New Service: Local Insight Reports
A sneak peek into the report that’s changing the way localization experts optimize regional performance.
OHT is proud to announce that going multi-market is now easier than ever. Recent visitors to our site may have noticed some changes, including a new look and a brand new menu of localization services, including Local Insight Reports (LIR). Local Insights is a new service offering companies an advanced audit of local brand appeal and accessibility. The findings are then compiled into a customized report that provides valuable, actionable insights for improving your market growth.
Going Global is Just the First Step
Strictly speaking, internationalization refers to entering new markets without much customization for each one. This is a legitimate business decision, although it often works best for companies that produce standardized products for export, or companies in the early stages of expansion.
Once global business revenue begins to grow, however, companies need to take a more local approach to compete with local vendors. This includes having a local sales office, producing local marketing collateral, and processing payments through local banks.
A brand’s ability to get localization right can be the difference between becoming locally beloved or being viewed as an out-of-touch corporate invader. Inaccurate translations, incomplete support, and incompatibility with a local sense of aesthetic can all cause potential clients to choose the local competition over your brand. That’s why an increasing number of international corporations are trying to blend in, using localization services provided by local experts around the world.
Local Insights: Content Overview and Detailed Findings
The process of generating the insights you need begins with putting an expert on the case. The localization manager assigned to complete your report will be both a specialist in your industry, as well as a native speaker and knowledgable expert in the local language and nuances of your target market.
Your localization manager will review and analyze all the marketing materials and online content you provide, including emails, videos, ads, websites, apps, and more. They will offer insights based on their sensitivity to the local culture and details of the language to make sure your messaging resonates with local clientele. They will then compile these insights into your Local Insight Report. The comprehensive report breaks down every element of the user experience to find gaps or mistakes and includes actionable guidance in several different categories:
Translation Quality and Consistency
Besides mistranslations, misspellings, and grammar mistakes, OHT Local Insights often find a lack of consistency in translations. This can include abrupt shifts in tone or varying translations for technical terminology. These are especially common when multiple translators have worked on the project.
But an even simpler, and more significant, problem is that often the localization and translation process itself is incomplete. One OHT client, a leading developer of project management software, faced this issue in several different languages. In Brazil specifically, this led to major problems.
Although many Brazilians could accept translations, the software was designed for team collaboration. With only parts of the platform translated, every member of the team needed to be able to handle sudden shifts to English.
This led to negative reviews from users who expected all the features to be in Portuguese. Not only were they unable to use the software, but they felt that they had been misled.
The responses the users got to their reviews didn’t help matters. Users who had trouble navigating because of the language then got responses in English. By not translating all the features and content, the company had disappointed its Brazilian audience. The customer support sent in to respond to these complaints just emphasized the problem.
Technical Information and Compatibility
Translating the text isn’t enough. The information available on your website needs to be relevant, along with the infrastructure that supports it. This means that companies need to know which social media networks and payment methods are the most popular locally. In some cases, getting this wrong can mean that you’re invisible to local customers.
For example, OHT completed an LIR for a major Swedish lifestyle company selling high-end sex toys in China. During the process, the OHT team discovered that while the company had translated their videos into Chinese, they had left them on YouTube, which is blocked by what is known as the Great Firewall of China. The same is true for Facebook, Instagram, and Google Maps. None of the company’s social media content was accessible and most of the Chinese audience couldn’t even see where stores were located.
OHT recommended the same company make changes beyond the straightforward technical ones. In China, they are a high-end brand, targeting independent young women. The images they were using needed to show elegance and sophistication.
In some cases, cultural preferences need to influence the entire structure of the sales process. Different cultures relate differently to social media and to a hard-sell approach. When the project management software company localized for German markets, the LIR found that the tone did not resonate with German speakers.
For German speakers, the LIR recommended a longer, more formal, and informative sales process, instead of the fun, enthusiastic style that created a sense of excitement and urgency for American audiences.
What To Do With a Local Insight Report
An LIR provides a basis for a checklist of actionable goals that allow you to perfect your localization process. You will be able to easily make technical adjustments, correct details of language, and rework messaging with targeted cultural guidelines. The LIR gives you the tools to excel in local markets by improving visibility, strengthening brand relationships, and increasing revenues in each locale.
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