Going global is the main strategy most CEOs have been working on over the last few years. But, any business that wants to build a universal brand knows that strong local presence is the only way to achieve success. The old adage “think global, act local,” stands true today and is more applicable than ever. You may have heard that there’s rising demand in developing countries for your products or services. But that doesn’t mean that you can blunder into an unknown market ill-prepared.
There may be rising interest and purchasing power in Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. But, if you aren’t speaking your customers’ language, you may as well go home. Why? Because the sweeping majority of consumers (75 percent, according to the Common Sense Advisory) don’t buy products from websites that aren’t in their native tongue.
If you don’t already know about the importance of localization for your website, software or app, you soon will. Because if you want to launch your brand in any of these emerging markets, you’ll need to do it right. And to get localization right, you’ll need a robust Translation Management Software (TMS) that’s flexible to your needs. Why? Because using a translation management software will keep your localization project on the rails. It will increase your global marketing success, as well.
Why Use a Translation Management Software?
This integral tool to your localization project often means the difference between success or failure for your international rollout. The right translation management software will save you from a long and inefficient journey. Going back and forth between programmers, translators, marketing specialists and QA experts isn’t fun for anyone. Any product manager worth their salt uses some kind of TMS to complete their localization project hassle-free, without exceeding deadlines or budget. Let’s take a closer look.
An effective translation management software is more than just a good way of communicating with your translators. It’s the engine that drives a consistent workflow during your app or website localization process. You can complete your project with lower costs, while reducing the time you need to launch in any market.
Whether you’re in e-commerce, software development, or the app industry, choosing the right translation management software will help you get to market faster. And when there are hundreds of new products being launched every day, time is of the essence.
With the right tools at your fingertips, you can boost efficiency and deliver a high-quality product in less time. This will increase engagement, boost downloads, improve sales and increase your global marketing success.
So, if you haven’t thought about using a translation management software yet, now you know how important it is to the localization process! Keep tabs on your team, collaborate with each other, provide context and write directly onto the website. No more localizing through spreadsheets or other tedious manual work. What more could you ask for?
Set realistic goals and come up with a good plan
An efficient translation management software like PhraseApp can help you do both of these things well. You can set realistic goals and come up with a good plan. You can get all the facts, updates and comments you need in one place. Check the status of your projects at a single glance, and save on translation and development costs. That translates into more budget to allocate to your global marketing materials.
When you know how your team is working and what problems they’re dealing with, you can set realistic goals easier. You can also implement working routines and ask for measurable results at each step of the process.
With a translation management software, your team can work faster and easier. The software acts like a project manager for them. You can easily control their progress as you go further into the project. You can plan all movements and manage to keep your team up-to-date with your plans with just a few clicks. This will save important time that you can invest in managing your company — and looking for new countries to localize for.
Increase efficiency with the right Translation Management Software
You can’t go global unless you have sufficient financial resources to make it through the entire localization process. In fact, the success of such a project depends on how much you’re willing to spend to deliver a good product. Software, web or app localization costs add up. So, getting an efficient tool is the best investment you can make to reduce expenses. And save resources for unpredictable situations. For many localization managers, working with a translation management software is essential. Here are a few reasons why:
- It increases productivity. A good TMS provides you with an interactive platform where your team can receive tasks and resolve them on the spot. All modifications are done right where you need them – directly on your site or app. This software allows you to create a version of your product where your team can perform modifications in real time. No downloads, no uploads, no Excel sheets. Programmers, translators, linguists, marketers and SEO specialists can all work together using a unique centralized platform. They can leave comments, or ask and give suggestions in real time.
- It reduces translation costs. Inside the translation management software, you have a built-in translation memory, which allows you to store all translated content. This way, your translators have access to a large database containing useful information. This could be a glossary of specific terminology, previously translated strings and texts, or uncommon words that have already been discussed and explained. This makes life a lot easier for translators, allowing them to work faster and with less effort. The less time they spend going through the possible meanings of a word, the more text they can translate! All translated strings can be reused later in the project, as needed. This means you’ll reduce costs, by cutting out the possibility of translating the same text several times.
- It provides context. Translators need to know what they’re writing about, and the easiest way to have the right context is by being permanently in touch with your experts. When you have a tool that permits collaboration between all specialists, your programmers can leave notes, upload screenshots and provide context. This will cut out extra working hours and help you maintain a constant workflow.
