Content localization has become even more relevant in the past decade than ever before due to marketing strategy changing to be more locally and globally focused. Consumers are becoming much more diverse and their shopping preferences are changing.
According to the article “Localization: The Revolution in Consumer Markets” published in the April 2006 Harvard Business Journal, “when it comes to consumer markets, one size no longer fits all...consumer goods companies are starting to customize their offerings to local markets...the era of standardization is ending. Consumer communities are growing more diverse in ethnicity, wealth, lifestyle and values.”
Big retail store chains previously were able to perfect their marketing strategy through standardization practices, both in the United States and internationally. However, in 2006, standardization trends started shifting more into localization due to the resounding push-back coming from consumers no longer wanting cookie-cutter chain stores in their neighborhoods. Community representatives were actively passing city ordinances that regulated the size and structural type of any new buildings, forcing big-box shops to have to conform to a more localized approach in order to continue winning the business.
Fast forward ten years to 2016 and the conversations around standardization and localization are still relevant but with even more emphasis on the global marketplace. In The Journal of Accounting & Marketing, Volume 5, Issue 1, the article “Standardized Versus Localized Strategy: The Role of Cultural Patterns in Society on Consumption and Market Research,” further explores standardization and localization practices.
Businesses now have to focus not only on a domestic marketing approach, but a global one as well; ensuring market relevance with more targeted consumer campaigns. Focus on culture in particular is now a huge part of the overall marketing process: “...cultural patterns apply great influence on consumption which makes it a critical factor to consider when formulating a marketing strategy in order to avoid conflict with the target market’s culture.” Understanding the beliefs, religious practices, traditions, prohibitions, etc. when planning out a global marketing strategy is imperative to a company’s success. Market specific research should always be conducted prior to launching in a new territory: “...it is sensible to assume that everything in the foreign market has to be done differently from the way it is done in the home market, unless hard proof to the contrary can be attained.”
Three main advantages to adapting a localized, international strategy include:
The company’s marketing strategy and content will be compiled based on the local culture, rules, religions, specific laws, currency, measurements, etc. ensuring an increase in revenue and market share.
The full global marketing strategy should include supply chain management, vendor and partner relations. Localization allows a company to begin working with other companies in the new territory before the global brand is fully formed.
Creating content around the local population’s needs shows a company’s responsiveness to consumer demands, fostering relationships in the new market.
We are now in a global marketplace with retailers of all types of products needing to focus on localization to maintain their share of the marketplace. “It is not unusual for localization to improve sales by 40% to 50% while simultaneously reducing store inventories and markdowns,” says Boyd Rogers, VF’s (a $6 billion apparel maker of brands such as Lee, Wrangler, Nautica and North Face) president for supply chain. “We consider our localization capabilities to be one of our most powerful competitive advantages.”
At Syntes, our team of highly skilled international localization specialists will focus on creating content that will put your company in front of a global audience. High quality translation projects are multi-faceted and there is much more to the process then just updating content into the native language of an audience. Understanding the uniqueness of each country, culture, dialect, religions, metrics, currencies, etc. allows us to offer our clients full internationalization.