Multidomestic Strategy And Localization: Global Partners In Business Expansion


Multidomestic Strategy And Localization: Global Partners In Business Expansion

Businesses have been expanding online, but they have also been focusing on an increasingly personal and tailored approach to their customers. In fact, according to research by Ascend2, the main priority for businesses that want to boost their business should be to improve their customer experience.1

That is why the Multidomestic Strategy, a strategy designed to provide a customized local experience in each locale, is becoming one of the most relevant business models. Whats more, when combined with solid localization strategies, it can be a highly profitable way to expand a business internationally.

Learn all about Multidomestic Strategy, its connection with localization, and which localization services you should consider incorporating.

What Is Multidomestic Strategy And How Does Localization Fit In?

Transcription transforms the spoken language in an audio or video file into a written script, to either use as such or make it ready for translation. Transcription services can be a vital part of qualitative research and data collection. If meetings, conferences, and discussions are held, a written document is often needed for analysis.

Transcription can be a time-consuming process and should not be underestimated. There are specific types of transcription that would suit certain industries and content types best, as well as specific guidelines that should be followed when determining how you can choose reliable transcription services for your specific needs. Lets dive in!

What Are The Types Of Transcription Services?

When you decide to expand your business or product into new territories and adjust your sales, marketing, and portfolios to local preferences and cultures, you are applying the Multidomestic Strategy.

While some brands choose to apply a global strategy and keep their brand largely the same with some tweaks here and there, the Multidomestic Strategy aims to create a flurry of smaller brands adapted to each region and culture. Nestle, for example, is a Swiss company that owns over 2000 companies worldwide including Purina, Toll House, and Häagen-Dazs.2 They are active in over 180 countries and design each product to meet local preferences.

Since Multidomestic Strategy applies a “local first†approach, it fits in perfectly with the mission that localization aims to achieve, which is to adapt content and products to the local language, culture, and preferences. Working with this model will offer you some appealing advantages including:

  • Earning you a competitive advantage on the local level because you show a deep understanding of your customers.
  • When you are actively involved in the local market, you can also more easily benefit from local assets such as workforce and natural resources.
  • Dividing your business into smaller ones across the globe will give you a clear and direct insight into which businesses are performing best and where you can improve.

However, it is not all good news. The Multidomestic Strategy offers some challenges as well. After all, you will need a multilingual strategy that  transforms your product to fit into a local market. Not only are you perhaps compromising on some recognition you may have already built elsewhere, but you will also need to know your new client through and through to pull it off. And that is why you will need a strong localization partner who possesses this local knowledge in abundance.

Localization experts will be able to provide you with the local knowledge you need to succeed and will also have the resources and services available for each content type you choose to localize. Lets dive in and see what this entails!

Localization For A Multidomestic Strategy: How To Develop A Sound Strategy

Now that we have established that localization should be an integral part of a Multidomestic Strategy, wed like to expand on how the localization of your marketing content and products usually plays out.

As a general rule, all content first goes through a rigorous Translation, Editing, and Proofreading (TEP) process with consistent Quality Assurance set in place. Every translation project will involve the input of native, in-country experts who possess a deep understanding of your market on every level, as well as localization engineers to work out any technical kinks. Key tools and technologies in ensuring a quality translation are:

  • Glossary with approved translations and a style guide with stylistic preferences
  • Translation Memory to ensure terminology consistency and cut costs as the projects progress
  • Computer-Assisted Translation tools (CAT) and a Translation Management Systems (TMS) where specialized translators can seamlessly work together with Project Managers and Localization Engineers. Optimized tools will also help implement a Quality Assurance Process more efficiently and weed out any possible inaccuracies and inconsistencies in the content.

Localization And Transcreation For Marketing

It is important to remember that when it comes to marketing, human translation is paramount since marketing speaks on a very personal and emotional level. We highly recommend that you avoid using Machine Translation for all your multilingual marketing needs. But more on this later!

For marketing content, mere translation is actually not enough, but localization is needed. Localization goes beyond mere words and takes local sensitivities, cultures, and behavioral nuances into account. While you will need to provide content in the source language for localization services, it is also possible to start from scratch in a new location with Transcreation services. Transcreation combines powerful multilingual messaging with copywriting, so you will not necessarily need to provide source content. You will need to create a killer creative Brief, though! Learn more about this in our blogs What Is Transcreation And How Is It Best Managed? And Transcreation: When You Should Go For it And When You Should NOT!

What About Your Brand Colors, Design, And Brand Name?

Localization will also take into account your brand’s visual and aesthetic aspects. Depending on the countries and regions you intend to target, colors and images may carry different connotations. However, this will need some critical assessment as well and you can’t blindly change your colors for each market, especially not when they are directly related to your brand.

