Where should I concentrate my localization efforts?

According to recent statistics from HM Revenue and Customs there has been a significant shift in the UK in the regions we export to.

The following are all the countries with an increased export activity from the NW of England from 2011 to 2012:
  • UAE up 17.5% to £0.363 bn
  • Saudi Arabia up 25.7% to £0.274 bn
  • China up 9.8% to £1.57 bn
  • Japan up 6.3% to £0.793 bn
  • South Korea up 8.8% to £0.271 bn
  • India up 1.1% up to £0.361 bn
  • Netherlands up 10% £1.310 bn
With that said over the last 3 years 2010-2012 exports from the whole of the UK have pretty much flat-lined but what is interesting is to see the shift to where we are now exporting.

This information coupled together with “World Internet Users and Population Stats” proposes a significant change of focus required for exporters if they want to remain competitive.

If we take Asia as our leading example here; Asia contributes to 44.8% of the worlds internet users but has a mere 27.5% of regional penetration.  Along side Europe Asia is the only other continent where most of the countries within it use their native language as their official language, which is why this shift in export trends and internet usage has a huge bearing on our industry.  Previously it has been stated that with just 13 languages you could reach 90% of the internet world but with these changes this figure will rise to above 50 different languages in a very short space of time, so choosing the right ones for your market is now, more than ever, extremely important.

So in answer to the question, “where should I concentrate my localization efforts?”  The only way to establish this is to have a thorough consultation with your LSP, talk to them about your own export ideas, your product and its target audience.  Talk to them about their expertise in these regions, market verticals and what other services they can offer, Transcreation, Multi-lingual SEO and website testing to name but a few.  Only once this consultation has taken place should a go to market strategy be drawn up and then the marketing material localized accordingly.

My personal advise to any company out there who has the intention of exporting their products or services; is to engage with your LSP right from the start.

This could save you a significant amount of time, stress and money.