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How To Develop An Effective Localization Strategy
When a company decides to go international, it is a huge step. With new markets comes new customers, which means more revenue. Localization strategies directly impact the results of international marketing projects. An effective localization plan can make or break a company’s international venture. There are numerous steps in the development of a localization strategy.
This blog is the eighth in this series. This post will illustrate how companies can develop effective localization strategies. The goal of this discussion is to help multinational corporations determine the best translation service for their next international project.
The first step in developing an effective localization strategy is planning. The strategy should consist of your long and short term goals, and how you plan to achieve these objectives. The better you know your audience, and the more you prepare your outreach material to meet the needs of that market, the more efficient your company will be. In a nutshell developing your marketing material to the particular market and meeting those particular needs is what localization is. But there is more.
Translation: A Piece Of The Puzzle
Translation is one of several elements in the localization process, but it is also one of the most important. After all, the best way to reach a new audience is to speak their language. The process should be as streamlined as possible, and the content should be consistent. Consistency is important for a company in order to establish a corporate image. Consistent meaning that the company should use the same tone and terminology throughout their communications whether it be website material or marketing texts. This is where a good translator can help. How can a company guarantee that their content will maintain the same style no matter the language the copy is translated into? An experienced translator is capable of maintaining a brand image throughout their translation jobs. Also, some language service providers allow companies to choose which translator’s style would best fit in with their company’s content style.
There are a lot of excellent translation companies out there to choose from, but before we get to that part, a company must first decide if they need to outsource their projects. There are three main options for marketing teams looking to localize: outsourcing, in-house, and a mix of the two. Many factors go into the decision of which option your business should choose. Usually, the size of the project is the most important factor and determining if your company has the resources available to accomplish the task on time. This is the main reason many managers choose to outsource because they would rather an external provider that specializes in the task do the work for them to guarantee quality results. This leads us to the next piece of the puzzle.
Methods To The Madness
Some companies see the benefits of outsourcing their projects instead of handling them internally. For some companies, this is the best option if they do not have the manpower available to complete a large international campaign. Also, it may be difficult for some companies to take the time to find qualified translators to complete localization projects. Companies that do not mind losing some control over their projects tend to choose to outsource their projects to language service providers. LSPs specialize in localization because they have the resources to make the task go as smooth as possible.
Another option is for companies to handle localization and translation in-house. Many companies hire bilingual employees for project management positions and to help them better connect and understand the markets they are targeting. Some companies also like maintaining control of the process and worry about losing control by outsourcing to another agency. The downsides of this are it could be difficult for internal translators to handle large workloads and translations while having to deal with other daily work tasks.
Still, some companies find a combination of the two, in-house and outsourced, as the best option for them. The decision comes down to the company’s familiarity with the market they are targeting, and the budget available for the project. Often companies outsource the initial translations, and then they proofread the translations in-house. Each company needs to find out which option works best for them. The decision really comes down to the type of the product or service they are selling, and the size of the project.
You Get What You Pay For
For companies that have never outsourced their translations, it is sometimes difficult to see the benefits of doing so. Many only look at the price tag and decide that they would rather handle to project internally. Let me explain. Translation companies can be pricey because you get what you pay for. In the translation industry, usually the more you pay, the better quality translation you are getting. Translation agencies also need to pay their translators throughout the process. Not only translators but proofreaders and IT professionals, who are there to make sure the documents are formatted properly. Some companies see these requirements for high quality adding up. They then decide it is a better idea to outsource their projects to a business that has all the necessary personnel andtranslation software. No matter the project rest assured knowing that there is a translation service out there ready to take on your next localization project.