Companies spend a lot of money and time on marketing campaigns and branding. With so many resources aimed at connecting with customers and advertising a product in just the right way, it is surprising how little energy some companies invest when going global and localizing their websites and marketing content. For global success, companies must focus on assessing and improving localization.
Age of Adaptive Marketer Survey
The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council surveyed 150 marketing executives in a variety of fields. Half of those surveyed felt that localization was essential to profitability and growth, but 63% of respondents felt their companies’ efforts weren’t very good or needed improvement. This highlights that translation for global markets is important but often overlooked.
There is good news. If you’re struggling with localization, this report shows that you are not alone. Even big companies face their share of struggles. Companies like Chobani, Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Pepsi participated in the survey.
Big Budgets Save Little Funds for Localization
The CMO Council has more than 12,500 members and boasts that its marketing leaders and brand decision-makers control more than $500 billion in aggregated marketing expenditures. Apparently, not much of these billions of dollars in marketing expenses go towards localization. An amazing 75% of those surveyed reported that 10% of the budget or less is used for localization.
Many marketing executives recognize the need for quality localization, and some already integrate localization into their overall marketing plans. 33% thought their efforts were effective when it came to localizing content for various geographies, partners, audience and markets. This shows that there could be great improvements by focusing on localization.
Challenges for Global Markets
While there are successes, most marketers are struggling with some aspect of localization. Here are some of the main problems they face.
Creating and Delivering Content
Technology makes it easier than ever for companies to interact with consumers. This creates a demand for engaging, relevant content that strengthens a customer’s relationship with a product or brand. This was challenging for half of those surveyed as providing relevant content in multiple languages was difficult because of cultural values and other sensitivities.
Very few marketers can release global content simultaneously, even with digital media. Some efforts even take months to deploy a full launch.
Those surveyed could identify areas where their localization efforts were subpar, but few formal assessments were conducted. This means only those involved in the marketing process may know about any localization challenges. The lack of analysis conducted might be why allocating resources in the budget for localization is difficult. If there was a written analysis of a company’s translation processes to look at, a better case for localization could be made.
Marketers had trouble delivering content that was properly localized that still fit with overall brand identity. Deadlines and shorter lead times also made this challenging.
This report shows that many companies have underdeveloped translation resources. For effective localization, the services of a translation management company like Translation Exchange may be needed. Companies can benefit from experienced translation professionals.
Translation Exchange utilizes customer service and technology to benefit clients. Companies are connected with translators for multiple languages, and this marketplace of translators helps clients find people who can deliver tailored content in a given price range. This allows for custom content, but we also have software for automating the translation process.
The care corporations put into crafting content in one language often goes out the window when adding more languages, and the decline in enthusiasm translates to poor localizing materials. To fix this, localization needs to be a priority in the budget and when expanding a business.