This is a guest post by Dave Burrell.

The biggest challenge that businesses face when curating their marketing strategy is how to find the right balance between standardizing and localizing the strategy. On the one hand, a standard strategy allows businesses to capture a broad audience with one marketing message. That means lower marketing budgets. On the other hand, a localization strategy targets the smallest unit within a demographic. It doesn’t capture a broad audience, but for the audiences, it gets to, it speaks to their hearts and in a way that resonates with them.  Localization equals personalization and is more likely to lead to marketing success than standard marketing practices. It is, however, more expensive and tedious. 

As you will agree, marketing localization is vital in regards to building customer loyalty and boosting retention. In fact, modern businesses seeking to penetrate new markets, whether overseas or within their domestic market, have to localize their content and products to achieve success. But being vital means that you have to do it right if you are to make a connection and leverage it to expand your customer base. That is why you need to keep reading to discover the first 5 all-important steps for improving your marketing localization.

1. Find a good translation company

A localization strategy has to start with language localization. You need to translate some parts of your website into the language of your target audience. However, it is important to note from the onset that translating your content is not enough; it is just a small part of a bigger puzzle. 

When translating your content, you must be careful with the tools you use. You cannot depend on Google Translate or any other online translation tool because they aren’t always accurate and neither do they capture the trending local slangs within the target market. You need to hire a reputed translation company that has industry-trained human translators; people who speak your target language as their first language. Such people understand exactly how to relay your message to the target audience without diluting its original meaning, but using slang that the people will instantly connect with. 

When translating documents, you need to hire professional document translations because of the complexity that comes with business documentation. The translator must have sufficient expertise in the language in which the document will be translated, of course, but the most important qualification is that they need to be an expert in the subject matter. You need a translator with a legal background to translate your legal document. You need a translator with medical expertise to translate medical records. Hiring the wrong translator can result into unwanted legal implications.

2. Understand local customer behavior

After translating your web content and marketing slogans, go ahead and analyze the shopping behavior and cultures of the people you are targeting. Do they like all your product offerings or just a few of them? Of the items they like, who is offering them already and how can you improve yours to make them more likable? Of the ones they don’t like, is there anything you can change to make them at least likable? Which items cannot sell in the target market no matter how hard you try to repackage your campaign? These stats will help you decide what should and what should not be localized. 

3. Optimize for mobile

Most localization strategies focus on localizing desktop websites, forgetting that rolling content out to mobile platforms is equally as important. Smartphone apps, for example, have become huge in almost all markets across the world. You need to not only optimize your website for mobile but also invest in app development for your brand. 

4. Localize your social media

Your website and your app will not reach the target audience unless you popularize them on the platforms where your people spend most of their time- on social media. Most consumers in this digital age follow brands on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, among other social platforms. In that regard, you need to collaborate with local influencers in order to get your message spreading. Use local hashtags and publish content in a language that local millennials will understand. Post photos and use captions that local users can relate with, and then link all that back to your website and app.

5. Diversify your products

You cannot force your products down the throats of local customers; you have to convince them to buy from you. If tweaking your product or service a little bit is what will help you appeal to the new group of consumers, by all means necessary, do it! Change your packaging if you need to, but be careful not to dilute your brand. 


Your localization strategy can make or break your chances of making it outside your domestic borders. The five steps above will help you improve your localization strategy, but they are not one-size-fits-all solutions. To make sure that your business will be successful, you need to do your homework to determine what works and what doesn’t work for the particular audience you are targeting.

Dave Burrell is a Marketing and Business Expansion Advisor in Dubai. He has experience working in a range of industries and providing technical support in topics such as business growth, market expansion, and product development. Burrell is passionate about family, languages, traveling, and reading.