Outsourcing Localization: Is it the Right Move for Your Business?

Last Updated March 9, 2021

Expanding your business into new global markets is a smart move. But now, you have to figure out how you’ll manage the localization of your product for your new target audiences.

In this scenario, you have two options:

  • Quickly rack up a team to handle the localization and translation tasks (and hope it all works out), or;
  • Outsource to a partner that specializes in localization project management

More businesses are learning that outsourcing localization and translation to managed services is more efficient—both with your finances and your time.

Let’s take a closer look at why you should outsource localization for your business.

Why Localization is Critical for Global Businesses

Any business that wishes to expand its operations to other countries—whether they’re brick-and-mortar or e-commerce—will have to worry about translation and localization.

Even software and app companies need to pay attention to localization, because 70% of iOS downloads and 90% of Google Play downloads come from non-native English-speaking markets.

This is especially true considering 52% of the world’s internet users are in Asia. The continent has over 2.5 billion internet users compared to North America’s 330 million.

But enough with the numbers—let’s take a look at some of the other reasons you need to outsource translation services.

Improve Customer Communication (and Satisfaction)

Content is the medium that connects businesses with their targeted audiences. And people prefer to do business with brands that communicate in their native language.

By translating all of your content—blog posts, articles, web pages, downloads, ads, videos —you can ensure you’re reaching your core audience.

Promote Brand Loyalty

It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in—if you want to sustain and grow your business, you need a loyal customer base. Otherwise, you’ll be in a consistent state of looking (and paying) for new customers.

Not only does brand loyalty save you money, but it helps boost your revenue as well.

But what does it take to convince patrons to choose your business over a competitor? When you look at the numbers, you’ll see 80% of consumers prefer brands that offer personalized content and experiences.

This is a challenge when you’re not translating content for each of the groups you’re targeting.

Improve Your Visibility and Grow Your Customer Base

The more languages and cultures you cater to, the better your visibility will be. And as customers come to know your brand and product (or service), growing your customer base will become easier.

Studies show localized ads outperform English campaigns when it comes to click-through rates and conversions.

Customers will appreciate you taking the time to personalize your content so it relates to them. And if your competitors aren’t doing the same, then you’ll continue growing your share of the market.

Enter New Markets Quicker

Each time you enter a new market in a different country, there are lingual and cultural barriers to overcome. If you’re not prepared to tackle communication challenges, legal issues, and logistical hurdles, then you’ll slow down or deter a successful entry.

Localization removes these roadblocks and mishaps that can potentially hurt your brand image.

Gain a Competitive Edge

You’re already privy to the competition you have in your own country. But when you choose to extend into other countries, you’ll have to worry about global competition, as well as local companies in that new region.

Don’t forget: customers in these new countries may already have local brands they know and trust. However, if you can show you speak their language and understand their ways of life, it’ll be easier to level the playing field.

With localization services, you can improve the odds of going up against these local companies (and prevailing).

You’ll also have a leg up on any global competitor who hasn’t localized their product, given that roughly 60% of global consumers rarely or never purchase from English-only websites.

The Benefits of Outsourcing Localization and Translation

Localization obviously comes with many benefits. But should you do it all in-house, or should you outsource localization and translation to a third-party vendor?

Here’s a look at the pros and cons of outsourcing localization services.

Save on Localization Costs

Opting to outsource translation and localization means lower costs, as you don’t have to build the entire team, process, and technology infrastructure up front. You’re paying as you go with a company that already has established processes and therefore lower costs.

And since there are no employees to hire, you won’t have to worry about paying for salaries and benefits—and you won’t be affected by costs associated with turnover.

Maintain Your Project Schedules

When you enter new markets, you’re on a tight schedule to get your product released. It may feel like you have more control over your schedule by doing things in-house, but you’ll also face difficulties when it comes to training staff and executing your localization strategy quickly enough to stay on pace.

By outsourcing your localization efforts, you get an accountability partner to ensure everything stays on track.

