ULG's Language Services Blog

What Marketers Need to Know About Translation and Localization


Marketers know the importance of understanding current trends and being able to separate effective tactics from trendy buzzwords. What about translation and localization? You might be wondering just how vital these are and how top marketers are integrating them into their international marketing strategies. So, here's a quick primer on what marketers need to know about translation and localization in the coming years. 


translation and localization is now a marketing "best practice" that's set to explode in the next year.


According to a recent survey from Smartling and IDG Research, top companies have already made significant investments in translation and localization. For example, their respondents reported marketing to an average of seven different markets and translating content into seven different languages.

The survey also showed that most companies are planning to grow their localization programs.  For example, 94% of companies plan to spend more on localization in the next year. By 2019, respondents expected to add an average of seven additional markets, doubling the number of target languages for translation.  

Is your organization investing in translation and localization? If not, you run the risk of getting left behind.


content localization leads to increased sales and conversion rates.


Companies are willing to invest in localization initiatives because it leads to concrete benefits: increased sales and increased revenue. In fact, IDG Research study respondents cited increased sales as the most critical benefit of content localization.  

Meanwhile, according to Mobile Marketing Watch, when tested simultaneously, 86% of localized ad campaigns “out-performed the English versions in both click-through rates (CTR) and conversion rates.”


without the right tools, translation and localization can drain time and resources unnecessarily.


Despite the benefits, many marketers find the translation and localization process frustrating. For example, over half of the companies surveyed by IDG Research said the localization process was “too manual.” 50% of respondents said that content localization was “too complex to manage.”  Many companies are still using spreadsheets to track translations!

Fortunately, there is a better way: Partner with a language services provider that uses technology to streamline the process and say goodbye to spreadsheets for good. At United Language Group, we use our propriety technology suite, Octave, to make requesting and managing translation and localization projects into a simple, efficient process.


the biggest translation challenge: reducing time-to-market


We live in a fast-paced, hyper-connected world. So it's not surprising that the biggest localization challenge mentioned in the IDC Research survey was "time to market." Partnering with a tech-savvy LSP is the key to overcoming this challenge. An efficient project management process and platform combined with appropriate use of machine translation can reduce time to market for localization projects from weeks to days. 


Most companies still have a long way to go.


The IDG Research survey showed that the top priorities for localization include company websites, social media, digital, video, and technical information.  However, according to a 2017 study from CMO Council, only 33% of respondents believed they were doing a sufficient job of adapting content for different markets.


With increased investment in localization and help from an experienced LSP, there's no reason that your organization should have anything less than what we like to call Total Language Confidence. Take a moment to review our language services and the industries we serve, and contact us about your next translation or localization project.