The global platform economy is one of the major powerhouses for digital innovation and transformation. Needless to say that most people go at least once a day to a platform where they can share, buy, or learn. E-commerce, travel, business intelligence, or online education leaders rely heavily on platforms today. Simply put, the platform economy covers all digital properties where suppliers and customers meet and engage with each other. As such it has to be driven commercially as much as socially and operationally. Platforms cannot go global and make a local imprint without implementing best globalization best practices that all other truly global businesses have adopted around the world. Localization is at the center of international content strategies so here are a few reasons why it should be part of your considerations and actions in this area.
- Global platforms are more than conventional websites or portals. Typically platforms include a number of features and aggregate significant amounts of content. This means that localization efforts must cover various types of content that may be more or less complex, ranging from functional components and data labels to text and images. Therefore localization resources have to be properly allocated to meet all content management and supply chain needs which involves engineers, language analysts, linguists, terminologists, testers, and project managers of course. In addition, flawless cooperation with stakeholders is crucial. Global design and development teams must ensure that they are going to make the localization phase as cost and time effective as possible by making platform features and content as agile as possible for linguistic, cultural, and functional adaptation. Also, local content owners may have to be empowered to review and sign off on localized content in order to create naturally immersive and intuitive experiences for customers.
- Most global platforms are now developed and maintained according to Agile standards. As such they must be localized quickly and carefully, while focusing on updates or fix points that are required for selected markets and authorized users. Localization processes have to manage the most appropriate combination of speed and effectiveness and keep the balance right. Localization teams must ensure that content supply chains are synchronized with platform life cycles in order to deliver the expected customer experiences at scale. Specifically, they should partner with product and marketing leaders to incorporate all localization steps and tasks in global roadmaps and local plans of records. Other functions and disciplines within the business are involved too. It is the safest way to localize platforms and match the aspirations of customers and audiences on time, especially when sources of content and work streams are internal and external. Flexible localization management and delivery matters in terms of quality, scope, and cost.
- Data-driven localization is a must-have for global platforms. As data enables stakeholders to define and agree on maintenance and evolution priorities based on real-life and real-time usage it has to put and keep localization processes on the right tracking mode. If so localization effectiveness generates a circular flow of data as it is driven by what customers actually do and like as much as it helps the whole business grow with a laser focus on features and content that make a difference in a geographically diverse environment. Data-driven localization provides a tangible return on investment as a profit driver while shaping sustainable customer satisfaction as an experience driver.
- Global platforms highlight the importance of intelligent automation in localization effectiveness. Due to their nature, these digital properties have been a great playground for AI-driven processes for some time. Automation plays a critical role in many transactional and assistance features in general. It is also a major workflow accelerator to localize fairly standardized or user-generated content in various ways. Machine translation, in particular, is no longer an option to deal with high volumes of content that global platforms get and deliver in many languages and across markets. On the one hand, it speeds up the multilingual and multicultural strategy propelling client-facing content. On the other hand, it allows you to handle questions, comments, and requests coming from international customers faster than ever before. In all cases, machine translation optimizes the go-to-market and go-to-customer plans by combining automated processing and human editing to the best possible extent.