By Matt Strach North American Marketing Team Lead of BLEND.
Today, a truly global marketplace is fast accelerating its use of the internet and online spending habits, which is inherently increasing the necessity for high-quality digital content and translation services. For companies to effectively connect with new audiences, consumers must find the messaging relatable, the brand compelling, and the pitch locally authentic. Everything from the style and sensibilities of the written content to the language or dialect itself must be factored in, and because of this, localization figures to be an essential growth strategy for businesses as 2023 quickly approaches.
In today’s increasingly eCommerce and technology-driven marketplace, where brick and mortar nearly disappeared for the better part of two years, it’s rare to find a business that doesn’t cater to two language markets or more. These companies rely on translation services to grow globally, articulating the benefits of their products and services in a locally-authentic way and making meaningful connections with new audiences. Smart businesses understand that word-for-word translations aren’t enough and that cultural sensibilities and unique market insights must be factored into any long-term global strategy.
Localization in eLearning is a major trend accelerated by here-to-stay remote work and education, an increase in cross-border collaboration, and multilingual teams. As well as continued innovations in learning management systems (LMS), which have created an urgent need for better and more engaging content to justify the ongoing use and expense of the platforms.
As the world shifts from traditional, in-person learning to a sustainable ‘blended’ learning model of live and digital education, language accessibility is more critical than ever to best serve diverse teams and students.
Artificial intelligence and Localization
AI-enabled technology is seemingly at the forefront of every industry, and localization is no exception. AI and machine learning are powerful tools for high-volume language needs and, when overseen by expert (human) linguists, can deliver great outcomes for businesses of all types for many use cases and media.
With translation memories, machine output gets “trained” over time; with proper management and tuning, translation can be nearly automated with high accuracy. Of course, it’s important to make the distinction between enterprise localization automation–with your brand and customer relationships on the line–is vastly different than an on-demand tool like Google Translate.
Text translation is the bread and butter of the localization industry, but it’s incorrectly assumed to be the only way that localization services are delivered. With 82% of Internet traffic expected to go toward video this year, localization must apply to the content people are consuming. That means voice and video localization services like voice-overs, subtitling, dubbing, captioning, and even transcription. Just as text needs to be translated into the “voice” of the brand, the actual voice needs to represent the unique personality of a company for all its target markets, whether it’s an off-screen narrator or an on-screen spokesperson. These are the multimedia-forward customer touchpoints driving higher multilingual engagement and satisfaction.
Localization: an essential strategy for marketers as we head into 2023
It’s an excellent time to be a world marketer. Localizing content and marketing materials have had a measurably outsized impact on revenue and reach. Marketing professionals are under more pressure than ever to connect with international audiences at a seemingly breakneck pace. The best way to meet this need is by localizing every touchpoint of the customer experience. Localizing your service offerings shows that you are being thoughtful about your customers and their needs.
Today, localization is truly at the intersection of technology, globalization, rapidly-evolving customer preferences, and macroeconomic necessity. Bolstered by AI innovation and an explosion in multimedia, localization figures to be an essential component of any multimarket growth strategy for the foreseeable future, especially as we move into 2023.