This is a reprint of an article that previously appeared in MarTechAdvisor.
World-wide exporting is predicted to increase exponentially in the coming years. A report by the National Center for the Middle Market at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, “Winning in the Americas,” found that the majority (92%) of mid-market companies plan to sell more overseas in the coming years. Currently, more than half (54%) export to foreign markets.
Localization is key to globalization strategy
That’s why localization is key to globalization strategy. To be successful in a global marketplace, companies need to translate and localize their content to engage more customers. English is no longer the lingua franca of global business , so to reach international customers, companies need a way to efficiently translate and distribute their global content. It can be a costly undertaking.
Translation costs are a large part of any globalization budget. Many organizations, however, only look at localization as a short-term investment. As a result, they focus solely on getting the lowest price per word. Localization project managers spend a great deal of time getting quotes and comparing translation vendor pricing. But, it’s not about the pennies, or fraction of pennies, you can save with a competitive translation bid. The key differentiator - the factor that has the greatest impact on your ROI - is speed.
It’s not about the pennies, or fraction of pennies, you can save with a competitive translation bid. The key differentiator - the factor that has the greatest impact on your ROI - is speed.
The faster you can translate and deliver global content, the sooner you achieve ROI. The ROI comes from being able to enter global markets faster, ahead of your competition . When you can begin selling more products, sooner, you can establish your brand presence and capture valuable market share. That’s why the new globalization imperative is: Time is money and market share. The localization solution you choose will have a direct effect on both.
Cloud-based technology optimizes operational efficiency
A recent article in Forbes, TCO Analysis Demonstrates How Moving To The Cloud Can Save Your Company Money, extolled the financial benefits of cloud technology: “Operational and indirect costs savings that can be achieved by using the IT resources and expertise of a managed cloud provider have the potential to dwarf the infrastructure acquisition savings of moving away from a self-managed on-premises datacenter approach.” The real value of cloud technology is the operational efficiency it provides. It results in continuous, long-term savings, not the one-off savings you get from a single project.
Translation companies that have not invested in cloud technology offer older, offline on-premise solutions that require emailing and downloading files, translating them, and repeating the process in a slow, back and forth workflow. Proxy translation can also be problematic when it comes to changing or adding original content. It doesn’t offer continuous publishing or effective change management. You have to grant the proxy access to your information. Make your changes, then those are manually exported and imported--back and forth--between your site and the proxy site. In contrast, cloud-based translation management system continuously detects content change, triggers workflow, and distributes translated content to the right applications through automated processes, which leads to greater efficiency and agility.
Faster translation leads to agile globalization
A 2015 McKinsey report, Playing to Win: the New Global Competition for Corporate Profits, found that those companies that invest in technology and build powerful digital platforms and networks reap the rewards of more global users, customers, revenue, and profits. In addition, technology is enabling greater agility and scalability to help them quickly enter new markets. Digital platforms “can drive marginal costs to almost zero, enabling technology and tech-enabled firms to make rapid moves into new sectors. They can also serve as launching pads that give thousands of small and medium-sized firms immediate global reach.”
“Companies that invest in technology and build powerful digital platforms and networks, reap the rewards of more global users, customers, revenue, and profits.”
Entering new markets requires global-ready translation solutions that are easy to manage and that can keep up with the dynamic, 24-hour demand for localized content. Cloud-based technology stores, tracks, and manages multilingual content across different enterprise applications allowing continuous, integrated translation in real time. For large, complex translation projects, the only way to handle the volume, continuity, and synchronization between several different departments and locations is by managing translation in the cloud.
When you can translate content faster and more efficiently, you can capitalize on the benefits of a more agile go-to-market strategy - entering new markets ahead of the competition. There is long-lasting ROI to establishing your brand presence in a market first. You get a leg up on the competition and have more time to expand your market share.
Entrepreneur and author Jim Rohn observed, “Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” It’s true, time is more valuable, but Rohn is wrong to assume that you can’t get more time. You can. By investing in localization solutions that offer speed, agility, and operational efficiency, you’ll achieve long-term financial benefits well beyond the short-term cost savings realized by counting pennies.