top of page
  • Writer's pictureUndertow Team

Understanding The ROI Of Localization: An In-Depth Analysis

Unraveling The Financial Impact And Long-Term Benefits Of Localization Strategies

The ROI of Localization

In the world of B2B SaaS startups, every investment must be justified, and every dollar spent must bring measurable returns. As a localization and digital marketing agency, we understand this all too well. One area that often raises questions about return on investment (ROI) is localization.

In this article, we aim to dive into the complexities of calculating ROI for localization efforts, including the challenges in measuring direct impact and the importance of focusing on customer experience metrics. 

What you will learn…

The Challenge Of Measuring Direct Impact

Localization, the process of adapting your product or content to meet the needs and preferences of users in different markets, is an essential strategy for global growth. Yet, many companies struggle to quantify its direct impact.

As Miguel Sepulveda, Globalization Director at King says, "Localization is a long-term investment, and its benefits are not always immediately tangible." This statement highlights the inherent difficulty in measuring the direct ROI of localization.

multilingual content podcast

Unlike direct marketing campaigns where you can measure click-through rates or sales conversions, localization's impact is often seen in the form of improved user experience, increased customer satisfaction, and expanded market reach, which can be challenging to quantify.

However, there are a couple of metrics you can use to measure ROI in localization.

1. Revenue Generated Per Market

One way to measure the ROI of localization is to track the revenue generated in each market after implementing localized content or product versions. This metric can be useful when comparing different markets and determining which ones are the most profitable.

For example, a software company might find that their product is gaining more traction in Japan after localizing it for the market. By comparing the revenue generated in this market to others, they can get a sense of the impact of localization efforts.

2. Money Saved By Preventing Localization Errors

Another metric for assessing the ROI of localization is the amount of money saved by avoiding localization mistakes. These mistakes could span from disregarding cultural nuances and employing incorrect translations, to facing technical glitches due to improper localization. 

By investing in efficient localization, businesses can bypass these costly errors and preserve finances in the long run. 

It's key to remember that substandard localization, such as imprecise automatic translations, can deeply tarnish a brand's image and trustworthiness in global markets. This kind of damage to a brand's reputation not only undermines customer faith and loyalty but is also costly to rectify, often exceeding the initial investment in quality localization practices.

Localization Errors

The Importance Of Customer Experience Metrics

While it may be challenging to measure direct impact, there is no denying that localization plays a significant role in improving customer experience.

Miguel puts it succinctly: "When customers feel understood and valued, they're more likely to remain loyal and recommend your product to others. That's the true ROI of localization." 

By focusing on customer experience metrics, companies can also identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to optimize their localization strategy.

According to a study by Common Sense Advisory, 72% of consumers are more likely to buy a product with information in their own language, and 56% say that the ability to obtain information in their language is more important than price.

This data shows that localization can have a significant impact on customer satisfaction and purchasing decisions. Therefore, businesses should focus on customer experience metrics such as customer retention rates, Net Promoter Score (NPS), and customer lifetime value (CLV) when evaluating the ROI of localization efforts.

Customer Experience Metrics

Understanding Key Customer Experience Metrics: NPS and CLV

Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) are two important metrics for assessing the customer experience and the effectiveness of localization efforts.

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a measure of customer loyalty and satisfaction. It's calculated by asking customers a simple question: "On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?" Responses are then divided into categories: Promoters (9-10), Passives (7-8), and Detractors (0-6). 

The NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of customers who are Detractors from the percentage who are Promoters. The higher the NPS, the more likely customers are satisfied and willing to recommend the business to others.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), on the other hand, is a prediction of the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer. It helps companies understand how much revenue they can expect one customer to generate over the course of the business relationship. The longer a customer continues to purchase from a company, the greater their lifetime value becomes. Therefore, improving CLV can significantly impact a company's profitability.

The Use Of A/B Testing In Measuring Localization Impact

Another effective way to measure the impact of localization efforts is through A/B testing. This method involves creating different versions of your localized content, products, or user interface and measuring their performance against each other.

For example, you can create two versions of a localized landing page for a specific market, one with a more culturally relevant design and copy, and the other with a generic design and copy. 

By measuring the conversion rates of these two versions, you can get a better understanding of how well your localization efforts are resonating with your target audience.

the multilingual content podcast

Content Prioritization And Considering Internationalization For Optimal Localization Impact

To maximize the impact of localization efforts, businesses should prioritize their localized content based on market potential and customer preferences. It may not be feasible or necessary to localize all content for every market, so it's essential to analyze data and insights to identify which markets would benefit the most from localization.

At the same time, companies should also consider internationalization when creating content, products, or services. This involves designing and developing them in a way that makes it easier to adapt and localize them for different markets in the future.

By incorporating internationalization into their processes from the start, businesses can save time and resources when they eventually decide to expand into new markets.

Understanding and effectively managing the software localization lifecycle, which entails stages from planning and translation to testing and maintenance, is integral for successful market expansion, and consequently, maximizing the return on investment in localization.

Miguel underlines this concept, saying, "Internationalization isn't simply an afterthought, but a preemptive strategy. It's about foreseeing and understanding the global implications of your products from the get-go, eliminating barriers to localization before they even arise." 

This emphasizes the importance of integrating an international mindset in the early stages of product development, underlining the long-term benefits and efficiency it can bring when expanding to different markets.

Localization As A Long-Term Investment: Beyond Immediate Profits

Understanding the ROI of localization is not about immediate profits or direct sales conversions. Instead, it's about investing in customer satisfaction, market expansion, and long-term growth.

As Undertow, we firmly believe that localization is a powerful tool for B2B SaaS startups targeting global markets. It may not provide immediate, tangible returns, but its impact on customer experience and market reach is invaluable.

As Miguel puts it, "Localization is not an expense; it's an investment in your company's future." And as with any investment, the returns may take time to materialize, but when they do, they are well worth the wait.

Localization As A Long-Term Investment

Deciphering The ROI Of Localization: Undertow's Approach

At Undertow, we understand that quantifying the ROI of localization can be challenging, and its impact may not always be immediately apparent. That's why we take a data-driven approach to measuring and analyzing the impact of your localization efforts.

Our first step is to establish clear objectives and metrics for each localization project based on your goals and target market. These can include key performance indicators (KPIs) such as market expansion, user engagement, customer satisfaction, and revenue generation.

Next, we track and analyze these metrics before and after localization to determine the impact of our efforts. This data allows us to make data-backed decisions for future localization projects and continuously improve our strategies. 

With our tailored strategies and expertise in digital marketing, multilingual content writing, and localization management, you can be confident in navigating localization complexities while achieving tangible results that contribute to your overall ROI.

localization program

bottom of page