Overcoming Challenges in Conveying the Complexity of Localization to Stakeholders
At Undertow, we often find ourselves amid an internal battle when it comes to communicating the value of localization. As a localization and digital marketing agency, we understand the complexity and value of this process. However, conveying this value to stakeholders, especially in the SaaS industry, can be challenging.
What you will learn:
The Importance of Localization
Localization is more than just translation. It is about adjusting your product or service to meet the needs of different markets. As Miguel Sepulveda, Globalization Director at King, aptly put it in our recent podcast, "Localization is to remove the language barrier... By speaking the languages of the customers, companies can effectively engage with them, build trust, and establish stronger connections."
Localization is also about improving the overall user experience by tailoring products and services to the specific needs and preferences of the target audience. It addresses legal compliance issues by ensuring that products and services meet the legal standards and regulations of different countries. In short, localization is crucial for businesses that want to expand their reach and succeed in the global market.
The Complexity of Localization
The process of localization can be complex, involving multiple steps such as translation, cultural adaptation, and technical integration. It requires a deep understanding of the target culture and language, along with the ability to communicate effectively across different languages and platforms.
Furthermore, the use of different content production models, such as in-house or outsourced teams, adds another layer of complexity to the process.
The Stakeholder Conundrum
Despite its importance and complexity, localization often falls victim to budget constraints and a lack of understanding from stakeholders. In the fast-paced world of SaaS, where time is money and resources are limited, it can be challenging to convey the value of localization and gain support for it. Many stakeholders may view it as an unnecessary expense, particularly if they do not fully understand its role in reaching new markets and increasing ROI.
The Challenge of Internal Communication
The challenge lies in communicating these complexities and the value of localization to internal stakeholders. This issue mainly arises due to an oversimplification of what localization is or what we do. As Sepulveda explained, "Some people believe that localization is simply translation, something that should be easy, quick, and in many cases automated, or that any native speaker in a company can handle... But actually, it's not like that.
So how do we overcome these challenges?
Best Practices for Communicating the Value of Localization
Here are some proven strategies:
Start Small and Increase Complexity
Instead of trying to launch in multiple markets at once, start with one or two and gradually expand. This allows for a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities involved in localization.
Explain the Complexity
Localization is not just translation. It involves adapting user interfaces, dates, currency measurement units, payment methods, pictures, photos, illustrations, and even colors. All these aspects need to be explained to stakeholders to help them understand the complexity involved.
A Real-Life Example: The Success of Spotify
Consider the case of Spotify, a music streaming service that is available in 79 countries around the world. Instead of merely translating their interface, Spotify understood the significance of localization. They carefully tailored playlists to reflect local music tastes, incorporated local payment methods, and adjusted to the data usage habits of different regions.
As a result, Spotify achieved remarkable success in diverse markets – within just one year of their launch in India, they gained more than 2 million users. This example vividly illustrates the real-world complexity and impact of localization.
By relating to such a familiar and successful case, stakeholders can better understand the comprehensive nature and immense potential of localization.
Involve Localization Early in Product Development
The best time to involve localization is during the ideation phase of product development. As Sepulveda recommended, "You need to start thinking into which markets you are going to be releasing that product, and you need to start thinking about the customer behaviors in those markets."
A Real-Life Example: The Success of Netflix
An excellent example of how localization can contribute to a company's success is Netflix. The streaming giant, which operates in over 190 countries, has made localization a cornerstone of its international expansion strategy.
Rather than merely translating content, Netflix has invested heavily in tailoring each show or movie to the specific cultural context of their international audiences, resulting in a highly personalized viewing experience.
From the use of local idioms and slang in the subtitles to the adaptation of graphics and visual cues to match the cultural norms of each region, Netflix's attention to detail in its localization efforts has been a significant factor in its global success. This example underscores the essential role of localization in reaching and engaging with a global audience.
Netflix's success is a testament to the significance of integrating localization early in product development, demonstrating how a considerate global approach, applied from the inception of a project, can lead to immense global popularity and customer satisfaction.
By sharing this example with stakeholders, they can gain a better understanding of the tangible benefits that a well-executed localization strategy can bring.
Communicating the value of localization is indeed an internal battle. However, by starting small, explaining the complexity, and involving localization early in product development, you can overcome these challenges and effectively convey the significant value of localization to your stakeholders.
How Undertow Can Help You Overcome These Challenges
At Undertow, we understand the challenges in communicating the value and complexity of localization to internal stakeholders. That's why we offer robust localization management services to assist SaaS businesses in reaching their global objectives within their budget and timeline constraints.
With our deep expertise in language services and the capacity to scale our solutions to meet your needs, we are the ideal partner to effectively communicate the value of localization to stakeholders and take your localization efforts to new heights.
So why wait? Contact us today and let us help you achieve global success!