As the world becomes more interconnected, the product and service sectors across the globe experience a need for localization.
Localization is the process of translating and adapting a service to the local market. However, localization is more than a simple translation. Let’s head on and try to see what it actually is, as well as to see how to identify target audiences for localization.
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Why Does Localization Matter?
Localization is an integral part of the business plan of any company or service provider which would like to expand abroad and widen its market cap. Localization in this context is important for several reasons:
- It can help increase sales by expanding the audience;
- It can help build trust within the local community;
- It can increase credibility with the local community;
- It can help improve the overall quality of the product by:
- Ensuring the product is suitable for the foreign market;
- By providing more funds to reinvest in product and service development.
A number of products and services can be localized. Any kind of product that makes sense in a market can and should be localized.
When localization of a product is done, it may be necessary to redesign the product and make sure it complies with the customers’ expectations and habits. iPhone in the US, for example, very often comes with no SIM slot.
The situation is completely different in the EU, where SIM slots are an expectation rather than a luxury item.
When it comes to services, the first step to localization is translation. This way, you can ensure you get a more direct reach to the prospective market.
An alternative to this is to have your marketing material written from scratch by a native or a near-native person or translated by qualified specialists. PickWriters can help you with this. As they have a number of translators at hand, you can always find one for your target language.
In addition to this, you can negotiate with the translator for a more “natural” translation that’s in the spirit of the language.
Which Products and Services Should be Localized?
All products and services can be localized. However, there are some limiting factors. So, while super strong AC units may make sense in Australia, Southern Europe, and Southeast Asia, other parts of the world may not accept them as well.
Namely, northern parts of the world are simply too cold for such a big product, while others may not be able to afford it.
Knowing your stats and geopolitical details of the target audience/market is a must. For this reason, thorough research is needed.
Once you have a grasp of the audience and the market (as any preliminary research can be done online today), you should contact actual research agencies and local marketing teams to see how they can help you reach a market better.
Moreover, the best nursing writing services also add an individual aspect — what is the ideal customer like? When writing your business plan. Never forget that Coca-Cola can be found even in the most remote villages in Africa, even if there is no well or a hospital for hundreds of miles around.
How to Identify a Target Audience for Localization?
When identifying the target audience for your product in another country, you should consider the needs that the product or service can satisfy in a certain group.
Be aware that just because your product works with a certain age group in your country, it does not mean that it will work with the same age group in another country. Always be aware of this.
So, while protein shakes in the US are mostly sold to young adults, you may want to reconsider when pushing the same product to, let’s say, Asia.
As slim bodies are in Japan, there is no market for supplements. Quite on the contrary, it may go extremely well with low-to-middle-income middle-aged men in China, less than a hundred miles away, especially as a large body there is seen as a status symbol. Here are basic factors to consider when identifying your target audience:
- The geographic location;
- Language or languages spoken in the area (consider China and India — where hundreds of languages are spoken within a single country);
- Existing market research:
- What kind of customer service is expected?
- Will people be really interested in your product or service?
- The culture:
- What are the norms?
- What are hierarchical networks/chains like?
- What are the cultural expectations of the product/service?
- What kind of return policies, etc., are expected, and how do they fit in with your business model?
- What is the purchasing power of the target market?
How to Understand Different Cultures?
Understanding different cultures can be very difficult. This is the reason why it may be necessary to either look for speakers of your own language within the target country/culture or to look for highly specialized marketing teams that can help you expand your knowledge of the target culture.
In any case, you may have to draw on more than one source, at least for the initial marketing campaign, as you may need different approaches to one and the same market.
In any case, localization, if done right, will be one of the best things you’ve ever done for your product or service.
The reality is that not many companies manage to do localization well and do not manage to penetrate a foreign market.
For this reason, it is always suggested to start with the ideal customer in mind, look for their markings and then try to find them in the foreign market.
With an approach like this, the first step is done, and tailoring the marketing campaign for the new market and culture is the next logical step.