You might have heard about localization. It is the process of adopting local languages and other local features into your product or service. International and global companies use localization widely. Some of them have gained very good market positions in various local markets. ‘Think global, act local’, states even the famous quote.
The purpose of localization is to attract potential customers, to get them to try your product and finally to pay you. The idea is that localized products feel more familiar and local. As a result, the buying threshold is lowered. The local people understand how the product or service benefits them when they hear and read their own languages. Likewise, it’s easier to buy when local currencies and measurement units are used.
All this sounds good but do you have to localize. Is it something you can avoid? Can you just ignore the possibilities of localization? If you need some excuses or reasons to skip localization, we have listed six of them for you. Read on and choose the one you need:
Excuse no.1: I don’t know if it pays off
Like with all investments, the outcome will always be a surprise. You can only make estimations and guess what will happen. Localization will probably bring new customers. Unfortunately, you still can’t be completely sure how much the revenue will increase. It is possible that other projects would bring you more money.
Excuse no.2: I don’t know how to localize
Localization is a skill you need to learn. No newborn is a localization expert. Depending on your situation, the localization process can feel like an insurmountable challenge. If you are working in the software industry, you might be aware of localization tools that could ease your localization processes. But the tool is not enough, you should be able to define and then manage the actual localization project. Phew, what a challenge!
Excuse no.3: I can’t choose the target market(s)
The world is a large place. When you have all the possibilities in front of you, it might seem overwhelming. If you are running an online business, the geographical limitations don’t exist. If your business sells physical products or face-to-face service then you have to think about the logistics. Either way, you probably use online analytics that reveals where your visitors are located or where people use your keywords. All this doesn’t help because you still need to decide what to localize into which language (or languages, yikes!).
Excuse no.4: It’s too difficult
Localization projects usually involve many people and many tasks. You need to plan and manage the project, make all the decisions, choose the tools, and find the right people. Someone should collect the material for the translator. Someone should know the local market and language. Someone should build the translations into the product and sales material. Localization projects have many steps.
Excuse no.5: I don’t have the time
Time is a limited resource, and localization doesn’t happen in a blink. Due to the learning curve, the second project is always faster than the first one. Still, every localization project takes time. If you have more things to do than time, you need to prioritize. No one can do everything.
Excuse no.6: It costs too much
Localization is a business, as well. Good localization tools aren’t free. Not many people are willing to take part in a commercial localization project for free. Outsourcing costs. Translations cost. Above all, like we found out in the excuse no. 1, no one can guarantee the high revenue of a localization investment.
These were the excuses why not to localize. Hopefully, you found useful excuses for your situation. If you think that they were all very silly, it is possible that you just have to launch your localization project. Localization is, after all, an efficient way to enter new markets and grow your business. Managing a localization project can be challenging, but so are most business actions. You can always ask for help from a localization expert.