The most important localization steps to consider
Here's where you start (but certainly not where you finish):1. Research. Do your homework
Understand the intricacies and idiosyncrasies of the world you plan to set up shop in by digging into research. Get to know your new locale
, your customers, the landscape, and your local competitors. What are the buying and selling habits? Pay attention to what they do well and what seems particularly regional.
Also, pay attention to what they might be missing from their strategy.2. Reconsider your concepts and ideas
Consider the local customer and really think about who that person is. What are they interested in? Your theories and opinions are all fine and good, but your marketing ideas should respect and reflect the differences you meet in the regions you are moving to e.g. the importance of local image sourcing.
Listen to the customer and understand their point of view - not the other way around. e.g. conducting interviews and surveys with a real life audience.3. Adapt your content to the geography
Trends change fast, especially if it's been a minute since you created your current brand identity. Some markets, like the US, and parts of Northern Europe are generally ahead of others in terms of content trends, fonts, visuals, design, UX, social channels, offline marketing, etc. and then the other regions tend to follow suit.
Your brand image and your colloquialisms need to come under the microscope.Social media:
What social media channels and apps are your local audience
using? Whether it be WeChat in China or VKontakte in Russia, KakaoTalk in Korea, or Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram in the US and Europe
- if you are not talking to your local audience in their digital homes, you're not talking to them at all.How to measure localized marketing success
The most important thing in any strategy is knowing your short and long-term goals and setting your KPIs
accordingly. The same applies to localization. What metrics do you usually use, and what are you measuring yourself against in your new geography? You'll find some trends might not be the same as those in your locale.
How to tangibly measure your success
in a new market comes down to what it always has in your own market - things like customer satisfaction and retention scores - but due to language and cultural barriers, it may take that much more effort and even someone local with experience on the ground to help you figure it all out.
With that in mind, if entering a new geography is a whole new world for you and your company, it might be worth considering assistance from those with some know-how who can guide you on your way. It won't be easy, but it'll take a load off!How can Shiba500 help you with localization marketing?
Shiba500 is a strategic marketing agency that acts as a "bridge" between growing companies and new opportunities, specifically:
- Entering a new geography
- Launching a new product/service
- "Reviving" or pivoting an existing product/ service/ brand
As a boutique agency, we are also in a position to offer custom scopes of work for projects that are unlike any others.
We work with startups and scaleups that have made some traction in their respective regions and are now looking to move into either the European or US market. As globally-oriented companies, they know that their product or service works, but they don't know enough about their target market in the EU or the US.
We work with companies in:
- Research & Discovery: We focus on specific categories and customer profile discoveries and/ or target geographies in the US. We explore the competitor landscape and how and where those companies communicate with their target audience.
- Positioning & Messaging: Since market dynamics are different in the US, compared to Russia or Europe, we help talk about the product in a new way.
- Customer Development: We assist with proving concepts on live audiences in the US - via landing page testing and in-depth interviews with vetted respondents.
- Go-To-Market Strategy: We create a playbook to launch the company and its product effectively on the US market.
- Vetted Partnership Networking: We define design, production, PR, and influencer marketing workflows.
Your ultimate goal with your localization strategy is to humanize your brand
and make it regionally accessible for that local market.
Rather than trying to make the customer understand your language, it's about making efforts to ensure you understand them on their turf.
After all, the customer is always right.