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Term of the Week: Localization Strategy

What is it?

The art and science of planning and directing operations in a global marketplace so that a product or service cannot be distinguished from a local offering. Marshals resources for internationalization, localization, translation, and transcreation for their most efficient and productive use.

Why is it important?

Localization strategy is part of a company’s global content strategy and defines how they adapt their products or services for one or more international markets and what financial, vendor, and technology resources they need to do so.

Why does a technical communicator need to know this?

Localization strategy involves:

  • Defining business goals in international markets, such as revenue, profit, market share, expansion, consolidation, conversions, etc.
  • Identifying current obstacles that prevent the organization from efficiently and effectively adapting its products to local needs.
  • Developing a plan that includes people, processes, technology, and funds to implement that strategy.
  • Implementing the plan, measuring progress, and adjusting the plan accordingly.

A localization strategy requires extensive knowledge about the target market and competitors’ positions in that market. Understanding local consumer preferences, cultural, political, and legal frameworks, as well as technical requirements, is also central to satisfying customer needs and wants.

A localization strategy connects localized content with business outcomes[Lawless 2015]. Web analytics have made it easier to assemble a remarkable level of detail, but they aren’t the whole story. For example, web reports rarely tie into sales data.

Teams need to make cognitive connections between multiple sets of data so that they can understand the larger strategic picture[Singh 2012].


About Andrew Lawless

Photo of Andrew Lawless

Andrew Lawless is a best-selling author, performance coach, educator, and consultant. He is laser-focused on inspiring professionals for success. Andrew brings a unique blend of experience in behavioral sciences, publishing, localization, and education. He served as consultant to the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit. In 2015, he presented to the US White House during the Obama administration, and in 2012 testified before the US Senate on the importance of professional development in localization. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland.

Term: Localization Strategy



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