A study published by Science Direct3 stresses the importance of choosing the right colors for your brand. They state that a client’s decision to buy and even return for future purchases can be influenced by the colors you choose. And while different cultures may value colors differently, you should only change your colors if it is really necessary. Colors can increase brand recognition as much as 80%, and global leader Coca Cola, for example, has changed its name for the Chinese market, but not the colors that have become so entwined with their brand, but also found a creative way to make it work by adding a slogan connecting their red color, with the symbolic red of communist China.4

And what about your brand name? Are you sure the name will go down well in every country? Now, we are not saying that you need to change your brand name for each country, not at all! But it is good to check if it won’t cause offense or be misinterpreted in any way. This is where a service called Brand Name Validation can really come in handy. Learn more about it in our blog: Brand Name Validation: Is Your Brand Ready For The Global Stage?

Where Does Machine Translation Fit in?

You may have heard that machines are getting smarter and are wondering how you can fit this into your expansion strategies. While Machine Translation (MT) is definitely making progress, you should still take care how you choose to implement it for your business.

If your business is geared towards the sales of certain products, you will no doubt be working with tailored product descriptions for each product and also receive some User-Generated content on your website. And you may think that MT might be a great option for you to keep up with the consistent flow of new content. And you would be in good company. eBay, for example, is very open about their use of MT to boost productivity and cut costs.5

But you should never forget to think strategically. eBay, already an established brand with trust among a large population, may need to invest in a different way than you do. That is not to say you can’t use MT. You will just need to know how to apply it. Because when it comes to MT, a Post-Editing Process is still an essential part of the Quality Assurance of your translation, and a valuable tool in promoting global user engagement. This is where Machine Translation Post-Editing (MTPE) comes in.

MTPE refers to the process of combining the speed of the machine (MT), with the intuition of a human translator through post-editing (PE). But only when the best practices are followed, can MTPE really become a valuable and profitable service. It involves a lot of testing, training, and meticulously selecting translators familiar with MT and the Post-Editing Process.

Pro Tip! Learn more about MTPE in our blog: How Is Machine Translation Post-Editing (MTPE) Best Executed?

Why The Human Touch Matters!

So, why exactly is the input of a Post Editor a strategic choice? Let’s think about the state of mind of a client sharing a product review.

  • Reviews will be emotional and use subjective language since personal experiences are shared.
  • Most reviews speak openly and engage with other users as if recommending a product to a friend.
  • They will also likely not spend too much time posting a review.

So, which challenges arise here?

  • Slang and idioms: The informal state of mind and the desire to share something personal will invite many users to use phrases such as piece of cake. A German user reading a literal translation of this expression as provided by an Engine will probably just sit there scratching their head.
  • Context: Engines are becoming more and more aware of context, but they are not there yet. Imagine a review that says, This is one sharp looking axe. No, this is not a review written by a lumberjack, but by a musician using specific slang for the word guitar. The guitar is not actually sharp, but it looks great. Even more, he is not implying there is one of these guitars, nor is the guitar actually looking at something. So, even this one, very short sentence, has numerous translation challenges.
  • Typos: Users are likely shooting out a quick review on their phone, so typos are bound to sneak in. MT Engines will need to be trained specifically in handling misspellings, which will not only take time, but errors will still slip through when not seen by the Engine before.

To summarize how you could potentially manage complete localization solutions for your multilingual platform, take a look at the graph below!

Get The Details Right!

Other than the content itself, there are also other ways in which your localization for each and every region should be consistent in order to build trust with your customers. Check out the following.

  • Think about which currencies and payment methods are used. A buyer will need to feel comfortable with which payment method is used. For example, in Latin America, one of the most popular payment methods to this day, are installment plans both online and offline. In fact, 60% of all purchases in Brazil are still completed this way.6
  • Don’t forget the systems of measurement. Does your new market use centimeters or inches?
  • Address formats and telephone numbers can also vary depending on which country you are offering your services / products to. Make sure you follow the format preferred locally to avoid confusion.
  • And let’s not forget about name formats. Is the family name written first in this country? Is it perhaps a country where people have several family names? Make sure you allow for fields and spaces where the option for more or longer names is possible.

Conclusion

A Multidomestic Strategy could provide many benefits for companies looking to expand their business in a meaningful way. And when combined with a sound localization strategy and with the best services for each content type applied, the most pressing challenges tied to the multidomestic model can be overcome.

At Laoret, we combine the expertise of marketing specialists with native linguists and localization engineers. Our localization and transcreation services are designed so that every market is treated in a unique way, so that your copy will have the biggest possible impact. We also provide highly trained post-editors and can provide Machine Translation Post-Editing services that hit the quality “ speed sweet spot.

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