- It allows more flexibility during localization. When operating in such a dynamic market, offering the best product and the latest features is essential. So, even if you’ve done your best to have your product ready before starting localization, modifications and updates are common when dealing with apps and software. Having a platform where your team can see all changes as soon as they occur is helpful if you want to work more efficiently. This way, you can keep track of modifications and quickly ask for updates for all other components.
Get high quality with lower costs
With manual tasks almost eliminated from the localization process, a translation management software can reduce localization costs by between 30% and 50%. How can you achieve such goals?
According to Business Insider, the right technology cuts translation costs by 90%, as well as reducing translation cycles. More expense cuts come from reducing human errors and time delays caused by reading and answering emails. Searching for solutions in archived documents, uploading content and looking for lost data will all increase the number of working hours to pay for.
This so-called virtual organization is the key towards keeping costs down and profits up. You can be more successful in your global marketing, as you will have the time and budget to invest in localizing these materials as well.
Keep a balance between global and local strategy
Communicating ideas and implementing strategies is easier when you have an interactive tool that tracks all modifications right away. Using a translation management software, your team can come up with creative solutions faster. Localization requires a large number of team members with greatly different skillsets. The best way to manage such a diverse team is by using a centralized tool that connects all members.
You’ll be working with people from different cultures and time zones. In-house experts, freelancers, marketers, local SEO specialists, A/B testing teams, programmers and translators. They all need to be updated about the team’s progress in real time when adapting a product for a local market.
Localization is not just about content translation. It includes a wide range of activities and strategies to make a product suitable for different markets, while maintaining a unique global brand image.
Evernote, for example, managed to localize for various markets, maintaining global consistency, and still considering local preferences. From Brazil, to Italy and China, this handy app has managed to register more than 100 million users — by being global and local at the same time. Now, more than 75% of Evernote users come from outside the US. What’s more, the company attracts about 100,000 new customers every day.
Evernote has the same logo (the elephant) and colors (white, grey and green) all over the world. However, they mixed up their strategy to enter the Chinese market. They crafted a new brand image, by translating their name into Yinxiang Biji (印象笔记), which means Memory Note (or Impression Notes). They also had to integrate with local social networks, like Weibo and WeChat, and provide real-time customer support.
Going through such a high volume of work manually would add up to thousands of hours, hundreds of emails and a lot of money spent inefficiently. Using spreadsheets and organizing conference calls at impossible hours, as well.
Whether you have a large or small company, you need all the help you can get when it comes to localization. Otherwise, you’ll skip important details, miss deadlines and end up with crucial errors that can transform your localization project into failure.
Involve local teams efficiently
Global marketing means working with a mixed team of specialists that includes local creatives, marketers and SEO/ ASO experts. You can’t do marketing localization using translated keywords from English. So, you should integrate local marketing research into your strategy.
It sounds obvious, but the truth is, it’s not always easy for local teams to stay in line with your global policy. They need access to your company’s resources and guidelines through a centralized tool, where they can discuss changes with all team members.
Added to that, the best marketing ideas don’t always come from your headquarters. So, by allowing your local teams to be part of the global project, you’ll have access to a wide range of new and creative ideas. Make use of them to tailor your message to your local markets.
Coca Cola’s Share a Coke campaign, for example, didn’t actually start in the US, but in Australia. This hasn’t made it any less successful, though. It began five years ago, and people are still talking about it. You may not be Coca Cola, so you probably won’t need such a large team of experts. But, you still have costs to keep under control. By giving easy access to your local teams through your translation management software, you can get better results from marketing localization without overspending.
Localize for more countries with fewer expenses
According to Harvard Business Review, the majority of consumers are more likely to buy a product with information in their own language. The same source revealed that for about 56% of consumers, information in their own language is more important than price when making a purchasing decision. So, the more languages you speak, the higher your chances to increase global revenues.
Once the localization process has started, you can use all created mechanisms to support new languages or dialects. With all the data already saved in your translation management software, you can use pre-existing models to reduce the amount of repetitive work. Keep your costs down without compromising on quality.
Previous translations carried out in your software are accurate and help new translators maintain consistency during further localization projects. You can grow your business and gain new clients more efficiently, by delivering a clear message to more local markets at the same time.
