There are several reasons why localization is a marketer’s best friend when expanding into international markets. One of these reasons is that localization removes language barriers for the customers you are targeting. This makes it easier for them to purchase from you and to stay with you as loyal customers, potentially over a lifetime. Localization can also mean the difference between whether customers can find your business both on and offline. That is because people in different regions of the world often refer to services and products differently and therefore search differently. By partnering with a quality language services vendor that offers localization services, you will be able to make your marketing work in any language and locale, so that it makes sense to the people you are targeting, and so that more of those people become your customers.
What is Localization?
Localization is the entire process of adapting your product and marketing to a specific location or market. Localization involves:
- Adapting graphics to target markets
- Modifying content to suit the tastes and consumption habits of the local market being targeted
- Adapting design and layout to properly display translated text
- Converting units of measure and currency to local conventions
- Using proper formats for dates, addresses, and phone numbers
- Addressing local regulations and legal requirements
Top Reasons Why Localization is a Marketer’s Secret Weapon When Expanding Internationally
Here are the reasons localization can help marketers get an advantage when expanding into international markets.
1. Localization Improves Your Global Reach
If you were to look at the world as a giant pie chart of languages, then you might be surprised. Out of the world’s 7.5 billion people, just 1.5 billion (20%) speak English.1 There has been a long held assumption in business that enough people on the web feel comfortable using English, especially when buying luxury or tech products. However, research indicates otherwise. A majorly cited study found that 75% of respondents said they want product information in their native language.2 If you want to go global, then you must first act local. Localization helps you reach and connect to any market in the world, regardless of language or culture. A quality localization service offered by a language services company can help you localize your expansion efforts by making sure your marketing connects with the groups of customers you wish to target. Localization not only helps you speak their language, it can also help your marketing be more culturally relevant so that it resonates with your customers.
2. Localization improves SEO
When expanding abroad, localization is especially important when it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization). As a marketer, you are probably already aware of how important search traffic is as a customer channel. People often will refer to your products or services differently from one country to the next. For example, in Australia, coriander is the preferred word used to describe what Americans refer to as Cilantro. If you were an American exporter, marketing a cilantro-based product to Australia, then you would want to localize for that term by calling it coriander. Otherwise your Australian customers would not be able to locate your product or even understand what you are selling. That is why it is important to do your research before expanding internationally. You will want to fully understand the way an audience in a new country will be looking for your product or service. This means teaming up with a localization service that can l help you select the right terms to improve your SEO for successful expansion into international markets.
3. Localization Builds Trust, Loyalty and Lifetime Value with Customers
When you speak in your customers’ native languages and localize your marketing content appropriately, you are better able to connect to them and have them return to you again and again. A report from the Common Sense Advisory found that 56.2% of consumers said that the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price.3 Another study found that 72.4% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand if their website and product information is available in their native language.4
Measuring the Lifetime Value of a Customer
Customer Lifetime Value is the measurement of how much a customer is worth to a business over their entire relationship. For example, a customer that spends $3000 in a single transaction is way less valuable to a firm than one who comes back to you thirty times, racking up $90,000 in purchases. By partnering with a localization company to localize your product information and support materials, you can improve loyalty with all customers regardless of what language they speak or where they reside.
1 Babbel. How Many People Speak English, And Where Is It Spoken? 2017. https://www.babbel.com/en/magazine/how-many-people-speak-english-and-where-is-it-spoken (accessed June 17, 2020)
2 Common Sense Advisory Press Release. “75% of respondents saying they want the products in their native language”. 2014. https://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/04/prweb11725995.htm (accessed June 17, 2020)
3 Harvard Business Review. “56.2% of consumers said that the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price”. 2012. https://hbr.org/2012/08/speak-to-global-customers-in-t (accessed June 16, 2020)
4 Harvard Business Review. “72.4% of consumers said they would be more likely to buy a product with information in their own language”. 2012. https://hbr.org/2012/08/speak-to-global-customers-in-t (accessed June 10, 2020)