Despite its positive impact for global businesses, localization often comes in many organizations at the end of the process whether it is within R&D and Product Development or in Content Marketing Strategy.
This is not the case in every company though. Nataly Kelly is an industry expert who has more than 10 years of experience in the language industry. Today she is the Vice President of Localization at Hubspot, one of the fastest software company for inbound marketing, sales, and customer service with revenue of US$ 0.67 Bn in 2019. As you can see Nataly’s position isn’t a VP position in a LSP nor a smaller company, but indeed a very strategic position in a well-established organization currently valued at US$ 17 Bn. She has contributed to the growth of Hubspot for the past several years, in 2019 the Hubspot had a +32% growth YoY .
So what could be the potential contribution for localization professionals to hold a strategic position?
EASY MATHEMATIC: NO LANGUAGES NO MARKET
You would think that for a B2B professional software, English should suffice, that sales and marketing professionals would have good enough English skills to make full use of the platform. It may sound true, but the reality is that the majority of users will prefer to have access to systems and tools, tutorials and other training content as well as other valuable content such as blog posts or articles regardless of their profile, education and experiences.
So the math is simple, if your product is available in your native language you may have access to customers who speak your language, adding one language will bring an additional market potential, and so forth. Thanks to big data, there are plenty of accessible reports and data that can contribute in understanding the market potential of each region.
On her blog “Born to be global”, Nataly Kelly has highlighted 3 major pillars to How to make Localization Strategic which we also are fully onboard with:
Concepts – there are 8 major localization concepts that she is touching on. A downloadable deck is also available.
Metrics – data driver metrics and measurements are key component of success, and in her article she indicates how metrics are necessary to become valuable in an organization.
Communications – Localization has the cross functional role that bridges products, marketing, sales and clients. By definition, the language industry is the foundation of communication. In such a setup, being able to articulate ideas and solutions will go a long way with the diversity of language component.
As for the last of the these pillars, Communications, we had a chance to meet with dozens of companies for the past few months and heard a lot from our clients that explaining localization concepts and benefits through effective communications isn’t an easy task. From our experience we do feel that international profiles might be able to better articulate localization challenges given their background, especially in China. And the most important companies in China, such as Huawei, Alibaba, OPPO, vivo, Yoozoo, Netease, Tencent, ByteDance, etc. have already stepped forward by building a fully integrated team of international talents by recruiting them directly or with through localization partners.
LOCALIZATION AND CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Buyers have multitude of choices and what makes a crucial difference for customers from a company over another company, a product over another product, or a person over another one will always be the experience.
Have I enjoyed my first few seconds knowing you compared to someone else I would have met earlier (or later) in the same event? Which one do you think of those two professionals I just met would I remember the most? Well it’s certainly the person that would have given me the best impression (e.g. experience), the one I could get along with, who I can exchange thoughts and have an interesting conversation with.
That is very much the same for any business facing competition which is why Customer Experience and User Experience have taken a lead in R&D and Marketing. And according to Nataly Kelly, Experience is what makes the different between Translation and Localization.
|Process||What Gets Adapted|
Because of both the direct revenue (the mathematic) and the customer journey (CX, UX) companies that are globally growing, or looking for global growth, must consider multilingual localization effort at a strategic level and integrate the localization across the company by seeking for opportunities to demonstrate the importance of localization in cross departments and management team.
At Clearly Local, we want to not only delight our customers with our services but aim to help our customers delight their own thanks to our localization process. Each project are being executed with the ultimate experience at the end user side, putting our writers or linguists in your customers’ shoes.
Nataly Kelly is definitely a global ambassador for all professionals in the localization industry. When stepping in the language business at Common Sense Advisory, she has got a 360 degrees experience since then working for research company and at LSP, as well as Localization buyer being at hands on position and growing as an executive. You can find her blog at borntobeglobal.com if you would like to read more insightful articles about the Localization Industry.
Feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss how to make localization strategic in your organization.