Globalizing and Localizing Content to Increase Productivity

Jul 25, 2016


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BEST PRACTICES SERIES

Article ImageCapturing what matters and measuring what counts: This is a global leadership imperative. And it is the best--if not the only--way to showcase that managing digital globalization and delivering international experiences effectively pay off. It is all about effectiveness and starts with the early steps in the global content value chain. A number of criteria and indicators should be on the radar screen of anyone willing to define, analyze, and leverage effectiveness holistically. Productivity may not always be at the top of the list in terms of localization benefits although it definitely drives time and cost savings, while enabling to better allocate resources and optimize timeframes. It may come up as a secondary factor or be diluted in other prominent indicators such as content accuracy or consistency. As a matter of fact, productivity should be positioned as a key metric as it pertains to real-life people, process, and content management issues within, or outside, your organization. It is more evidence that proper globalization puts a robust framework in place for localization and localization fuels globalization excellence.

For customers and business partners productivity is likely to be focused on the enhanced ability to find, use, and value the right content at the right time. For employees it has to be rooted in how they are empowered to perform their tasks and delight customers in the most agile fashion. Localizing or hyperlocalizing content helps make people feel more comfortable by making them feel unique. Your customers and employees share this feeling when they consider that content has been made or adapted for them. They need content that fits naturally in their linguistic, cultural, legal, and functional environments.  It has to be relevant for who they are and what they do. Our digital world makes these requirements more important and challenging than ever before. Considering "digital" means "speed" in the mind of your customers, business partners, and employees they want to find what they look for more quickly and therefore they expect to make a better use of their time. This is how and when productivity comes to play. Here are a few examples of benefits of timely globalized and seriously localized content as far as productivity in multiple markets is concerned which may not surface right away.

  • Your audiences understand your content more quickly--Whether customers want to understand what makes your content different and better, or employees have to take actions to do a better job, seamless engagement remains crucial. Any time they would spend on guessing or asking what you mean to tell or sell to them is a waste of time digitally speaking. Although local assistance and support can always help them get on track if necessary any initiative you can foster to produce and deliver localized content upfront is going to turn into a time saver. This is a must-do in multinational and diverse organizations where productivity is significantly improved by continuous collaboration and ad hoc training. No surprise that the e-learning industry has embraced globalization and localization best practices for some time to transform trainees into quick learners internationally.
  • Your audiences reach their goal with less effort--As a result from the increased level of comfort for local users localized content becomes more findable and actionable which makes their journey more fluid eventually. Customers and business partners can go straight where you want to take them. In other words you do more than convey a message to them, as you walk in their shoes from the outset. Employees can achieve more as well as they can count on localized content accelerating their growth in their daily and familiar ecosystem. It is paramount for global players in the area of e-commerce or online travel services for instance where each experience touch point has to be efficient and simple.
  • Your audiences remember content longer--Making an impact right away and ensuring this impact lasts throughout the whole digital journey is essential to shape international experiences. Localized content speaks most naturally to global audiences as it matches their own cognitive and emotional patterns. Customers and business partners do not have to search for the same information and products they want time and time again, or spend less time searching for it, which is an individual productivity factor, proving to be a commercial asset over time. Employees can better manage their time to avoid repetitive knowledge building tasks due to a lack of content memorability or a large number of updates. This is particularly important in fast paced industries where continuous change, proactivity, and reactivity prevail such as consumer goods and online media.
  • Your audiences create and share more content--Any content that is easily found, understood, and remembered is considered valuable and shareable. So is localized content. Today any, digital property and product is designed to facilitate user content generation. The most internationalized capabilities and frameworks need effectively localized content to hit targets in terms of amount and quality of content that users are willing to create and share. They are not going to do anything negative or positive if they do not grasp your content at the very least. The next step is to localize your content so that it triggers people to spread it around. Customers and business partners should be major target groups for content collaboration and generation so that their concerns, comments, and aspirations can be captured on time. Employees are more productive individually, and collectively, when they can select and mine the content they really need while collaborating and enriching it with their experience and own development.

In any case, enhanced productivity should be seen as a localization performance indicator. It sounds like an invitation to do faster or do more...

(Image courtesy of Shutterstock.)