After months (or even years) of late night product development and many internal meetings, your company has finally achieved product success in the market. Congratulations! In addition, you have just secured a round of funding (Seed, Angel, Series A, B, C, etc.) from a venture capital firm, and are now ready to hit the market, full force. What are your next steps?
Among your options for growth is localization - the process of translating your product-related content into foreign languages while incorporating locale-specific elements (e.g. political, religious, and cultural sensitivities, local expressions and marketing styles, etc.). There are a few translation services companies that can help you localize content into hundreds of languages.
Product-related content can include software apps, websites and social media pages, documentation (marketing, technical, legal, medical, etc.), and videos.
Localizing content will allow you to establish a more global brand image and reach more target audiences in markets overseas, thereby increasing your international sales ROI.
Companies that localize tend to see a roughly 15-20% increase in return on their product and gain an edge over their competition (who may not have localized assets).
In this blog, we introduce key questions surrounding localization planning for you to consider as your funding rounds continue or your company goes public.
Target consumer markets
When planning for localization, you need to have a thorough understanding about your target consumer markets or "playgrounds."
Here are questions to consider regarding your consumer markets when planning for localization.
- Currently, which international market represents your company's biggest return or main focus?
- Historically, which international market or region has given your company the best return in terms of sales?
- If sales in that market have lagged, is there any way to re-engage with that client base (e.g. a new, localized version of your product)?
- Has your company previously localized any content? If so, which overseas markets were targeted?
- If localization did not help increase sales ROI in those markets, how can your localization program be improved to boost sales ROI?
When planning for your company's localization program, it is important for all internal teams to understand the unique advantages of localization and the growth plan from a product perspective.
Having a solid game plan on how to show actual returns and report back to your investors is also crucial. Here are some introspective questions to consider for localization planning.
- Do your teams "buy in" to the concept of localization? Does everyone understand how localization will boost company growth?
- How much of your budget is currently consumed by current product development efforts?
- How much of your budget will you allocate toward product localization and marketing localization (e.g., localizing marketing collateral, websites, and social media pages)?
As you build your product, what measurable steps is your company taking to stay competitive and lead in the market?
When planning for localization, it is also important to "look outward" and run a competitive analysis. There are lessons about sales, marketing, and localization strategy that you can learn from observing and analyzing competitor activity in your target markets. Here are some questions about competitors to consider when planning for localization.
- Who are your company's top 3 competitors?
- How are your competitors capturing global market share over yours?
- Do they have localized content (software, websites, documentation) or a presence in a foreign market?
- What can your company do better to strengthen its global presence (e.g., ramp up social media activity, hire local sales and marketing personnel, localize content, etc.)?
While not an exhaustive list of questions, this should definitely help spark some concrete ideas on initial steps your company can take as you receive external funding and prepare to tackle the international market.
Proper localization planning will help you develop a robust localization program and, ultimately, will allow for a more global brand image and more delighted customers overseas.
If you wish to explore this or other topics surrounding localization in greater detail, click the link below for a free consultation with a SimulTrans localization specialist - we would be happy to hear from you!