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Localization is about adapting your content for international audiences. Marketing is about driving action and getting audiences to engage with your content. When the two come together and inform each other, the magic happens.

Want to take your global brand to the next level, engage local audiences and drive ROI without breaking your budget? You need an effective strategy that blends marketing and localization best practices. Here’s why that blend matters.

LOCALIZATION NORMS UNDERCUT MARKETING GOALS

Producing content in-language will help you achieve a multilingual presence. After all, 65% of consumers prefer to read content in their own language But translation alone won’t deliver a positive customer experience, build brand awareness, or drive sales.

For example, a well-translated website allows customers to understand what’s being said. But it may not be discoverable on local search engines or inspire the user to take action. Localized content should be relevant, authentic and engaging – just like in your home market. And translation is just one step in this process. It’s a tactic, not the goal.

Language Service Providers (LSPs) deliver high-quality, high-volume translation services. And they do it quickly and efficiently with technology and workflows designed to drive cost savings. However, while language “quality” is often a key selling point, in practice its meaning is subjective.

To find the true value of translation, you need to look at the context and strategy behind the source content. Then make sure the localized version achieves the same results in the target language. But LSPs rarely think strategically about the brand’s marketing goals when working with their content.

Simply put, traditional localization isn’t enough for your marketing content. Your goals need to inform your localization strategy – or your content could fall flat with global audiences. And cost you the results you’re looking for.

MARKETING FALTERS WITHOUT LOCALIZATION STRATEGY

Marketing teams rarely approach localization strategically. Cultural insights, tone of voice and a content strategy aren’t usually considered. And brands often lack the international network of in-country talent they need to succeed. When adapting content for their clients’ global audience, most marketing agencies look to localization providers to help them. And they seldom involve their end-client in the selection process.

So the focus strays and marketing goals are overlooked when evaluating which localization service is right for the content (translation, transcreation, etc.). Finding a localization partner becomes a transactional, language-only effort that’s often too close to the deadline to achieve meaningful results.

This might work for simple informational content like product descriptions. But for creative content or digital marketing campaigns, one-size-fits-all translation won’t cut it. A mindset that values the local will mean success at the global level. So you can determine the best approach based on what the content is for and who the audience is.

Localization best practice should play a big part in your global marketing strategy. Otherwise, the quality of translation and the experience of your global customers suffer. Your international audiences won’t relate to content that doesn’t feel authentic or relevant to them.

THE BLEND: MARKETING LOCALIZATION

Successful marketing content isn’t just understandable. It inspires the consumer to take action. And you can measure its value in real business terms – increased sales, brand sentiment, etc.

Marketing localization is about understanding international audiences, considering which content is most relevant to them, and localizing that content – from language to visuals and user experience – in a locally authentic way. It’s the blend of marketing and localization best practices that will drive your global success at the local level.

It means your audience can find the content online based on local search preferences. And you can promote it via a digital marketing strategy based on in-country consumer behaviour. Measuring and iterating based on those activities will help you drive long-term growth.

Marketing localization is a growth investment with measurable goals and KPIs, including ROI. These metrics can inform which content makes sense to localize and help make the case for expanding in-market activities. This allows you to be strategic with limited localization budgets. So you can define local needs and show localization value based on in-market trends and results.

When aligned with your business and marketing goals, localization means you’ll have a more effective end product. And a cost-effective investment in your long-term international growth.

FINAL THOUGHT

Localization is about adapting source content to create an authentic linguistic, visual, and interactive experience. Marketing is about driving engagement with localized content, inspiring action in the target audience, and defining the goals that measure success.

Both can be adequate, and may even deliver short-term results. But on their own, neither will achieve the international growth potential you’re after. Instead, blend and balance the two in line with your international goals to achieve global success.

Could your business benefit from this approach? We’d love to talk to you more about our range of services. Get in touch to find out how we can help you succeed globally.