This is the reason why many shoppers terminate their online purchase prematurely
An increasing number of studies show that English is no longer enough to fully penetrate foreign markets. While English might be the most established international language, language localisation still greatly influences the decisions of your customers and business partners.
“Many foreign customers even terminate their purchase once they reach a payment page written in English or poorly translated into to their language. Language builds trust,” claims Gregor Rosulnik, Founder and CEO of the GORR translation agency and member of the Slovenian Business Club Youth Section.
Gregor Rosulnik sheds light on how trust is built in foreign markets and how authentic language localisation pays off for companies. He also explains the notion of “transcreation”. Though not widely known, it is an important and indispensable part of successful marketing in a foreign business environment.
How important is it for a company to penetrate a new market in its local language? How important is it for a company’s brand?
When attending international translation and localisation events, we have the opportunity to speak with representatives from world-class companies, such as Google, Microsoft, Airbnb, Canon, HubSpot, etc. These massive companies all operate globally, but they think locally. Do you remember when we only used Word in English? Today, however, it can be installed in virtually any language along with many other applications. This is because companies have realised the importance of communicating with their users, followers, and partners and started providing products and services in their mother tongue. This way, both the brand and the company’s global story can take on a special, local significance. Not only does this help drive traffic to your website – it also helps you engage those who don’t speak foreign languages or don’t trust platforms in foreign language. When you convert this into figures, you quickly realise that localisation is very profitable. Its return on investment (ROI) is always high and frequently exceeds several thousand percent.
Why opt for an authentic local language instead of English?
Many of us use English on a daily basis. It is still the most used language in international communication, emails, phone calls, etc. An increasing number of studies, however, indicate that English is no longer enough. When shopping online, for instance, many people abandon their shopping carts once they reach a payment page written in English or poorly translated into their language. Language builds trust, among other things. A large portion of commerce has moved online, and a company that has not localised its e-commerce website virtually loses money every day. As already mentioned, the message that a company wants to put across takes on a new meaning when localised. It is much more likely to be shared by people, which further strengthens the brand.
Even more broadly speaking, cross-border business is increasingly based on communication in local languages. To participate in public procurement abroad, for instance, the prerequisite is submitting a tender in the local language. Moreover, contracts with foreign partners are always at least bilingual, and promotional flyers and catalogues are not only printed in English or German… And the list goes on.
How can proper localisation help companies strengthen their brand?
Companies should approach localisation strategically. For example, the sales department should not localise all marketing materials at once, the night before attending a major international trade fair. When a company targets foreign markets, localisation should be part of the company’s growth and development strategy or part of organisational and financial planning. Ultimately, the key factor is choosing a reliable external localisation partner capable of meeting all the requirements at the highest level of quality, both in terms of staff and technology. As stated above, a locally tailored product/service is more likely to win trust. Therefore, a smart, consistent and strategic localisation strengthens a company’s brand, builds its reputation and increases its profitability.
Can you give us a concrete example of linguistic and cultural localisation that supports your claim?
While there are many examples across the pond, they are scarce in our region. This is why we are working hard to bring good practice to companies in the region and beyond. And while the largest companies understand the importance of localisation, have entire localisation departments and see localisation as an investment, it is still considered an unnecessary expense in our environment.
Global company VMware, for instance, sold one of its SaaS solutions in the English language to Japan, earning around USD 700,000. They took the proposal to localise the solution into Japanese in order to generate new leads. Now, they are earning several million dollars with the same service.
On one of their podcasts, a HubSpot spokesperson “modestly” revealed that for each additional language, HubSpot sees an ROI of several thousand percent. Yes, you read that right – several thousand percent. Can you imagine investing USD 100,000 to secure new multi-million dollar sales? This is how HubSpot, which has put localisation at the heart of the company’s growth, operates.
Some readers might think that not everyone can afford such an astronomical investment, but the point is that every euro invested pays off manifold – if you approach the undertaking the right way and with the right partners.
Despite its importance, many people have never heard of the term “transcreation.” Can you elaborate on it?
Transcreation, or creative translation, allows the translator to deviate from the original in order to achieve a meaning in the target language that is appropriate to the context, purpose, and message of the source text. Company taglines are a good example. I can share an interesting story that resonated within our circles.
An international company spent millions to create a new tagline. They engaged a number of marketing and other experts to come up with a line that packs a punch. Once the tagline was ready, the plan was to localise it into 27 languages virtually overnight and at the standard translation rate of USD 0.1 per word for a total of four words. Fortunately, the company’s translation partner objected and warned the company that this is not how things are handled. For a tagline to make sense and have the same message on all other markets, more effort, time, and money must be invested in transcreation.
GORR is a fast-growing company that provides language services both locally and globally. We are a reliable partner for companies seeking top-quality services and authentic localised content tailored to the needs of specific European and global markets – from the Balkans and Central and Eastern Europe to Scandinavia and the USA. With a well-planned workflow and our select team, we consistently provide translations that speak the language of your industry.
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