Most companies find value in internationalization and localization, whether in terms of increased market share, competitive advantage, or earning the respect of other cultures.
That’s if they consider the two strategies important for creating a globally consistent brand to begin with, which still seems to be a gray area. In a recent Econsultancy survey, we were surprised to find that global industries are taking an all-or-nothing approach to internationalization and localization of content—they’re either fully invested, or they’re coasting along quite comfortably without it.
The report classed these opponents as the “leaders” and the “mainstream,” indicating that leaders are better equipped to internationalize. The following Slideshare takes a look at leading companies’ pro-internationalization tendencies in closer detail.
To learn more about companies’ viewpoints on preparing content for the global marketplace and how they plan to move forward, download the full report here.
Where Global Companies Stand on Internationalization and Localization
6 keys to a global mindset
When building, developing, and managing content within a universal framework, there are more than a few bases for international brands to cover.
This much was clear from a recent Econsultancy study examining the role of content in global expansion, which found that content leaders are almost twice as likely as their peers to use a well-developed framework for internationalization and localization.
In one part of the study, 259 respondents were asked how strongly they agree with six codes of honor in today’s global content space. The fact most agreed wasn’t surprising. But the contrasts between leading and mainstream companies were sharper than most industries would expect.
How well does your organization align with the following statements?
Percentage of leading and mainstream companies strongly agreeing with statements relating to internationalization and localization of content
“Internationalization of content is critical for creating a global brand.”
Internationalization is the processes of creating and designing globally prepared platforms, which sets the stage for successful translation, localization, and globalization.
According to leading companies, it’s best to bake internationalization into a content strategy from the very beginning to avoid costly re-engineering of systems while localizing.
Just under two-thirds of leaders agree that internationalization is critical to global expansion, compared to a surprisingly low proportion of mainstream organizations.
“We have a modular, extensible, and standardized tech platform that facilitates expansion into other markets.”
Standardized, global infrastructure has become increasingly important from an internationalization perspective.
Using technology with a modular design, companies don’t need to make changes across multiple locales. This means cost and time savings, seamless CMS integration, brand consistency, and easier localization of different content types.
Leaders are over five times more likely than the mainstream to have a technology platform that is fit for purpose.
“Our content performs significantly better when it is adapted for a local market.”
Global companies are under ongoing pressure to produce sufficient volumes of content across markets—but crucially, content that resonates.
Various studies show that website visitors favor content that fits their linguistic needs and cultural expectations.
Leaders are more likely to deliver on their customers’ proven preference for localized content. Mainstream companies are less likely, however, as they often lack the evidence to support this hypothesis.
“Our organization understands how crucial a global content strategy is for customer experience and digital transformation.”
Digital transformation, the key to optimizing CX, now affects every part of every business.
Remarkable experiences are still rare, though. This makes culturally relevant content a crucial differentiator.
In fact, leaders are three times more likely to believe that carefully planned international content is integral to digitization in the age of the customer.
“We use controlled language (i.e. simplified for grammar and vocabulary) that can be translated more easily.”
As expanding companies increase their global content output, more are looking toward automated processes for easier, faster translation.
For example, major brands focus on tight control over language from the outset, ensuring it’s free from local idiom or complicated syntax that is lost on international audiences.
This is an area where leaders are likely to excel, while only 10% of mainstream have such a process in place.
“We map all our global content against the customer journey, and then target accordingly.”
The gulf between leaders and the mainstream is clear across all statements, but no chasm is deeper than in customer journey mapping.
Leading companies are very focused on end-to-end visibility into the user journey, citing this as the best way to prioritize and tailor their message.
Just over half of them map and target global content to customer interactions, compared to only 8% of the mainstream.
It’s all in the prep
Across the board, leaders apply:
- Tight control over language, from ideation to production
- Predetermined technologies and resources
- A laser focus on customer intent
- Only well-planned content to the overall customer experience
And there’s more data where that came from.
Download the full report by Econsultancy, published in association with Lionbridge, for further insight into international content success.