Today’s global customers have high expectations, and you know that localizing more content, faster is the only way to help your business reach them ahead of the competition. But how do you convince decision makers of a localization strategy’s value?
You’ll first need an executive champion. Which c-level executive in your organization has the most to gain from reaching more markets, quicker, with higher quality content? This is the person you’ll need to approach with hard data about your target markets’ needs—and in case all goes well, a plan.
The following infographic outlines the basics to get started on your stakeholder buy-in strategy. For each c-level executive most likely to partner with the localization team, you’ll find their business objectives, how those objectives relate to your own exploits, the framework of a proposal that would speak to their goals, and evidence to drive your case home. View the cheat sheet for tips on what to do next: Download here!
Download our whitepaper, The Strategic Shift: Localization’s Fast Track to Driving Greater Business Value, to learn four more key arguments to build out your case and how to follow-up with tangible results.
Without top-level support, the localization department risks siloed decision making that hinders rather than drives the organization’s global business strategy. Instead, localization activities need visibility in the boardroom, where buyers can ensure all stakeholders work toward the same goals with the right resources in place—or in other words, where they can sell their services within their own companies.
But localization faces unique challenges getting this support. Even without the difficulty of quantifying the value of localized content, localization teams are often dismissed as “just a cost of doing business,” left out of strategic decisions, and may not know which c-level executive to approach or how.
First, you’ll need to identify the processes and technologies that can fuel your strategy. Then you’ll need the people who can make those plans a success. All execs want to put the business in a better state, but just like to customers, it’s important to speak to your target’s specific objectives to strike a chord. This cheat sheet will help prepare you for the big pitch with a breakdown of go-to C-Suite executives and how to position yourself and your department with each.
Chief Marketing Officer
- The CMO’s mission: Customer retention, brand awareness, customer satisfaction
- Why get approval? The CMO wants to create relevant, hyper-personalized content, but struggles with quality, turnaround times, adapting content to new markets, and measuring impact. Connecting with a global audience faster should be linked with localization efforts.
- Frame your proposal: Nothing meets a customer’s expectations better than experiences in their native language. With the sheer amount of content that needs to be localized, the need for advanced, cost-saving localization technologies is clear.
- Drive it home: 90% of online consumers prefer to visit websites in their own language, and to reach that 90% requires 21 languages.
Chief Sales Officer
- The CSO’s mission: Customer acquisition, sales targets, revenue growth
- Why get approval? The CSO’s relationships with customers have significant clout over the customer experience, which localization is also working to improve—but CSOs need the data that attribute sales and revenue to your efforts.
- Frame your proposal: A well-defined localization strategy that includes KPI development, analysts, and analytics software can provide the high-quality data needed from local markets to measure the sales impact of global content.
- Drive it home: 72% of consumers prefer to buy products in their own language, and 56% regard the ability to access translated information more important than a product’s price.
Chief Technology Officer
- The CTO’s mission: Research and development, technology innovation, strategic investment
- Why get approval? As the go-to for technological issues within the organization, the CTO is the executive who will recommend the best technology to align each department’s activities with the overall business strategy—and will be interested in any trends or tech that provide first-mover advantage.
- Frame your proposal: Advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning can support globalization by making our content management systems more efficient, resulting in lower costs, faster turnaround, higher translation quality, and more budget for entering new markets.
- Drive it home: 60% of leading companies are willing to increase investment into central technology infrastructure to support global expansion.
Chief Procurement Officer
- The CPO’s mission: Value creation, strategic partnerships, supplier performance
- Why get approval? This is the executive who will evaluate your chosen localization vendors. It’s important to engage the CPO early in requests for new services to understand where obstacles exist in the company’s globalization strategy.
- Frame your proposal: Finding a reliable partner with the capabilities to offer end-to-end localization services, advanced technology solutions, and in-market expertise under one roof will vastly streamline the localization process and the organization’s ability to scale.
- Drive it home: 80% of CPOs have engaged or assessed third-party support to ensure efficient scalability.
The three most important words every decision maker wants to hear? Return on investment. Doing localization better and faster is great, but so is showing how your efforts add more revenue to the bottom line. You’re most likely to win over an executive when you:
- Keep it brief: Don’t expect senior executives to follow a 20-page presentation with handouts. Know your strategy inside out, but keep a tight focus and only a few key points in mind.
- Start small: Setting the bar too high may lower your chances for a sign-off. Decision makers need evidence before they’re willing to commit significant resources to a new venture, so start by selling small and low-risk localization projects. You can use these small wins to back up larger ideas down the line.
- Be honest: Being accountable for company dollars means being transparent at every stage. Don’t be afraid to admit what could go wrong—just focus on how you’ll solve the problem. It may be helpful to schedule a “meeting before the meeting” to go over specifics of how your strategy works.
- Get the data: Think about what best backs up your proposal—and it may not necessarily be as straightforward as dollars and cents. Will the C-Suite respond better to hard data from case studies and competitor successes? Revenue forecasts through predictive analytics? Or support and feedback from internal customers? Strong metrics will help sell your ideas.
You may not get your answer straight away, but be prepared on how to succeed.
If your proposal is denied or falls short of ROI expectations, stay positive and thank stakeholders for giving your ideas a fair hearing.
Depending on their reasons for the rejection, you may have the opportunity to ask whether your ideas could be revisited in the future. Something about your strategy may not work right now, but could fit in well with campaigns in the pipeline.
If you win sponsorship and credibility from only one executive, try to generate a shared interest among others.
Ensure you have the resources in place to measure the performance and impact of your strategy from day one. You’ll need to know exactly which metrics to use and how.
To learn more about measurement, plus the technologies and language services needed for a successful localization strategy, download our whitepaper The Strategic Shift: Localization’s Fast Track to Driving Greater Business Value.