What is it?
The art and science of analyzing, planning, and aligning the corporate strategies, product design, content, marketing, packaging, and support materials required to support a business in all its markets worldwide.
Why is it important?
Globalization allows companies to increase their reach by skillfully guiding the process of taking a product, service, idea, system, and project to multiple markets. It must be an integral part of the corporate strategy to enable growth in global markets and to effectively reach global audiences.
Why does a technical communicator need to know this?
Globalization requires much more than simply having an international office, developing local language websites, or preparing code for localization. It is an ongoing effort to remove barriers so that customers have a good experience, wherever they live and work.
At its best, globalization is built into the overall corporate strategy and infused into every area and activity in the company. This strategic focus goes hand in hand with internationalization, which is the technical side of globalization. The globalization strategy drives the priorities, budget, and focus for internationalization and, subsequently, for localization and translation.
In addition to encompassing internationalization and localization, globalization also includes global trade compliance, OEM partnerships, joint ventures, regulatory compliance, as well as your global content strategy.
For example, if you sell medical equipment, you must create products that comply with local medical regulations. By understanding these regulatory differences and removing barriers to purchasing and using a product or service in the local market, globalization teams can help you build market share.
To be successful, companies need the right leaders in place at all levels of the organization to take full advantage of the opportunities that globalization provides. These leaders must fully support globalization and have experience in incorporating best practices for globalization into all of the company’s processes and systems, as well as an understanding of the needs and drivers for each of your markets[Burbach 2017].
An experienced globalization team can help you prioritize your efforts and help you capitalize on global opportunities[Schlegel 2016].
- [Schlegel 2016] Truly Global: The Theory and Practice of Bringing Your Company to International Markets: Schlegel, Anna N. (2016). End-to-end mapping of what it takes for a company to go global.
- [Burbach 2017] Building Ad-hoc Localization Metrics into Optimized Globalization Business Intelligence: Burbach, Barbara. GALA webinar on collecting and aggregating metrics on localization and globalization to inform business intelligence activities. Subscription required.