Enterprises are complex ecosystems, made up of thousands (if not millions) of people, tools, and systems. Like all growing organizations, many of the world’s leading companies are prioritizing expansion into new markets and countries.
However, without the right tools, technologies, and processes, global expansion strategies oftentimes result in a fragmented customer experience — that is, unless you’ve invested in a scalable and globally-connected localized strategy. Now, more than ever, localization and multilingual customer experiences are key initiatives for enterprise growth. In fact, nearly 90% of companies believe that a localized strategy is a priority for them within their target markets.
With language becoming an increasingly important driver to opening up new growth channels for your brand, a localized strategy is key to personalizing customer experiences. Below are five benefits your enterprise team can reap from investing in a localized strategy:
Streamline a cohesive end-to-end customer experience, in the language your audience is familiar with.
Enables worldwide access to your brand.
Increase inclusivity through language accessibility.
Improve conversion rates and enable growth for all aspects of your business.
Scale service and product adoption for new markets.
As you and your team get started, here are some questions to consider before implementing an enterprise-level localized strategy.
From building meaningful and engaging connections with customers to improving conversion rates across your pipeline, your localization strategy can support a number of global goals and priorities. Understanding your top goal is key to building a framework of systems and ensuring the involvement of appropriate stakeholders.
It’s also important to note that depending on what your top priorities are and what teams are involved, your key success metrics will vary. For example, if you’re trying to expand your product or offering into new markets, you’ll want to see positive growth in product functionality and monthly active users to justify the investment.
Most enterprises will implement one of two organizational models for their localized strategy: a centralized or decentralized approach. In a centralized approach, a team is primarily dedicated to localization and the global customer experience. Alternatively, a decentralized approach disperses the localization responsibilities to a team or teams involved in influencing customer experiences (i.e Marketing, Product, Engineering, etc.).
While there is no one correct model, it’s clear that early consideration of localization in content and development processes is important for teams to deliver one cohesive customer experience. The more connected and aligned the teams are, the easier it is to ensure that all global customers have a cohesive and seamless experience.
Across your product, customer support, marketing materials, and more, different content types and formats will help you achieve different priorities. That said, it’s important to make sure that your content priorities align with your overall business objectives and localized strategy. For instance, if your top goal is to improve global customer support and satisfaction, you’ll most likely be interested in localizing your support content and help desks. You’ll also want to consider your long-term goals and what content will help you get there.
To help us get a better understanding of how companies are thinking globally, we asked hundreds of companies how they prioritize content and digital touchpoints in their localized strategies. Localized customer support, website, and social media are perceived to have the largest impact on the quality of customer experience a company delivers.
According to our survey, 42% of companies don't localize in all countries where they have a presence, leaving portions of their audiences unable to access content in the language of their choice. Leveraging the right strategy, data, and technologies will make sure that your localized strategy targets the right languages and audiences. Some countries have more than one commonly-spoken language or dialect, so it’s important to conduct thorough research with linguists and market specialists. Once you’re able to identify which languages and markets you want to target, creating content that is locally relevant and authentic will be key.
Tip: If you’re trying to grow into new locales and want to localize content into new languages, use a platform like Google Analytics to track web traffic and clicks from those new areas. You can also use it to track inbound website traffic and look at trends over time to strategize where you might need to localize next.
Prevention is the best safeguard against breakdowns. Take a look at your current localized strategy to identify any gaps and opportunities for optimization. One of the biggest challenges to optimization is doing so in a cost-effective way. And since enterprise teams operate largely at scale, it’s important to build a streamlined process that is able to deliver localized content that can keep up with global demand.
One of the best ways to scale your localized strategy is to invest in automation and eliminate any manual or time-intensive tasks. Consider investing in Connectors, or integrations, to skip the manual exports and imports and work within your pre-existing content mangement systems and tools. Automated QA batch checks are another great way to ensure brand consistency and accuracy in spelling and grammar. And lastly, partner with a localization platform that leverages Translation Memories to optimize localization speed, accuracy, and quality.
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And while these set of questions can help you build a robust framework for your enterprise growth strategy, it’s important to note the key player at the center of it all—localization. However, delivering seamless and engaging multilingual experiences for your global audience quickly and efficiently is no easy feat. The good news? Lilt offers an innovative translation software service that can help you manage and localize all of your content across the entire customer journey at scale.
Turning an idea into a product, website, or application is a labor of love, and it always takes time and effort to realize. Even once the building process is complete, finding success is a challenge on its own - and growing that success to multiple markets can be even harder.
The pandemic has dramatically increased the demand for companies to digitally transform. Now more than ever, businesses and consumers are moving towards a digital-first approach. And while companies are embracing new digital strategies to increase content creation and user engagement, not all are thinking about the full end-to-end customer journey through a global lens. The result? Customers around the world face fragmented and inconsistent online experiences.