How a Localization Strategy Create Unified Customer Experiences
By Umar Akhtar
In today’s interconnected world, the need for a robust localization strategy has never been more apparent. Last week, we delved into the intricacies of content localization and how it’s the key to building global engagement. Today, we’re continuing this conversation by exploring the vital components of a successful localization strategy that go beyond mere translation.
In an era where businesses are reaching out to customers from diverse cultural backgrounds, it’s essential to offer a digital experience that resonates with each individual, regardless of their location. (Afterall, 67% of B2B customers indicate they wanted a localized website.) It’s not just about language; it’s about understanding and adapting to the nuances of different regions and demographics. As we discussed in our previous blog, enterprises aiming to establish a foothold in new markets must tailor their content to create a connection that transcends borders.
The focus of this blog post is to emphasize why a localization strategy is indispensable for global enterprises. We’ll also shed light on the technological prerequisites necessary to ensure a seamless and unified experience for your international audience.
The Power of Localization
As organizations execute digital strategies that span multiple countries and cultural landscapes, creating a seamless experience that harmonizes the customer journey wherever customers are is essential. Localization is the key to creating such a unified experience for customers.
Companies often consider implementing localization when they want to gain a deeper foothold in a specific target market, or they might be launching new products or services. The benefits of adopting such a strategy often include:
- Revenue growth
- Increased engagement and loyalty from customers in those target markets
- A better customer experience
The risks of not having a localization strategy in place remain just as great, with Gartner predicting that by 2025, 30% of multinational companies will experience brand damage, revenue loss, or legal action due to unmanaged digital sovereign risk. One of those digital sovereign risks is a lack of effective localization.
Organizations that can’t localize will miss out on various opportunities to expand their customer base, generate new revenue streams, and risk facing legal and compliance issues.
Building a Localization Strategy
Enterprises aiming to solve the problem of global experience unification for customers need to plan for an all-encompassing localization strategy.
More Than Just Content: Localization should go beyond content-focused activities such as translation and adaptation. Instead, it must be part of a wider business strategy with content as the driving force that makes everything feasible.
Technology Driven: Localization will be a tech-driven initiative between content and localization management systems and other cloud-based solutions.
Stakeholder Collaboration: While marketing and IT departments must be front and center, other stakeholders, including customer support, sales, and others, will be heavily involved in the process if localization is meant to be a success.
What’s Your Level of Localization?
Knowing your starting point will help you understand how far away your business is from facilitating global reach and meeting customer expectations in new markets. Some of the focus areas to consider in evaluating your level of localization include:
If the company already has a presence in other countries, assessing how resources and budgets are shared between different markets is important. If each country has regional marketing budgets that are viewed separately, it could lead to potentially key markets being underfunded or without the necessary human resources to execute a localization strategy.
On the other hand, a centralized pool for all regions can be evenly distributed, which can see smaller markets achieve their maximum potential.
The current approach to localization is also a key indicator of how effective a localization strategy could be. If the current process involves cutting and pasting content and translating it into another language, the level of localization would be considerably lower than a company that employs dedicated local experts to accelerate the process.
Another crucial aspect of determining the level of localization and how capable enterprise brands are of building a unified experience is the tools at their disposal. Brands need to assess the existing workflows and processes they have in place to accomplish translation, deliver content to multiple channels, and perform A/B or multivariate testing of campaigns.
Centralizing Technologies Across a Global Organization
Building a localization strategy that enables a unified customer experience starts with centralizing the technologies across a global enterprise. The steps to accomplishing this include:
- Identify organizational goals
Creating a functional localization strategy starts by identifying the organization’s goals. Depending on the organization’s size, resources, and target regions or countries, the approach to localization will vary.
For example, a European software company that wants to make a big splash in the US market may want to prioritize a higher level of localization incorporating deep personalization. To accomplish this, they need to deploy a local team to manage content and operations for the area, leverage analytics tools to better understand customer preferences, and incorporate a headless CMS to deliver content to multiple channels so that they can reach a wider audience.
On the other hand, a company with a more cost-efficient focus may choose a more phased approach that begins with adding a localization and translation management system to help their existing team manage the process more efficiently and then add additional tools and resources later.
- Create a stakeholder group to manage the localization strategy
Once the goals have been established, the next step is to create a stakeholder group to manage the entire process until the company has successfully launched operations or released the new product in the target market.
This group could include a localization manager who coordinates with local translators and cultural experts, a member of the executive leadership, representatives from the marketing and IT teams, customer support staff, and legal counsel to ensure compliance with any country-specific regulations.
