A successful product management for international markets takes the knowledge of the global markets, and understanding the local customers as well as understanding the translation and localization technology that is behind the whole internationalization process.
A company that has an effective Product Manager is able to capitalize on this part of its business to bring business to their customers in a variety of ways. It’s critical for the Product Manager to realize the right steps on the way to international markets and what it’s all about.
Customers have different experiences depending on the place where they happen due to cultural, historical and linguistic differences.
These differences include:
Date and time formats
Laws and regulations
When developing a product (or a service) it’s relevant to keep all this in mind. This is the stage at which remembering about localization process is crucial. Make sure your product is localization friendly. This means designing it to be adjustable in terms of width and length, remembering about the RTL languages and making sure the layout fits the direction as well. Font selection and the choice of images are also an important part of making your product content localization friendly.
Customer behavior also varies depending on the country or region they are in. It depends on legal restrictions, cultural aspects and historical predicaments. Creating a product with full awareness of these differences helps it to be localization friendly which, in result, means your product becoming adjustable to the specific market’s needs.
Understanding your customers, their culture and behavior are as important as being aware of the traps behind the language, metric systems and text directions.
This is the first step to being successful with your product marketing efforts and therefore it requires that you are at the forefront of research, development, production and market introduction. Once you have the idea of where to introduce your product or service and what the local market’s requirements and local customers’ needs are, it’s easier for you to include the localization aspect in your product designing and development process.
Localization is essential for every product that you sell as it allows your customers to find your products easily. It will also give you the opportunity to have more in-depth conversations about your product with your customers. This is a crucial part of personalization. It’s not just about using your customers’ first names in the sales or marketing email communication. Mostly it’s about you understanding their specific needs and expectations and how your product can fulfill them. It’s also about letting your customers know you hear them.
Speaking your customers’ language will do the job. After all, the more access the customers have to product information in their own language and with respect to their culture, the easier they find the product to use. This will result in your product getting recommended as the one that is worth the money.
A great company understands that translation is a key to success and will focus their efforts on developing a strong company culture that respects the importance of translation.
If you want to enter a new market you need to speak their language. This is what true personalization is all about. And localization is the way to go.
The international marketplace is highly competitive and to become the major player in the global business game, you need to make sure your products are easily found and that they are user-friendly in any possible aspect.
So, it’s not just about your product design and development but also all product-related content and information that can and should be found on your website. That’s where website localization and marketing translation come in handy. Your technical documentation that is related to your product should be translated, no doubt about that. But remembering that people prefer searching for products in their own languages is critical.
Before you think “oh, it’s too much”, take a breath. Because you don’t have to do it all at once. And you don’t have to localize into multiple languages as well. Just make sure you prioritize and know exactly what you get from implementing localization into your business and product strategy.
Being able to provide customers with the best products within the local market is essential and will also give the company the advantage of appealing to other countries of the world. But just because you know your product is the best doesn’t mean your prospective clients will too. Especially if you don’t speak their language. And to make sure your products or services are introduced to your desired audience properly you need to make sure the localization process is done right. You need the right people for the job.
Partnering up with a professional localization company has very tangible benefits.
Understandably, in your product management role, you juggle a lot of responsibilities and handle multiple projects, not to mention managing people as well. Do you have time to sit down for a while and research global markets to learn the culture, religion, tradition and language of a region you plan to introduce your product to? Do you or your team have the time to implement the complex procedures, tools and actions behind the translation process? Do you have the money to spend on multiple corrections when something goes wrong because your staff you asked to localize the content can’t do it right, as they are not professional translators? If you do, then you are lucky. If you don’t, there’ a simple solution: trust a professional and well-established translation provider.
A language translation provider that you should be looking for will offer not only delivery and quality. The real value of their work is in how much they understand your industry, your product and also the markets you plan to enter.
Ask the questions about the CAT tools the localization company uses. Make sure they are willing to listen to your needs and work on the tools you prefer or offer you advice on whether the tool is suitable for your business. Every translation provider worth their salt uses Translation Memory. This means substantial amount of money in your pocket.
You can then focus on your goals, tasks and your team's needs as well. You can truly focus on the product management part of your job by leaving localization to the professionals.
Check if your product’s international rollout is at the core of their focus. This means your time-to-market matters to them as much as matters to you.
Inspect how deep their knowledge and understanding of the local market you are about to enter is. Is it only at the linguistic level or does it also include the full understanding of culture and other relevant aspects? Will your product, when localized, become a bestseller?
Make sure they understand your product and know the best possible way to introduce it in the local markets.
Check what others say about the translation provider you plan to choose. Are there brands that have actually benefitted from localizing their product or service with this particular language services provider?
There are more questions you need to ask to make sure you cooperate with the right translation partner.
Your international product introduction depends mostly on how well your product content is localized and how well it addresses the local audience. Don’t leave it to chance. Make sure you choose right.
Having a localization company that offers their know-how to guide you through the choices that is open to your vision and listens to you and also offers dedicated and experienced linguists and project managers is the key to your product’s international success.
When your products are easily found, and they are user-friendly because all the product-related content is in the customers’ native language, your brand's top place on the international business map gets established. Product purchase increases, customers turn into your product evangelists and the international demand for your product becomes a fact. Professional localization is not just one of the things you do. It is the one thing you must do if you want your product to become an international hit. When you create a product that is at the top of the hit lists globally, don’t you feel just a little bit proud?
Be proud all the time. Localize.