Marketers preach the importance of localisation – yet many not backing it up

As marketers increasingly look to segment their customer base into smaller and smaller distinct units, localisation becomes a key part of any country spanning campaigns.

Ask any marketer about localisation and they will likely tell you that is an important way of engaging consumers. A new survey by translation technology and services company SDL, however, shows that there can often be a discrepancy between what is said and what is done.

While 94% of the marketers surveyed agreed that un-localised content can lead to negative consumer impressions of a brand, 25% are not localising their own content.

A large part of localisation is making sure that marketing and promotional materials are presented in the right language.

76% of respondents placed a high value on content in the right language, but 41% did not think it would boost their campaigns and 45% were not translating their materials at all. In contrast, 47% reported being left disappointed by poorly translated content in the past year in their personal lives.

This despite that the fact the majority of respondents were active in multiple countries. 38% were active in Asia, 66% in Europe. 24% were actively looking to expand into Europe and 17% wanted to start targeting Asia.

Time and cost

So, what explains the discrepancy between espousing the benefits of localisation and then not actively pursuing it?

Unsurprisingly, time constraints, cost concerns and a focus on ROI came out on top of the list of reasons that marketers are failing to walk the walk.

35% of respondents reported spending less than two hours a month repurposing content. 32% are currently managing localisation in house despite only 12% claiming to be confident in their ability to produce quality content.

“Producing content that resonates with the reader takes time and effort, so in some ways it is unsurprising that marketers aren’t ‘practising what they preach’,” Rob Gorby, vice president of SMB at SDL said.

“But the fact is that if companies don’t tailor their approach for different demographics they will not only fail to secure business, but damage their reputation, relationships and bottom line, sometimes irrevocably.” 

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