- Conduct a gap analysis of critical functionality requirements per country
A gap analysis helps enterprises determine what technology they’re lacking to aid their market expansions. For example, companies that want to deepen their personalization capabilities may wish to invest in a personalization engine or a better analytics solution. Meanwhile, a company that wants to build localized versions of mobile apps or other digital solutions may need to leverage a headless CMS to manage content delivery.
- Identify what resources are needed to accomplish localization
Achieving a successful localization strategy, particularly one aimed at unifying experiences for global customers, no matter the company’s size, will require new technologies. This could involve migrating to a new CMS or integrating additional tools such as translation technologies, analytics, and A/B testing tools. Other resources such as additional staff, local teams for different markets, and other resources could be required.
- Plan the migration or integration process
After identifying the new tools required to begin a new localization strategy, you can plan to migrate content and data assets or integrate the new solution. This will involve
- Planning: Define the scope of the project, the responsibilities of each person involved, and the proposed timeline for the CMS migration or integration.
- Data Preparation: Ensuring content for localization is structured correctly and error-free before migrating to or implementing additional tools.
- Implementation: Here, migrating content assets to a new CMS or adding a language management system will occur. Depending on the complexity of the implementation or if there are any custom development requirements, an agency partner should assist with this part of the process.
- Testing & Optimization: Once the new technology has been introduced, it is time to start testing and ensuring everything works properly.
- Provide training on new tools and start executing
Once you’ve fully implemented new tools, it’s time to start training staff and executing the localization strategy. Teams can also begin to create and optimize processes and workflows to get the most out of their localization strategy. Consulting an agency partner can also help this process go smoothly.
Benefits of Centralized Technology for Global Enterprises
Enterprises that introduce a centralized technology infrastructure to help with localization can realize several benefits.
Companies can better allocate resources across their entire operations, helping to increase productivity. With a centralized technology stack, it’s possible to see which areas are underserved or missing vital tools to create the best customer experiences.
A centralized technology stack can streamline workflows and automate aspects of the localization process. For example, content published on the main website can be automatically run through a translation tool and then forwarded to the local team in another country. The local team can then check for nuances and make edits before publishing, saving time for both teams.
Global brands can benefit from a centralized content hub as it offers a repository for all localized content. This helps to improve content governance, ensuring better consistency across markets and making it easier to manage different versions of content across those markets. It also means smoother internal processes so businesses can meet compliance requirements in other countries.
Centralization fosters seamless collaboration among different teams and departments involved in the localization process. For example, global teams in the same CMS don’t have to wonder what others are doing. Instead, the localized content team in Country B can see content in the workflow queue for Country A and be able to weigh in quickly if any adjustments need to be made so that the entire strategy remains connected.
A centralized technology stack makes it easier for teams to access modern technologies. Teams can leverage cloud-native solutions that team members can use from anywhere in the world, which helps eliminate content silos and streamlines costs, among other additional benefits.
Centralization ensures that brand messaging and identity are consistently applied across all markets. This consistency reinforces brand recognition and trust among global audiences, creating a unified brand experience.
Localization technology streamlines the process of adapting content to resonate with local audiences. This leads to a more personalized and relevant customer experience, which can result in more conversions and deeper customer loyalty.
Get Support for Global Unification
Creating a unified digital experience that spans multiple countries, regions, languages, and cultures can seem complicated. Not only does it require a commitment to a high level of localization, but it also needs enterprises to embrace new technologies.
Content Bloom is a global digital consultancy that helps enterprises deliver solutions that meet customer expectations, including building a localization strategy to unify experiences. With our content management and digital infrastructure expertise, we can help businesses select the right tools and leverage tried and tested strategies to market faster and better.
Montreal-based SNC Lavalin needed a new corporate website and mini website as part of their localization strategy for their operations in over 160 countries. They turned to Content Bloom for assistance. The new website supported translation and localization while being available on any device, providing a globally unified presence for the engineering and construction services company. Content Bloom even provides 24/7 managed services support for their content management needs.
Read the case study to learn more about how Content Bloom delivered for SNC Lavalin and the benefits of localization strategy.
Get the latest industry news, articles, and updates.
(No junk. Just the good stuff.)
Digital System Evolution: A Guide to Reinventing Your Digital Ecosystems
A detailed guide on evolving digital systems and ecosystems, tailored for modern enterprises.
Lift and Shift Migration: Tridion to Adobe Experience Manager
Tridion and AEM both are mature enterprise-level CMSs serving customers to achieve specific digital goals.
Content Localization: What It Is and How It Helps Build Global Engagement
Content localization effectively resonates with diverse cultures while maintaining authenticity and relevance.