Using a centralized platform, you can even manage multiple localization projects at once, with little or no additional effort. A good translation management software keeps you permanently updated about the progress of each individual project. Meaning you can keep control of your investment. And, by coordinating multiple teams for different countries and languages, you’ll obtain faster ROI.
You’ll probably pay a monthly fee for your software, so launching your product in various market at once will reduce your costs.
Concentrate on communication with customers
Communicating effectively with customers isn’t an easy thing to do. Especially when you enter a new market, where language and cultural barriers can cause problems for your message. So why complicate things even more by leaving room for poor communication and errors?
As previously mentioned, one of the greatest advantages of using a translation management software is ensuring the quality of your translations. If you’ve carried out website or app localization before, you’ll know that this is the top challenge when dealing with such a project.
By simplifying translation procedures, you’ll help your translators work better and faster. This will result in a better user experience, which will generate more positive reviews, a higher number of downloads and, eventually, higher revenues.
Most customers don’t like products or messages that look translated. So, if you want to sell, you must deliver a localized website that actually speaks the local language, respecting norms and traditions. English content tends to keep a friendlier or even colloquial tone. But some other languages are less permissive when it comes to writing style.
The Chinese, for example, are more likely to respond well to complex phrases, written in a more formal tone. It’s easier to manage all these differences when your team of translators collaborates with the marketing specialists, and they all respect a style guide right from the start.
Deliver great content all over the world
One maxim holds true in every market you enter: content is king. How can you deliver fresh and valuable content constantly, in line with your global strategy, but still local enough to keep clients engaged?
By permitting continuous communication between your teams. A translation management software makes things easier. Whether you choose to create content in English and translate it for various markets, or to come up with local content, especially created for a specific country.
Most brands use a mix of these two strategies, to make sure they keep the balance between global and local. When content creators and translators work together, the result is usually better content that maintains brand consistency and unity, while respecting the locals.
All content is stored in a unique source, from where it can be easily translated using the translation memory feature and the pre-existing information. Then your marketers can edit texts on the spot, optimizing them for SEO/ ASO purposes. All further proofreading and testing modifications can be performed without downloading or uploading documents, directly on the platform. Efficient work at its best.
Update without stress
Website or app localization is ongoing work. If you want to keep hold of your position in the market, you can’t allow your product to get behind the times. So, every time you introduce a new feature or update, you must perform changes in every version of your website or app.
It’s hard work when you have to do it for one language only. So, just think about the amount of work involved when implementing changes in dozens of markets! It’s not just a small modification during your initial localization process, but a complex change in the system. Sometimes these changes will vary from one country to another, depending on local laws and regulations.
A translation management software allows you to go through this process a lot faster, as you can use all previous work as a base to make your task easier. Already separated and translated strings, both in original and target languages, your terminology glossary, solutions for various problems — everything is saved and ready to be reused to reduce working hours and help your specialists out.
Updates are just routine procedure, once your team has clear tasks and milestones to respect. And you can control the entire process effortlessly by following the information directly from your computer, in real time.
The detail that influences your entire global marketing strategy
Your translation management software is one of the most effective ways of reducing localization costs. Every smart manager wants to lower expenses while improving quality. And the influence of this tool can be easily seen throughout every part of the process.
It allows for better translation (which also happens to be cheaper). You’ll have less errors to correct after proofreading, and you’ll eventually generate fewer additional costs from testing and modification. When you can keep costs under control, you can engage in larger localization projects for multiple languages at the same time. So, you’ll achieve faster ROI and even better results!
Then there’s time management. Automatic processes during localization allow you to reduce working hours, which not only means lower costs, but also motivates your team. Happy people work better and are more creative, which will add value to your campaigns and increase productivity and efficiency.
Most important of all, you have everything ready to start localizing for a new country, or new version of your product at any given time. All repetitive work has already been done. You can focus on the details and start building a local marketing strategy using the resources you’ve already paid for.
Your translation management software will help you manage the entire website or app localization process from one place. You’ll have no need to go through separate files, individual reports, or emails every time you want to know how far you are from the launch date.
Speed is essential when you’re localizing. So, by investing in a quality TMS, you will influence the effectiveness of your entire global marketing strategy. Improve workflow, boost productivity and cut expenses, while maintaining high quality standards.
Also published on Medium.