Localization strategy Software localization

Unlocking global software success: ten helpful insights from localization leaders at Zendesk and Appsflyer

Explore the strategic importance of software localization with expert insights from Ketty Tirrito of Zendesk and Debora Cohen of AppsFlyer, including how comprehensive localization goes beyond translation, impacting everything from market entry to customer loyalty and ROI.
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Launching and scaling digital products to meet global requirements is a huge challenge, but if you can find the right approach, the opportunity is enormous. We recently welcomed Ketty Tirrito – Localization Manager at Zendesk, and Debora Cohen – Head of Localization at AppsFlyer, to share their expert opinions and answer your questions as part of our latest expert panel webinar: “Software Localization for Global Products”.

In this post, I’ve gathered some of the most interesting quotes from the session, for a deep dive into the nuances of localization strategy, and a closer look at how the right localization people, processes and strategy can be the key to winning in international markets.

If you’d like a deeper insight, make sure you check out the full webinar recording, as well as our key case studies.

Debora Cohen, Head of Localization at AppsFlyer, is pictured with a quote about increasing ROI and building trust and loyalty with clients through effective localization strategies. Debora appears smiling, wearing a denim shirt, in a professional portrait.
1. Beyond translation: the strategic power of localization expansion

Our panel kicked the discussion off with a point that will be familiar to many localization managers, but may not be as widely understood across the entire business: Localization involves a lot more than just translating content.  

As our speakers pointed out, the real value of localization is in adapting your product to meet the cultural nuances of each market. This strategic approach not only enhances brand visibility but can also lead to increased sales by making your product more accessible and appealing to international customers. Companies looking to scale globally will find that thoughtful localization is key to unlocking new markets and diversifying their customer base.

 

Localizing a product is about expanding the company’s reach, increasing brand awareness, and should translate into higher sales.”

Ketty Tirrito – Localization Manager at Zendesk

2. The new frontier: why is localization essential for penetrating new markets?

Debora Cohen, Head of Localization at AppsFlyer, also emphasized taking a broader outlook. As Deborah explained, truly effective localization goes beyond language accuracy to include cultural adaptability, which can significantly enhance a brand’s competitive edge. 

 

It’s crucial if we want to penetrate new markets. The moment that you show that you’re localizing, that’s a big win-win for the company.”

– Debora Cohen – Head of Localization at AppsFlyer

A commitment to cultural relevance helps foster trust and loyalty among local consumers, making it a critical strategy for companies aiming to establish a foothold in new geographical areas.

3. Conquering challenges: Expert tips for seamless localization

Debora also discussed the dynamic challenges of localization, especially the importance of choosing the right technological tools. 

A robust Translation Management System (TMS) can alleviate many of the logistical headaches associated with managing multiple language versions of a product. Companies should prioritize technology that integrates seamlessly into their existing workflows to enhance efficiency and maintain high-quality outputs.

 

Every year it’s like it’s a different challenge. If you don’t have the right TMS, that can cause you a lot of headaches.”

– Debora Cohen – Head of Localization at AppsFlyer

4. From translation to transformation: localization’s ROI impact

In the past, localization has often been something of an afterthought in many businesses, but as companies grow, there’s a realization that correctly addressing your audience can have an outsize effect on the bottom line. 

 

 

You’re going to increase your ROI, the retention rate is going to be better, and people [will] respect you more as you build trust and loyalty with your clients.”

– Debora Cohen – Head of Localization at AppsFlyer

Debora articulated the direct benefits of localization on return on investment and customer retention, pointing out that localized products, which respect and reflect local cultures and languages, naturally foster a deeper connection with users, leading to increased trust and loyalty. This strategic approach not only enhances customer satisfaction but also contributes to the financial performance of the product in diverse markets.

Done well, localization also significantly enhances the user experience by showing respect for the user’s language and cultural context, but this is still often underestimated as a driver of growth, loyalty and profit. 

Improving UX not only improves user satisfaction but also builds brand loyalty, as customers are more likely to engage with and recommend products that feel tailored to their cultural context.

5. Cultural relevance counts: localization’s strategic position in global marketing

Taking a broader business view, Ketty emphasized the importance of r a sustainable and scalable approach.

Localization should not be thought of as a one-off project, or updated sporadically, but rather managed as a continuous, integral part of business strategy. 

Ketty Tirrito, Localization Manager at Zendesk, is featured in a professional portrait with a quote on the strategic power of localization for long-term business growth. Ketty is smiling, with urban buildings in the background, emphasizing the importance of durable and sustainable localization processes.

 

Localizing increases sales and visibility. Structuring the process, it’s important to make it durable and sustainable in the long run.”

Ketty Tirrito – Localization Manager at Zendesk

By implementing a systematic approach to localization, companies can ensure that their efforts are not only effective in the short term but also sustainable and scalable, supporting long-term global marketing strategies and business growth.

6. How critical is integration?

 

The productivity has improved more than 50%. You save money [and] it really helps the way you work.”

 Debora Cohen – Head of Localization at AppsFlyer

Choosing technologies that integrate with your existing tech and marketing stack can be transformative for teams, both in localization and translation centers, and across the wider business. 

Highlighting the significant improvements in productivity and cost-efficiency, Debora was quick to point out the long-lasting effects the right tech can have, reducing errors, and optimizing the localization workflow, ultimately saving time and money.

7. