The current coronavirus pandemic is unique in many ways, creating as it is battled, an unprecedented potential for a severe global economic recession. The financial crisis that will result from this global outbreak will leave many more traditional “brick and mortar” businesses facing bankruptcy and closure.
Still, as tragic as this global Covid-19 epidemic may be, it also opens the door for the enterprising entrepreneur through a process known as globalization through localization strategies. At its heart, localization is all about translation services and getting the message to a broader audience, even in times of a global crisis. There is much more to localization all the same, especially in terms of online growth and expansion.
Online medical translation services are currently experiencing unprecedented growth. Using translation and localization services, your eCommerce sites can enjoy the same level of national and international expansion, even if the “imminent” economic recession hits in full force. To succeed though, the localization process must be implemented both domestically and internationally.
Why Are Interpretation and Translation Services Important to the Localization Process and eCommerce
A translation agency is generally seen as little more than a means to translate words from one language into another. A localization company, on the other hand, may be familiar with more localized linguistic anomalies and lexical characteristics, but will not always be capable of reaching a more international audience.
While localization is generally seen as a more international operation, the localization services are an important part of learning how to increase domestic eCommerce sales online. The same eCommerce marketing strategies that will work in a large city, will not necessarily work in a small town.
The local vernacular, sources of cultural pride, and local taboos will all be different, whether dealing with a domestic or international eCommerce marketplace. The younger generation will often have common expressions that they use, as will the older generations, with a definitive loss of meaning in the translation between the two.
Thus, the ideal solution to discover successful localization strategies for your eCommerce marketing campaign is to find a translation agency that also specializes in localization services. The localization process allows for a much more direct and successful marketing campaign to be implemented, no matter where or who that market may be.
Localization Services and Scale in eCommerce`
There was a great article posted on this site regarding website localization last year. What is often missed in many of these discussions, is the scale of the localization process. As was noted, there are major linguistic variations, even in a single nation. These linguistic anomalies are more notable when moving among different nations, even when the parent language is the same.
Document translation services in English will be very different for people in the United States and the UK. Interpretation services for people in Spain would be very different from those necessary for the Caribbean Spanish. A Latin translator from Roman times seeking to translate Latin to English today may be hard-pressed to understand the current Ecclesiastical form of Latin more commonly in use today.
How viable would it be to localize every aspect of your website into every variation of every language? The realistic answer is, it is just not possible. The solution for a successful localization strategy is to localize based on scale. The larger the audience, the more general the localization. The smaller the audience (or target market), the more specific the localization process should be.
Thus, a website can be more “generically” localized for an entire language, though funneled down through the localization process as the materials become more market-specific. As marketing becomes more targeted, so too should the process of localization.
Video game and software localization services are generally undertaken on a more national scale. These are notable because unlike the website, these specific examples of localization require unique variations for each individual nation, even those using the same parent language. In this case, the localization process will need to consider factors such as the same words being spelled differently or even different expressions and phrases that may be wholly distinct but still both necessary and relevant.
eCommerce Specific Marketing with Localization Services
A translation agency that provides localization services, when used in conjunction with Google Ads (or any comparable variation thereof) is all that is needed for the successful domestic and global expansion of virtually any business online. As long as the product or service being marketed provides a viable solution to the market being targeted, global success is almost certain; though granted, it will still require a lot of work.
Google Ads allows for advertisements to be run at the local level, at different times, and based on geographic and other restrictions all key to the successful localization of the marketing campaign. Time is often overlooked as a factor in online marketing campaigns, but should always remain a consideration.
Ads run in the middle of the night may attract the wrong person, and even if ads are clicked more often, it may not increase sales. What that means is more money spent on advertising without producing any profitable results. Knowing and understanding the habits of the local market is only one part of the localization process though, and there is much more to consider at the same time.
People like shopping with local companies, even when shopping online. One aspect of the process of localization involves speaking to the local people in the local dialect. At the same time, an intimate knowledge of the local culture and the targeted demographic is also imperative to online marketing success stories.
The localization of language and the inclusion of the local vernacular is only one part of this equation for successful marketing online. Is the target demographic young, old or does it include both? Should the common, modern expressions be used in the online marketing campaign or will that potentially drive away older people who may also be possible customers?
Are there local landmarks that can be used in the marketing campaign online to use in creating a more personal touch? Are there any local historical figures that can be used to instill pride, confidence, and an impression that the internet marketer has a local understanding of the local population?
The more personally the marketer can connect with the local audience, and the more localized emotional triggers that can be used in the marketing campaign, the more likely the advertising will be to generate the desired response from the target audience.