Increase the Breadth and Scale of Localization

With an outsourced provider, you’re not just getting help with individual files and tasks. You’re getting a partner to manage the entire localization project for you.

When you choose the right localization service provider, you’ll be able to support a wider range of localization activities such as additional languages, specializations, and translation formats. It’s much harder to build a wide breadth of specialties with an internal team.

This also allows you to scale your localization program up or down more easily dependent on seasonal needs.

Improve Quality Control

The nightmare for any localization team is shipping poor-quality translation. Or worse, cultural mishaps that damage your brand’s reputation.

When you outsource localization, you’re guaranteed superior work thanks to additional layers of quality control that are difficult to support with a small internal team.

Increase Agility and Innovation

One potential downside of outsourcing localization is that you become dependent on your partner for future localization tasks. And you have to take the risk of sharing confidential materials with your partner’s translators.

However, the opposite is typically true.

When you outsource localization, you benefit from the innovations of the vendor. Localization firms are continually updating their technologies and workflows to enhance their processes.

Trying to keep up with innovations in localization can be taxing (and costly) on internal teams. By using localization services, you can skip this headache and adopt new and better processes offered through the vendor.

You’ll also save money since you’re sharing the cost of the innovations with the vendor (and their other clients). Doing it all yourself would mean paying the entire R&D cost.

How to Tell if You Should Outsource to a Localization Partner

What’s great about outsourcing localization is it can work for any type of business. You’ll find retailers, software companies, restaurants, and hospitality businesses successfully outsourcing localization services.

Take, for example, a major international athletic apparel retailer. The company initially reached out to Summa Linguae Technologies to find ways to maximize its limited internal resources. This was needed for growing localization demands for its website and mobile apps.

The engagement quickly grew from a limited consulting relationship into an ongoing strategic partnership. Summa Linguae became an extension of the company’s team, leading all aspects of its digital localization activities.

Now, the retailer can keep pace with growing digital content needs without sacrificing the customer experience of its global audiences.

Wondering if your business should outsource translation and localization? Then here are some things to consider:

  • You want the best bang for your buck (good value): Focus on running your business while your localization partner handles the heavy lifting.
  • You want to ensure translation deadlines are met: Never wonder if you adequately trained your staff to handle growing workloads.
  • You want to maintain your brand’s reputation: There’s no need to risk a cultural mishap because of something you overlooked.
  • You want to steer clear of tech headaches: Partnering with an agile, forward-thinking company that invests in innovation will save you time and money. Avoid slow-to-change behemoth companies.
  • You want to offer better data security: Localization companies use secure platforms and adhere to GDPR regulations.
  • You want to simplify localization: Dealing with hiring and training staff is already a headache. Imagine going through mistakes and quality control issues that are detrimental to your reputation. You don’t have to worry about this with the right localization partner.

How to Choose the Best Localization Partner for Your Company

Thinking of outsourcing localization and translation to a firm? Then make sure you’re choosing the best partner for your business.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you search:

  • The size of the company: Bigger isn’t always better—choose an organization that’s agile and innovative.
  • The specializations offered: Localization is about more than translation—opt for a company that can provide a package of specializations, including managed services.
  • Enthusiasm for becoming a partner: Localization is an ongoing process—make sure you’re working with a partner that’s excited to be a part of the team.
  • Offers additional support: This will ensure you’re getting all the help you need going forward, such as staff augmentation, a contingent workforce, etc.

Working with Summa Linguae, you’re not just outsourcing localization and translation tasks. You’re getting a partner that manages all aspects of the process. This saves you time and money. And it helps you improve your customer reach, so you can continue growing your reputation (and revenue).

If you’d like to expand into new markets, don’t overlook the opportunity to outsource your localization efforts. At Summa Linguae Technologies, we offer localization solutions to match your project needs, or fully in-house managed services where we act as an extension of your team

Ready to learn how we can help your business localize? Then get in touch with our experts today!

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