Let’s start by taking a look at what localisation means.
What Is Business Localization?
Localization is the process of preparing to conduct business in a specific geographical location. A localization strategy can be implemented by gathering specific and relevant data for the creation of reports, projections, and other necessary business artefacts. Such data is imperative not only for the establishment of the business in any new area but also for successful marketing campaigns allowing them to target specific demographics or markets.
Once the business has been successfully established, localization services will ensure the ability of the business to remain successful in its primary function, while providing opportunities for business continuity, growth and expansion into new markets. Eventually, it becomes possible to use the process of localization to turn even the most humble beginnings into an international empire online.
Internationalization on the other hand, is the process in which a company uses localization strategies to effectively navigate multinational markets where competition can be reduced. Collectively, the use of localization, internationalization and globalization online are effective methods of creating a global marketplace even for locally made products. While localization, internationalization and globalization are all important, this article focuses on the concept of localization and its relevance to businesses.
The Role Of Localization in The Analysis Of Purpose
The first consideration during localization should be an Analysis of Purpose. The end goal of data gathering and analysis should then allow for the creation of a Strategy Assessment which can be used to establish a more expansive and competitive business in virtually any location, or through the continued growth and expansion of the primary business.
Among the first factors that must be determined are market segments and market size. These factors should provide enough base information to determine whether or not it is relevant to continue the study or move on to other options, including other locations where the localization process would need to be implemented.
If there is a market segment that promotes placement of the business in a particular location, the Analysis of Purpose needs to take additional data into consideration. This additional data should include current market trends, the needs of potential customers and the competition already in place.
Perhaps most important of all in this data set, is the inclusion of data on competition and how it is or is not fulfilling the needs of local customers. This portion of the data should serve to show business owners a direct means to enter the market and begin capturing larger portions of the target market from the first days of business operations.
Localization Through Strategy Assessment
The business strategy assessment exercise is not a singular compilation of data that can be used and discarded, but represents an integral part of the overall approach to ensuring business continuity.
Business strategy assessment is designed to ensure that the business is functioning at capacity as soon as it begins operations. It is able to perform its function precisely because it focuses on the localization of business operations within both a given market segment and a geographical location.
Much of the same data that was used in the original localization process will be necessary for continued business operations, though additional data sets will also be required as more information becomes increasingly pertinent in relation to business growth and expansion.
One of the best tools available for the ongoing process of business localization is a direct observation of and interaction with clients, customers or others being served. There should always be numerous methods in place making the company easily accessible to the customer when providing feedback.
Employing the customer as a direct link in the localization chain should prove to be an invaluable resource for business continuity and success. This may be in the form of email campaigns, customer surveys and even online options accessible from both computers and mobile devices. Taking the localization process online opens up even more opportunities for business continuity, growth and expansion.
Localization Strategies & Digitization For Business Growth/Expansion
With the exception of a limited number of restricted, local service providers, virtually any business stands to gain exponentially from the introduction of an online marketing campaign. Many local service providers have utilized localization strategies to greatly expand their reach/influence and in some cases, have developed national and even international franchise empires, for example, delivery companies such as UPS with affordable franchise costs.
Ironically perhaps, the further the business reaches global markets, the more important and more focused localization strategies should become if they are to remain effective. There is certainly a great benefit here however, as the internet literally puts the world at your feet as a potential new market.
The ability to compete with global giants has in fact, proven to be a viable and generally profitable business strategy. According to the Investopedia website, there is an even more specific term for this process which they deem to be “Glocalization”, or the ability to compete with foreign markets but localizing the business, products and services at the local level where the business operates.
In such cases, localization of business interests will become more involved, often including website translations, as well as video translation and other means of localizing digital marketing. There is, however, a very real opportunity to minimize business costs and increase both production and profitability through internationalization and localization, but only if all of the relevant data has been sufficiently analyzed and accurately reported.
Ofer Tirosh is an entrepreneur and CEO of Tomedes, a translation company that provides globalization services to businesses seeking a more international market and relevant opportunities.