This, of course, is also dependent on whether or not there is a local market for the individual product or service. Part of any globalization effort, in addition to requiring successful localization strategies, depends on whether or not there is a viable target audience in that particular location.
Is China a Viable Online Market for Localization
According to Statista, there are approximately 870 million internet users in China making it the top-ranked nation in the world for the number of internet users. At first glance, this looks like a very promising market for virtually any online marketing campaign. While China offers many great opportunities for Internet Marketers, there are also a great many challenges in place that may make this difficult in terms of the localization process.
The first step in developing successful localization strategies for the Chinese markets is understanding the Golden Shield, also known as the Great Firewall of China. While there is a common misconception that much of this can be bypassed through the use of a simple proxy server, such is not always the case. Furthermore, crossing the government in China may result in the complete website being banned, no matter how relevant and successful the product or service is, and no matter how successful the localization campaigns for marketing online where, to begin with.
Successful localization campaigns for China should also recognize the fact that there is a great deal of censorship above and beyond that which is blocked by the Golden Shield. Virtually anything to do with the current coronavirus crisis, the impending economic recession in Chinese markets, news, entertainment, and other content may be readily blocked and prevented from appearing in Chinese markets. While successful localization campaigns for China may be difficult to implement, they are not impossible and can be very profitable, especially given the size of the potential target market in China.
China has many of its own social networking sites, often comparable to their western counterparts, and many of whom allow for a foreign audience to participate in the form of paid advertisements or even user contributions. The localization process for Chinese markets will almost certainly require some participation in Chinese social media sites online.
It is probably reasonable to claim that virtually everyone under the age of thirty knows about the TikTok craze online. TikTok is just one of many popular Chinese venues and the only way to implement localization strategies and open up Chinese markets online. Tencent is a very popular Chinese company, owning both the popular chat program known as QQ and the Chinese YouTube, Tencent Video. Participation in these and other Chinese based social media sites will help to ensure online success, but only if all of the communication is clear.
The key to successful localization strategies for China is in understanding the restrictions and limitations, while at the same time actively engaging in a social media campaign for Chinese markets. Again, a translation agency that offers localization services can help to start opening these doors. It should be noted, however, that there are other international markets online, almost as large as China, and much easier for online localization strategies and successful marketing campaigns.
Successful Localization Strategies for the India Markets Online
India is the second most popular nation for internet use with over five hundred and fifty million estimated users online, again, a study from Statista. On a bright note, the restrictions for doing business online in India are less challenging than the online restrictions in China.
Nevertheless, this may be offset in part by the linguistic challenges that are truly unique to India. This makes it all the more important to find a translation agency that offers localization services when considering international growth and expansion online for the India markets.
Chennai is sometimes known as the “Detroit of India” in part due to the vast production that takes place there, including auto manufacturers. Chennai also hosts much much more in the way of industry, both online and offline. India as a whole, however, is attracting an increasing number of foreign investors for both traditional business ventures and online businesses as well making it an ideal foreign market for international expansion and globalization efforts.
India is very well known for the capability of its experts in Information Technologies and its online presence. Still, there are many challenges for successful localization campaigns in India that are going to be unique, to say the least. According to the language website Babbel, “if two unknown Indians met randomly on the street, there would only be a 36% chance that they would understand each other”.
At the national level, English and Hindi are the official languages of the nation. However, each one of the States within India has the capacity to determine their own official languages, raising the number of officially recognized languages to twenty-two, including Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Bodo, Santhali, Maithili and Dogri.
According to some scholars, there are more than nineteen thousand languages in India including many localized dialects based on the same parent language. Certified translation services are virtually a necessity when it comes to successful localization strategies for India. Still, the potential markets of India are far too profitable to allow this to interfere with the global expansion of any online company.
Again, as long as the products or services being marketed fulfill a need or desire, or offer a real benefit to the people of India, it would be foolish to overlook the profit potentials of such a vast target audience online. Asia is currently the largest online market place and is estimated to be the fastest-growing online presence for the next few years, at least according to Statista.
The Importance of Professional Translation and Localization for Continued Online Success
Professionally written sales copy will almost always perform better than sales copy written by someone without the same skills. Likewise, translation, most notably in conjunction with localization, should always be handled by certified professionals, skilled in their arts and practice. At the end of the day, localization services are all about giving the marketer the ability to create a positive emotional connection with the target audience.
Poor grammar will take away from the message being presented virtually every time. A poor document translation or poorly implemented efforts at website localization or even marketing localization services can create a much more severe reaction if not professionally conducted. Conversely, professional translation and localization services for your online efforts can help to ensure financial success, even during the current global coronavirus pandemic and even if the global economic recession does in fact, prove to be “imminent” as some have already claimed.
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