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How to Drive Localization Momentum and Keep Global Revenue Flowing
Posted by Rebecca Ray on March 1, 2017  in the following blogs: Best Practices, Business Globalization
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Successful globalization requires commitment across the enterprise. Even high-performing localization teams must lobby other corporate functions to support international markets. They don't have the power to mandate fully localized e-commerce infrastructure, local data security compliance, or appropriate in-country hiring practices without buy-in from marketing, IT, and human resources. Yet, without these functions in place at the right time, your local audiences will do business with your competitors. How can you overcome these challenges? CSA Research conducted a survey that uncovered four common themes among successful enterprise buyers:

Achievement depends on aligning business strategies. Whether you manage a one-person operation, a translation team, or a center of excellence for globalization, you must integrate the following three strategies to define scope, responsibility, and accountability:

  • A corporate strategy determines which products and services you offer and the audiences you target. It gives you the opportunity to make your enterprise unique in its space.
  • A globalization strategy addresses how each function within your organization - not just the translation team - goes about globalizing its business processes to support prospects and customers outside of its home market and the multilingual and multicultural communities within it.
  • A global content strategy focuses on how you decide which content and code to adapt and localize, as well as how much of both is required to enable audiences in local markets to experience at least the same quality of customer journey as that enjoyed in your home locale.

Alignment leads to earlier participation by localization teams - and fewer costly or irrecoverable mistakes. The most successful globalization groups are the ones mature enough to have earned visibility and influences outside their area of primary expertise. We asked survey participants to describe their level of involvement in content-, product- or service-, and marketing-related activities across seven categories ranging from market entry analysis to customer testing to marketing programs and campaigns. In all but one of these areas, between one-third and one-half of respondents participated only after all decisions were made - if they took part at all. The graphic below shows results for four of these categories.

Why is this lack of participation a problem? Most localization teams have no direct responsibility for any of these seven categories. However, each of these areas directly affects their ability to deliver what executives expect of them. Localization program and project managers can only be in so many (virtual) places at one time. Therefore, those overseeing globalization must evolve their staff to function as centers of excellence to provide the guidance their colleagues need to globalize their own areas of responsibility and influence.

Strategies will evolve. Whether your company is just starting its international journey or already prides itself on having integrated globalization enterprise-wide, regularly check in with your executive sponsor to affirm that your global content strategy remains aligned with your organization's overall globalization and business roadmaps. Why? Corporate strategies change, upper executives come and go, and new teams and acquisitions suddenly appear on the horizon. Realigning your approach periodically with the other two strategies helps all teams across the business understand and deliver on their promises to international and multicultural audiences to keep global revenue flowing.

Regular benchmarking of localization maturity is essential. Why? By recasting areas such as governance, strategy, organization, and automation as measured business processes - subject to formal metrics and ROI goals - brings them out of the shadows and subjects them to the analytical scrutiny of finance, operations, and executives.

Take Note
CSA Research performed extensive data collection and analysis in preparation for Localization Maturity ModelTM (LMM) 3.0. Here are the recent reports based on this data:

Why Benchmarking Localization Maturity Matters
Should We Centralize Our Globalization Function?
Governance: Elevating Localization as a Business Function
Strategy: Establishing Goals and Budgets Organization-Wide
Process: Globalizing Enterprise-Wide
Organization: Building Excellence at Every Stage
Automation: Implementing Technology within Limits
Why Benchmarking Buyer Maturity Matters for LSPs


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Related Research
Why Benchmarking Localization Maturity Matters
Strategy: Establishing Goals and Budgets Organization-Wide
Should We Centralize Our Globalization Function?
Why Benchmarking Buyer Maturity Matters for LSPs
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