time is critical. They work with strict deadlines (e.g., for notice boards), often needing to inform users within 8-12 hours, so translations must be completed quickly. Their community managers find the terminology management capabilities of memoQ save time and increase consistency even on tight schedules.


How Did they Evolve?

In 2015, GAMEVIL and Com2uS decided to first implement memoQ at their European office, where it would act as a development lab. They defined workflows and recommended best practices for their use cases and content. During the next three years, they leveraged their experience and replicated it in other offices, involving more colleagues in their memoQ-based localization workflow. Now, having invested in process development and education, they are ready for global rollout to all ten offices. To ease the onboarding process for new memoQ users, they created internal learning content. Although memoQ was more complex than some of the web-based tools they considered, they found that translators could more readily get up to speed with memoQ.

Four Key memoQ Benefits for GAMEVIL COM2US

  • With memoQ’s CAL-licensing, they save 3 to 5 times their investment in user licenses, since users in distant time zones can share the same license when they work at different times of day.
  • When there is an occasional increase in the number of required licenses, they can be easily rented on a monthly basis from the memoQ website.
  • memoQ supports multilingual delimited text filtering, a key benefit for software localization.
  • Technical support: accessibility, quality and competency, 5/24 availability.

A story by: Artjom Vitsjuk - GAMEVIL COM2US Europe GmbH | Localization Project Manager | Global Localization Operations

Pro Tip for Companies and Start-ups Entering the Global Market

from Katalin Hollósi, memoQ Professional Services
 

My suggestion for companies that want to operate internationally is to build up a localization strategy that allows you to not only properly design and run your processes but also accurately define the requirements you wish to fulfill with the translation management system.

Consider scalability on the entire company level. Many companies select simple tools, but those aren’t necessarily future-proofed or sustainable. Once the number of your target markets and languages increases, your outsourcing and production practices become more complex.
 
Before you know it, the simple solution needs to be replaced with a more robust system capable of managing your content throughout the process and across your language portfolio. Be smart from the start, selecting a system that can grow with you, so you don't find yourself needing to migrate your localization processes from one system to another.

The Value of memoQ

Many companies already use memoQ to localize the content that allows them to operate globally successfully. See what our customers have to say about our technology.

 
 
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