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Global business suffers from poor localisation

Global business suffers from poor localisation

Global businesses are losing market share worth as much as $1.6 billion per year, or $4.7 billion over three years, by failing to localise product information.

A study of six Global Information Management customers, carried out by the independent technology and market research company Forrester Consulting and commissioned by SDL, the leading provider of Global Information Management solutions, found that properly localised information is a source of competitive advantage when launching products or services across global markets.

The study found that a composite company could realise significant internal and external localisation savings of $4.6 million over three years by deploying an effective Global Information Management strategy.

But beyond these savings there was a much more significant effect on global market share.

The study found that translating corporate, product and marketing materials more effectively had a knock-on impact on global market share.

Mark Lancaster, CEO at SDL, believes this is a wake up call to organisations that do not prioritise localisation in their global product strategy.

 “With the size of the missed opportunity for some of the larger organisations standing at nearly $5 billion over three years, this is a stark warning to boardrooms everywhere,” he added.

“Without an efficient localisation process, businesses are slowing their time-to-market for global products inexcusably, and allowing competitors to steal market share from under their noses.”

The study, which examined organisations taking a Global Information Management approach to translation, found that properly localised information can boost market share by an average of 0.5 per cent a year.

This resulted in a 1.5 per cent increase in market share or $4.7 billion over a three-year period. If competitors are providing better and/or more localised content, market share could correspondingly fall by 0.5 per cent a year, Forrester found.

He concluded, “With the growth in frontier or emerging markets the successes of global products is dependent on having the right information in the customer’s language of choice, available at the right time.

“This study is real financial proof that taking a local approach is essential for global success.”

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