Think of Internationalization as a set of steps to expand your business globally. It will ensure that your product, service or brand can be successfully adapted to multiple languages, regions and cultures. It incorporates such areas as market research, localization and marketing to successfully address all the challenges that are part of this process.
It’s common to think that launching your brand or service in a foreign market is easy. However if you want to do it right, you need to keep in mind that this process has many steps. These steps might not be within your operational capabilities which can affect you in the long run.
The Internationalization Process
Any good internationalization effort will contain these 3 steps. They will ensure that your business penetrates the market efficiently, and that you approach the correct customers in that market.
- Market Research – The first logical step is to understand where you are going. So a general market research will shine a light on potential markets, and will also gather key data such as ideal marketing channels among others. You can use this information to approach your target customers/demographic effectively, and maybe even bring to light markets you didn’t know existed.
- Localization – Once you have identified your target market, you can start translating and localizing your content. In an ideal scenario, the localization process is designed in such a way, that your target clients won’t know that the content was translated, since the language and cultural aspects have been taken into account. This way, in the end, as far as your clients are concerned, you are a local business.
- Marketing – Once all your content has been localized, you can start activating your marketing channels. Whether the marketing channels you use are digital or traditional, your campaigns will benefit from the market research and localization steps, which will, without a doubt, make your campaigns have a higher impact on the audience you are targeting.
As you can see, the process has a very “common sense” approach, and it’s easy to understand, repeat and scale. Whether your business is a start-up, agency or a big corporation, the process will always be the same.
Once all these steps have been faithfully followed, you will possess a well-focused website, app or brand. This will make your business feel more natural and confident to your audience, and will ultimately render better long term results.
It’s hard enough to enter a new market, so if you want to give your business a better chance to succeed in foreign markets, go ahead and follow these steps and let us know how it went in the comments. We would be glad to hear from you.