Lucy Xu

Top Localization Challenges for European Companies

With over 71% of Fortune 500 companies leveraging localisation to reach international markets, it is evident that localisation is the strategy and method of choice for global expansion. However, even the largest companies and most robust localisation teams can run into common roadblocks along the way. And while there are plenty of tools, technologies, and resources out there to help you — the first important step is to be aware of the top localisation challenges that most global companies face so that you can be prepared to ready to tackle them.

From connecting with business needs to selecting the right translation management solution, here are  the top challenges that EU companies run into when localizing into new markets — and how to overcome them.

1. Identifying Specific Local and Global Business Needs

It is not uncommon for companies to be uncertain about where to begin, when it comes to taking their first steps towards expanding into new markets. The key thing to keep in mind here is that before any formal localisation investment is made, the most important step you can take is to clarify your company’s local and global business needs. This is vital because it will set the direction, course, and foundation for your localisation efforts.

To overcome this challenge, think through questions from the general to the technical, such as: What am I trying to communicate to my internal audiences? What business result am I trying to drive from global markets? How often will my translated content be published? How many translators will be working on projects? Will my content be manually or automatically uploaded?

2. Deciding What and Where to Localize

The two main decisions during your localisation process that will set the roadmap for your global expansion efforts are: what content to localize and which markets to localize into. For many companies, they have a general sense of the content they want to localize but the second decision is much more daunting.

To overcome this challenge, understand that there is easily accessible data and research that is on your side. Start by going into your website traffic dashboard to see which are your top-performing markets and conduct some research to see where your industry and competitors are Then, you can move on to more technical aspects such as leveraging and optimizing international SEO insights.

3. Selecting the Right Technology to Use

Another major challenge that companies face is knowing exactly what resources are out there and which ones are best for them. Traditionally, translations have been completed through manual processes. What does this entail? entire localisation and translation teams facilitating the process through a series of copying and pasting into spreadsheets, sending and waiting via email, and then manually typing and updating translated strings into code. If you’re reading this and thinking: how antiquated and inefficient? You’re not alone.

With the innovation of new localisation technologies, manual processes like the one above have been shelved to make way for more advanced methods. However, a nascent industry like localisation, some EU companies choose to work with whatever localisation platform appears to be the biggest or the cheapest. To overcome this challenge, it is vital to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to localisation, and what works for a Fortune 500 company may not necessarily work for a growing startup. Remember to shop around, and find a solution that is both agile and can be easily scaled to accommodate growth.

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