In today’s rapidly globalizing economy, the ability to communicate with a diverse customer base in their native language has never been more crucial for businesses looking to expand internationally. In an era where global markets are increasingly interconnected, the strategic selection of languages for localization emerges as a critical determinant of a company’s success in international arenas.

Procurers of translation services need to make informed decisions about which languages to localize their content into for entering new markets.

Data by market research firms such as Common Sensory Advisory Board suggests its vital to take a nuanced, data-driven decisions in choosing languages to effectively engage new markets and drive revenue growth. Here are some points to consider:

Target Incremental Revenue Growth

Choosing the right languages for localization should be driven by the potential for incremental revenue—often referred to as “uplift”—rather than solely by the total value of a language market. This approach seeks to identify languages that can attract new customers and generate additional revenue streams. VEQTA therefore recommends utilizing tools such as CSA Research’s Global Revenue Forecaster™ to pinpoint languages that promise the highest value from your target demographics.

Cater to Customer Language Preferences

When faced with a choice between languages of similar market values, prioritize the one with the highest number of native speakers. CSA Research indicates that customers are significantly more likely to make purchases in their native language, making them less susceptible to competitors with better localization strategies. Ensuring content is available in the customers’ preferred languages is key to securing their loyalty.

Analyze the Competitive Landscape

Understanding the languages your competitors offer can provide valuable insights. Resources like CSA Research’s “Global Website Assessment Index” series can help identify whether adding languages could help you catch up or even surpass competitors in key markets. This competitive intelligence is crucial for strategic language selection.

Consider Regulatory Requirements

For some businesses, regulatory compliance is a major factor in localization decisions. It’s important to identify mandatory content types and languages to meet these requirements, ensuring compliance and avoiding potential legal issues. For instance, it may be mandatory that Safety Data Material Sheets in Thailand is translated from Thai to English.

Align with Organizational Strategy

Language selection should align with your company’s broader expansion strategies. Whether the focus is on entering new markets in Asia or consolidating presence in Europe, language choices should support these strategic goals, reinforcing the case for localization as a growth driver.

Prioritize Customer Experience

In certain situations, adding new languages for translation may not be the most effective strategy. Instead, you may need to increase the amount of content you provide in the languages you already offer. CSA Research’s Global Customer Experience Calculator™ can help you evaluate current performance.

Case Study: Expanding into the European and Malaysian Markets

Applying these principles to the European Union, where linguistic diversity presents both a challenge and an opportunity, businesses can similarly strategize language selection for optimal ROI. For a company eyeing both the EU and Malaysian markets, the approach needs to be meticulously tailored. In the EU, focusing on languages like Dutch or Swedish could uncover niche markets with less competition. Meanwhile, in Malaysia, balancing localization efforts across Bahasa Malay, Chinese, and Tamil can cater to the country’s unique demographic makeup, enhancing customer experience and brand loyalty across different ethnic groups.

This strategic, data-informed choice is crucial in markets like Malaysia, where cultural and linguistic nuances significantly influence consumer behavior. Understanding these intricacies allows businesses to not only enter the market but to thrive within it, building lasting relationships with a diverse customer base.

Beyond Gut Feel: Data-Driven Language Strategy

Building a language strategy based on data and concrete numbers is essential for demonstrating how localization supports overall organizational goals. This approach transforms language from a perceived cost into a strategic asset, emphasizing its role in driving international growth.

ROI and Strategic Localization: Beyond Financial Metrics

ROI from localization is multifaceted, encompassing brand strength, customer loyalty, and market penetration. Consider a financial services firm aiming to establish a foothold in Malaysia—a country with a burgeoning fintech scene and a diverse linguistic landscape. Selecting Bahasa Malaysia for initial localization efforts, supplemented by targeted content in Chinese and Tamil, could facilitate deeper market penetration and more meaningful customer interactions, laying the groundwork for sustained growth.

VEQTA Translations is committed to helping businesses successfully navigate the challenges of global market entry through expert localization services. By following these guidelines, businesses can make informed decisions about language selection, ultimately enhancing their international presence and revenue potential.

Leveraging Data for Strategic Expansion

Our team understands that successful global expansion is rooted in a strategic, data-driven approach to language selection. By focusing on incremental revenue, understanding customer preferences, analyzing the competitive landscape, and aligning with broader organizational strategies, businesses can navigate the complexities of international markets with confidence.

The expanded global reach requires more than just translating content into new languages; it demands a strategic selection process informed by in-depth market analysis, cultural understanding, and solid data. By applying these principles, companies can optimize their localization efforts, ensuring they not only enter new markets like Malaysia and the European Union but also achieve sustainable growth and a competitive edge. Learn more about VEQTA’s Localization Governance Services.