Taking your business into a new market

06 Dec 2022 4 mins read
Taking your business into a new market

When you’ve got a great product or solution, it can be easy to believe what you’re offering should sell itself. But according to Forbes, branding and customer experience are now more important than ever, with customers constantly looking for experiences that resonate with their culture and values.

Providing that experience is particularly important when you’re trying to grow your business internationally. When faced with a brand-new audience, choosing how your business engages will have a huge impact on your overall success. And you’d be forgiven for believing that keeping your content in English could be a good strategy – it is, after all, the most widely spoken language in the world, with more than 1.4 billion speakers in 2022*. But what about the remaining billions?

According to statistics from our Language eXperience Delivery (LXD) platform, the French language currently takes the top spot when it comes to most popular target languages (a target language is the language that a piece of content is translated into). It’s then followed by German, Japanese, Chinese, and Italian, but there are currently more than 7,000 languages being spoken around the world.

Language defines how people communicate – with their families, their friends, their communities and, you’ve guessed it – your business.

The more content you provide in the local language, focused on the local market, the better your engagement is likely to be – which will, in time, lead to an increase in sales. But before that, there are a few more steps in between…

So how do you use language to your advantage?

1. Start by researching your target markets
If your goal is business expansion, the very first step you should take is to research your target market and find out all you can about the language, culture, customs, and shopping behaviours. You might be tempted to only scratch the surface when it comes to this step – but a deep dive can make your life a lot easier in the long run. Speak to local experts, run focus groups, and don’t forget to look into the general political and regulatory landscapes as well.

2. Assess your marketing and sales collateral
Here, prioritization is key. Don’t stress about getting absolutely everything translated; instead, come up with a list of the most important assets you’ve got – such as your website or app, product brochures, FAQs, and user manuals. And this brings us very neatly to step three.

3. Decide on your localization model
This is a big decision to make – will you outsource to an agency or freelancer, or localize your content in-house and put together a translation department? There is, of course, the option to combine the two as well. There is no right or wrong decision here because it all depends on what fits your business.

4. Standardize your process, centralize your linguistic data
Regardless of how you decide to translate your content, keeping all your resources organized and centralized is essential for ensuring the process goes smoothly and all your content adheres to brand guidelines. The easiest way to do this is to make use of translation technology.

5. Practise continuous localization
I mentioned in the second step how it’s important to prioritize which content to go to market with. This is where agile practices come in – although it used to be standard practice in the past to translate something, publish it and then move on, the truth is that content is constantly evolving along with your product. With this in mind, you should make use of a translation technology platform that can easily handle the complexity of your localization processes.

You might have noticed that I’ve mentioned translation technology a few times, and that is because each step of the way, it really can save an immense amount of time, hassle, headache, stress and money, regardless of how much of your content gets localized, how often, and how you go about it.

And there you have it – a brief overview of how to build a localization strategy for your business. Our free ebook, Breaking into new markets, goes into a lot more detail for each step – and if you’ve got more questions, our team is always happy to support you.

* Statista, 2022

Alina Bojescu

Alina Bojescu

Marketing Campaign Manager
Alina Bojescu is Marketing Campaign Manager at RWS. She has a bachelor’s degree in Publishing Media, and over six years of marketing experience. At RWS, she works in the Trados team.
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