In a globalized world, localization is extremely important. Fortunately, making localization happen isn’t as hard what a lot of businesses imagine it to be. We’ve already been blessed with the necessary tools and technologies to hasten the process.
However, the sad truth is that not every business out there has taken advantage of these resources. For instance, among the Fortune 500, only 48% have even bothered to translate their websites from English to a required foreign language. These companies don’t even have a sizeable budget allocated towards localization.
The point here is that we have everything we need to make localization happen, but we need to focus on more than “just the basics”, which is, making a connection.
So, how do businesses make a connection? Well, we’ve listed 4 key ways in which this can be achieved:
1. Going beyond translation
According to studies, 70% of the people who use the Internet are not native English speakers. Even more important is the fact that 75% of customers don’t make an online purchase unless the product has been described in their own language.
Now, you might think a simple translation would do the trick. But, that’s not enough.
According to Diego Lomanto, CMO of Talent Inc., businesses need to start paying attention to the details rather than focusing purely on the big picture. They need to look at communication in its entirety. What this means is they need to start using the correct phrases, the right colors,and the right terms to generate the expected conversion rates.
To put it simply, your message needs to be relatable to the customer on the other side of the world. This means focusing on the tiniest nuances of speech and other aspects such as cultural connotations.
2. Hire local talent
If you really want to make an impact in a foreign market, you need to do everything to understand it. One way to do that is by hiring a local who understands the customer’s culture.
It’s all about being prepared. Good relationships are built when a business is prepared to do what is necessary. In this case, it’s making the right connections with the right people.
Start by hiring employees from backgrounds that are similar to your markets. Develop partnerships with local entities that understand the market more than you and are willing to guide you.
3. Join the community
When entering a foreign market, you need to ensure that your presence is felt. How do you do this? Well, you simply make sure you’re on the same page as your customers. Keep a track of trends and current events. Offer your assistance during times of needs.
For example, observe local customs or festivals and find out more about them. Based on the information you gather, you can tailor offers, discounts or even entire products that customers might find useful or beneficial during these times.
Identify significant moments that can be leveraged towards establishing your brand within a local setting.
Finally, we have feedback. It is the one component that determines the success of your localization strategy in its entirety. How else would you know if your strategy is paying off? Also, it is a great way to connect with your local customer.
When brands insist on customer feedback, the average customer feels welcomed and would be more than willing to provide you with information (intentionally or unintentionally) that can strengthen your ongoing localization efforts.
Plus, you gain an opportunity to improve your offerings and the sooner you do that, the quicker you will earn your title as a people-focused business.
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