What is it?
The art and science of planning and directing operations in a global marketplace so that a product or service cannot be distinguished from a local offering. Marshals resources for internationalization, localization, translation, and transcreation for their most efficient and productive use.
Why is it important?
Localization strategy is part of a company’s global content strategy and defines how they adapt their products or services for one or more international markets and what financial, vendor, and technology resources they need to do so.
Why does a technical communicator need to know this?
Localization strategy involves:
- Defining business goals in international markets, such as revenue, profit, market share, expansion, consolidation, conversions, etc.
- Identifying current obstacles that prevent the organization from efficiently and effectively adapting its products to local needs.
- Developing a plan that includes people, processes, technology, and funds to implement that strategy.
- Implementing the plan, measuring progress, and adjusting the plan accordingly.
A localization strategy requires extensive knowledge about the target market and competitors’ positions in that market. Understanding local consumer preferences, cultural, political, and legal frameworks, as well as technical requirements, is also central to satisfying customer needs and wants.
A localization strategy connects localized content with business outcomes[Lawless 2015]. Web analytics have made it easier to assemble a remarkable level of detail, but they aren’t the whole story. For example, web reports rarely tie into sales data.
Teams need to make cognitive connections between multiple sets of data so that they can understand the larger strategic picture[Singh 2012].
- A Localized Global Marketing Strategy: Singh, Nitish (2012). A Brand Quarterly article about the importance of localization to a global marketing strategy.
- Web Analytics Your CEO Wants To Hear: Lawless, Andrew (2015). LinkedIn post about why it’s important to tie localization to business outcomes when talking to the C level.
- How to Avoid Suffocation from Web Localization: Lawless, Andrew (2015a). LinkedIn post about how automation and solid processes can help to ensure scalability and consistency.
- 3 must-dos before going global: Rockant Training and Consulting. Video explaining internationalization, localization, and translation, all of which are important to your localization strategy.
- How Search Terms Kill Your Business - Literally: Lawless, Andrew (2016). LinkedIn post that discusses the importance of terminology management and gives some examples.
- Why Localization Does Not Get the Love: Lawless, Andrew (2016a). LinkedIn post that summarizes a Facebook Live event Andrew did with Anna Schlegel. The link to the recording is at the bottom of the post.