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How to Convince Your Key Stakeholders That Localization Matters

Why Localization Is Important

Independent research agency, Common Sense Advisory, predicts that by 2021 the language service industry market will reach 56.18 billion USD. With only 25% of the world’s internet users being English speakers it is clear that there is demand for localization and, if you are not taking advantage of different language markets, it is time to start.

Increased customer satisfaction and boosting revenue are just a couple of tangible benefits of a good localization strategy. If you want more advantages you can learn why localization is essential for your global business. If you are well aware of the benefits you may be thinking about how to introduce a localization program into your company strategy.

You’ll need to start by convincing your key stakeholders in order to get them to buy into the importance of localization. We’ve put together some key considerations to help you persuade them.

Do Your Research

To demonstrate the importance of localization, you need an overview of your company’s current landscape. Know your market, competitors, and, most importantly, your audience. If you can demonstrate an understanding of your company’s expansion goals and how localization can help enter new markets successfully, your plan will be more persuasive. You should also research your new audience. Find out what their expectations are, their cultural preferences, and the pain points your localized product can solve.

You also need to know if there is isolated translation and localization happening in different departments. Decentralized localization can cause a variety of problems from inefficient manual processes to inconsistent translations. It’s important to learn about those departments’ set-up, processes, and challenges in order to offer up a new, more centralized solution to key decision-makers that benefits all. You’ll also have to research the different technologies that you will need to implement, such as a TMS (translation management system). There are great resources that can help compare different platforms and even help you through the selection process.

Set Out Clear Goals

Localization goals vary across verticals. Be clear about what you are trying to achieve by introducing a localization program. Are you trying to increase your market size and generate new leads? Do you want to increase customer satisfaction or improve the time-to-market for your localized products? It’s essential to make sure your goals are aligned with the goals of the company. If your proposal clearly sets out the problem you are trying to solve for the business as a whole, you are more likely to get the green light.

Refine Your List of Stakeholders

Many people will be affected by the decision to implement a localization strategy into your business. According to a Nimdzi survey, 36% of localization decisions are made by product managers and/or producers, 30% by marketing managers, 19% by localization managers and 15% by other teams such as engineers and UI/UX teams. Identify all of your internal stakeholders involved in the localization process to better understand their needs and requirements.

Identify Your Advocates and Influencers

Advocates are assets:

There will be people in your company who understand the importance of localization. They may have first-hand localization experience or can identify with your pain points. Find them, pitch your idea, and get them on board. They will help to spread the localization gospel and sell your idea to the decision-makers.

Influence the influencers:

There are undoubtedly people who garner a high level of trust within your organization. If you can get the seal of approval from these influencers, you will have a good foothold when presenting the idea to your executives.

Sell Your Idea

Since you have to convince a variety of stakeholders, you need to sell your idea in a way that resonates with all the different parties. You won’t convince your CFO the same way you convince your CTO. Your CFO will want to hear about potential savings and ROI whereas your CTO will be more interested in the processes and required technology. Identify the needs of each stakeholder and find common ground before meeting with them in order to frame your idea in a way that will resonate.

Demonstrate Potential ROI

With the right strategy and technology to help you leverage your resources, you will see that localization is worth your while. However, there will be significant upfront costs and it may be some time before you see the returns. You need to fully understand the costs related to localization, factoring in man-power, machine translation, and translation technology, as well as looking at the costs of translation vendors or creating an internal translation team. Don’t let this deter your executives. According to CSA research, companies that upped their translation budget were 1.5 times more likely to report an increase in total revenue compared to their Fortune 500 peers.

Conclusion

You may understand the importance and benefits of localization but in order to get your whole company on board, you need to do your due diligence. Carry out your research, communicate with your stakeholders, and always be sure that your strategy is in line with company goals.

Once you have your stakeholders convinced, you’ll need to decide on your localization strategy. Our upcoming article will walk you through the different options so that you can find the best set-up for your business.

Choosing a TMS can be daunting. We’re here to help.

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Author: Lara-Ashleigh Pieterse
Author: Lara-Ashleigh Pieterse

Content Manager at Memsource