Making the decision to expand outside of domestic markets can be difficult, but once you’ve decided to court global audiences, you should be prepared to jump in with both feet. Research the culture, language, and dialects of the countries and regions where you plan to expand, and consider how the brand can engage with new customers on a local level.
If this is done properly, your central messages will still resonate in each market, as you’ll have pre-empted and catered to linguistic and cultural differences for each market. But if you want to become fluent in every language you will need to get buy-in across your entire organization.
Executives should consider the following three building blocks as necessary steps for a brand to achieve global fluency:
The Right Strategy
Global fluency must start with the right strategy, which itself starts at the top with the CEO. As with any major initiative, the CEO must be fully on board for a global-ready plan to gain traction, and ultimately succeed. CEOs understand the bottom line of the company, and have a bird’s eye view of the current resources and responsibilities of each group or department. They will also be able to see how a new translation strategy complements or replaces existing market penetration strategies. Of course, expanding in new markets means access to millions of potential new customers.
Translation and localization can no longer be tactical tasks, but must instead be key parts of your strategy from the beginning. Your customers’ expectations have changed. They now expect native brand experiences, and your brand can’t provide those if it isn’t fluent in every language.
The Right Message
But what does it mean to be fluent in every language? It means being able to speak to your customers wherever they are, regardless of language, and have those messages resonate. To be able to do this, marketing, sales, and product teams have to be aligned in what they plan to deliver across the globe.
Messages should be perfected in-house and then localized by an in-country marketer. A majority of your messaging will most likely be universal no matter what language it is delivered in. That’s why it’s so important to do your due diligence and ensure that the portions of your messaging that aren’t universal are properly localized. It might take a little more time and effort to make sure your messages resonate in every language, but it will raise your brand’s profile locally, and increase your sales globally.
The Right Technology
In this day and age, getting to market quickly is essential, but you don’t want to sacrifice quality for speed.If you have the right technology in place, however, you won’t have to compromise one for the other. Deploying a translation management system that integrates with your existing automation, content, and relationship management systems improves the communication between localization managers and translators, eliminating bottlenecks that previously existed. In fact, by using technology to automate and streamline the translation and localization process, you can eliminate as much as 90 percent of the associated manual tasks. This frees up employees to focus on more strategic initiatives.
Brands that use these three building blocks as a base for their global content strategy will be well on their way to becoming fluent in every language. And brands that achieve global fluency will have access to more markets and increased opportunities for growth, resulting in a greater return on investment in a shorter timeframe.
Download our whitepaper, Is Your Brand Fluent in Every Language, and learn how attaining global fluency will give you the agility to respond in real-time to market developments, to create messages that resonate with people in any language, all cultures, and every market, and to achieve growth wherever opportunities are found.