We covered some of the basic concepts of localization in our previous article. This time, we are taking a look at the real stuff – the monetary and non-monetary benefits of localization.
Calculating Localization ROI
Calculation of return on investment in language solutions is often complex because localization in most cases forms a part of a much bigger picture (various commercial / marketing campaigns or regulatory efforts) and therefore its return on investment is closely tied to the success of failure of these actions – there is no good localization solution for a bad product or service. This is also one of the reasons why many companies do not calculate localization ROI individually and focus on analytics to justify expansion to a particular locale before localization process instead.
However, the companies who do usually rely on custom KPIs that depend on the type and form of localized product/service and may include reduction of regulatory compliance issues on a specific market, optimization of communication with the local regulatory bodies, reduction of customer support requests, set sales goals, brand awareness, number of website visits and conversion on a foreign market, etc.
In other words, success of localization is measured against what you are set to achieve with it. The clearer your goals are, the exact results will be easier to generate.
25 $ per every dollar invested?
Some studies suggest that ROI is as high as 25 dollars per every dollar invested, particularly in the IT industry. While this figure may seem exaggerated at first, if we take a look at the two major benefits that you actually get when you pay for professional language services, we may arrive at the conclusion that localization ROI may be even higher:
Translation fails can be funny, particularly when they happen to somebody else. But their consequences to the business operations and brand image can be serious. Professional localization is more often than not a precautionary measure for a successful market entry and maintenance of a particular brand image.
Remember that most of the time people notice translation only if it is bad. In addition to avoiding your well-developed marketing campaigns ending up in mockery on a target market, you also avoid possible regulatory issues and keep your customers informed on how to use your product properly and safely.
Your product/service may be impeccable and a real dream-come-true to your global customers and clients. But this means next to nothing if your audiences are unaware of it. Localization is the secret ingredient that makes your presence on the global markets soar because it helps make your brand a part of the target culture.
Who are the customers you will reach?
Once again, the answer to this question lies in that old business adage “Can’t read it – won’t buy it” : the customers you will reach are the customers who were provided with a localized version of your product/service in accordance with their language and culture.
Virtually every survey ever conducted shows that at the very least more than 60% of the customers would always opt for a more expensive product presented in accordance with their own language and culture than a more affordable product or service in a foreign language – and this percentage grows with the complexity and sophistication of product / service.
Stay tuned for more info on L10n benefits in Part Three.
Check out Ciklopea’s infographic 3P Model of localization benefits.