How to Get Your Boss to Invest in Localization

Dimitris Glezos
November 16, 2015
2 min read

Taking a website, mobile app, or game to a global audience is a no-brainer for some companies, meaning the business plan is strategically designed to support localization. Yet, for a majority of companies, the need to localize a product for a global audience is identified by a developer or marketer who sees opportunity or demand in a foreign market. When this is the case, it’s up to that individual to become an advocate for localization; to get the right level of buy-in, support, and executive sponsorship.

Knowing that every successful salesperson has a great pitch, we wanted to share some tips for how you can get your boss to make the critical, long-term investment in localization.

Create a detailed plan

We’re all familiar with the saying “the devil is in the detail,” and this rings true when trying to persuade someone to adopt your thought process. When pitching to your boss, it’s important to really think through what you’re asking for. What’s the benefit for the overall organization? How many resources is executing your plan going to take? Who is responsible for the work and how much will it cost? Then, there’s the all important question, what is the organization’s return on investment? Going into a meeting ready to share the answers to these questions will help show your boss the value of what you’re proposing.

Identify a painpoint</h2
It may not be pleasant, but you’re going to have to highlight existing problems that may be resolved by localization. For instance, do you already have customers from other countries coming to your website, but their bounce rate is high? Presenting the issue in this way can help your boss feel more comfortable — it’s not presented as a new idea, but rather as a solution to a problem.

Lower risk

You may be passionate about the need for localization, and you may even have data to support your desire to expand into new global markets. Despite this, there’s still risk involved for your boss. To overcome this hurdle, think about structuring your proposal in stages so you can modify or even eliminate certains stages if things don’t go as planned. You’re giving your boss the ability to keep his or her options open, ultimately limiting the overall risk involved.

Be completely transparent

You’re spending company dollars, so you need to be transparent with what you do. Share the pros and cons of your proposed project and identify key performance metrics that need to be met throughout the process. These metrics should also be paired with plans of action, detailing what happens when proposed numbers aren’t met. Sharing this in a thoughtful and organized way shows that you’re building accountability and also helps to enhance the level of trust that we mentioned above.

Ask for a trial, not a lifetime commitment

When you invest in localization, you’re investing in a long-term project, which may make your proposal unattractive. Eliminate potential resistance by asking for a trial. Perhaps you can test localization in a specific market before tackling multiple markets at once. Show your boss that he or she isn’t locked into a complicated, costly, and time consuming project.

Get the timing right

There’s a time and place for everything. If your company recently had layoffs or is struggling financially, now might not be the time to propose a new localization project. Same goes for the end of the quarter when everyone is scrambling to meet company-wide performance goals. Ask yourself if your boss is caught up in other matters. Will he or she be able to devote time to your project?

As we head into the end of the fiscal year for many companies, now may the perfect opportunity to bring up the topic of localization with your boss. For many organizations, the new year offers a fresh start, and acts as a time to look for new opportunities that will help improve engagement, sales, and profit moving forward. A lot of departments also determine their yearly budget in the new year, so proposing your localization idea now can ensure there’s enough funding to carry out your localization plan effectively.

At the end of the day…

…Make it easy for your boss to say yes. Having a localized, global-ready product can be powerful in growing an organization in terms of size, increasing leads and conversions, and making a positive impact on the bottom line, but it all starts with getting your boss on board!

Were you a localization evangelist at your organization? Perhaps you’re a localization manager that was challenged with the task of getting your boss to prioritize localization investments? Whatever the case, share your stories with us in the comment section. And if you’re interested in a solution that will localize your product in an efficient, scalable, and affordable way, request a demo with a Transifex team member and see the power of the Transifex localization automation platform.

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Dimitris Glezos
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