Localization, Personalization and Global Marketing

Localization, Personalization and Global Marketing by t'works

What’s the connection?

Adapting your content for multicultural and multilingual audiences is a vital part of personalizing your customer’s journey and building trust.

Reaching new international markets is no longer the preserve of big global brands. With the arrival of the internet and the digitalization of our lives, companies of any size can envisage selling their products and services worldwide. Social media, websites, search engines and e-commerce platforms mean the possibilities are big.

However, with current economic restraints and growing competition, the task of global marketing is increasingly challenging. With new opportunities come new demands and new expectations.

More than ever, marketing teams need effective and efficient strategies.

Personalization is king

Over the last decade, personalization has become one of the most popular strategies in both the B2C and B2B sectors. It has a significant impact when incorporated into marketing activity.

Focused on making each customer touchpoint unique, personalization has flourished as a result of developing technologies and more recently, the ascension of artificial intelligence (AI). Where once consumers were approached collectively with generalized communications, now companies seek to tailor each customer interaction individually, supported by extensive, AI-driven data.

Examples are everywhere. Think Netflix and its personalized ideas for your next viewing or Amazon’s suggestions for your ‘top picks.’

Surveys show that investment in personalization is on the rise, with one report in 2023 finding that almost 69% of businesses are spending more on this type of marketing. McKinsey found that personalization can increase revenues by 5 to 15 percent,  marketing ROI from 10 to 30 percent and that it helps secure customer loyalty.

Most significantly, McKinsey’s findings highlighted that consumers expect personalization. 76 percent of those surveyed said they’re frustrated by a lack of personalized experience and over 70 percent expect businesses to provide it.

These figures make marketing personalization hard to ignore.

Why is personalization so important?

The key feature of personalization is that it feels exclusive. As consumers, we’re blown away by how well the company knows us – knows what we like and what we’re interested in. We feel special by this made-to-measure treatment and it’s like the company is speaking to us one-to-one.

An excellent example of personalization in action is the music streaming platform Spotify and its individually adapted recommendations. Spotify feeds user data – personal details and listening habits – into machine learning programs and, hey presto, over 380 million different home pages are created. Genius.

Importantly, personalization when it’s done right, takes away the hassle of endless searching and provides us with solutions tailored to our tastes and needs. It optimizes our user experience, simplifies our buying process and makes us more likely to repurchase and stay faithful to the brand.

The pandemic altered the way consumers shop and has meant personalization in marketing is more prevalent today than pre-Covid. With people forced online to do their browsing and purchasing, switching away from habitual brands became widespread and customer retention subsequently became a bigger focus. Personalizing the message enables companies to hold their customers’ attention and retain their interest, building stronger, longer-lasting relationships in the process.

Language matters

Language is at the heart of marketing personalization.

The language we speak is a fundamental part of our identity and how we express ourselves. It’s the way we feel most comfortable communicating and if brands want to gain our trust they have to do so in the right language. Evidence shows repeatedly that we’re most likely to make a purchase if we can do so in our native language.

Personalization won’t work if it’s done in a language we’re not confident using.

So when brands expand into new regions making sure they communicate in the best language for that market is essential. Spotify for example is present in 237 countries and territories and its platform is available in 74 languages, having grown from just 36 languages in 2021. Netflix streams to 190 countries in more than 30 languages, and Amazon operates 21 regional e-commerce sites in different languages.

These global brands know the power of speaking to their customers in their own languages.

Language is increasingly becoming a valuable tool for marketing teams, even for businesses whose services are confined to a home market. Take an example spotted recently by this writer. The French train operator SNCF keeps summer rail journeys high on my agenda by sending me enticing offers in English. Using my first language makes those trips through sunflower-filled Provençale countryside seem easy and attainable.

How localization works

But language is only one element of crafting stronger connections with an audience in a new market. It is the foundation for a localization strategy that, combined with personalization, will create a marketing environment where the consumer feels very much at home.

In-depth research will show which language best fits your new audience and what adaptations need to be made to respect cultural and user expectations. Taking into account differences like currency, payment methods, measurements, images, design, cultural references, humor, tone and geography will mean you create the content most suited to your new audience.

Although audiences today are tuned into the global economy, their outlook remains firmly local and balancing these elements is crucial. Keeping the focus of all touchpoints customer-centric is what it’s about.

Language services are part of the team

Customizing your content to provide this individual experience is a complex undertaking and will require organization-wide input. It’s no longer a case of creating a campaign and then as a last step, ‘translating’ it for another market. Language, locale and personal preferences have to be part of the strategy from the outset.

Fortunately, language service providers like t’works have the experience and expertise to help you integrate localization seamlessly into your global marketing processes. With professional project management that coordinates language, graphics and communication experts in workflows underlined by tight quality controls and a close eye on cost-effectiveness, t’works becomes your ‘external internal’ department.

Why not get in touch with us today and find out more about how t’works can shoulder some of the heavy lifting for your global marketing projects?

Your personal contact

Marie-Laure Vinckx

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