London, UK (PRWEB UK) 9 April 2014
There’s no better time than the beginning of a new fiscal year to determine what your organisation needs to do to maintain successful growth in the global marketplace. Regardless of your industry, it’s equally important that your plans include localising the right content at the right time in order to achieve your business goals.
Although many factors will influence your actual plans for the upcoming year, the following guidelines can help you build a solid foundation for effective localisation strategies.
Audit Last Year’s Localisation Efforts
As a first step, evaluate all localisation or translation projects that your organisation undertook in the last year. Pinpoint what made them successful and also identify any aspects that could be improved upon. This is a great way to accurately establish your needs for the coming year.
If certain aspects of your projects took longer than anticipated despite everyone’s best efforts, adjust your plans accordingly when allocating time and resources for similar tasks. Also, even if all of the last year’s projects were completed according to plan, bear in mind that no localisation effort is ever completely finished. Industries, languages and cultures are continually evolving, and your localised materials should be updated to reflect changes in product positioning and usage.
If your products require that safety information accompany them, as is the case with substances containing potentially hazardous chemicals, local laws may require the reevaluation of your documentation on a regular basis. In Canada, for example, every Material Safety Data Sheet needs to be reviewed at least every three years, even if the product associated with it has not changed.1
Account for Changes Within Your Organisation and Abroad
Just as your organisation reevaluates its goals and practices on a regular basis, you should also reevaluate localisation plans for any upcoming product releases or ventures into new markets. Planning an expansion into additional countries is a large undertaking that requires the coordination of multiple teams to accomplish tasks such as ensuring compliance with local laws and designing web pages and marketing materials to appeal to the local market. Also, the exact steps involved in these processes often vary from country to country. For example, in order to register a .co.jp domain name for your organisation so that Japanese consumers can more readily find and trust your brand, your corporation must be registered under the laws of Japan.2 Make certain that you give all of your teams and your language services provider sufficient time to complete their respective requirements.
Consider Seasonal Changes in Buyer Habits and Product Demand
Once you’ve determined what you plan to market to buyers in your target countries in the new fiscal year, do your research to determine when potential customers are most likely to buy your products. For example, the demand for certain items such as apparel and heavy machinery is seasonal. It’s important to plan your localisation efforts for each region accordingly so that you’re ready to go to market at the appropriate time. This becomes especially important when you’re marketing to buyers in the southern hemisphere, as seasons differ greatly from North America.
If you sell consumer goods, changes in product demand over the course of a year may also be driven by gift-giving holidays for each target country. In some cases, even if a holiday is not typically associated with the exchange of presents, consumers may still expect retailers to offer sales or promotions. To capitalise on these peaks, it should be an integral part of your plans to localise your marketing strategies and materials and ensure that you have sufficient inventory on hand during these time-sensitive periods.
Even if your localisation plans take all of these factors into consideration, an experienced language services provider can help you identify marketing opportunities you may have missed. They can also help ensure that your plans are executed in advance of deadlines so that you can maximise your unique potential in each target market.
1 “Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs)–General.” (2006). Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/legisl/msdss.html (accessed March 21, 2014).
2 “.JP Q&A.” Japan Registry Services. http://jprs.co.jp/en/regist.html#q2 (accessed March 21, 2014).
About Merrill Brink International
Merrill Brink International (http://www.merrillbrink.com) is a leading provider of complete translation and language solutions for global companies and law firms, with special expertise in serving the legal, financial, life sciences, software, heavy machinery and corporate markets. A proven leader with more than 30 years of experience, Merrill Brink offers a wide range of language solutions including translation, localisation, desktop publishing and globalisation services.
Merrill Brink is recognised in the industry for its commitment to quality and its pioneering approach of leveraging technology to reduce costs, eliminate redundant processes and accelerate translation life cycles. Merrill Brink is certified to ISO 9001:2008; ISO/IEC 27001:2005 and ISO 13485:2003, and compliant to EN 15038:2006 and ISO 14971:2007.Together, these standards provide assurance that the most stringent process and quality standards for translation are followed. Merrill Brink International is a wholly owned subsidiary of Merrill Corporation.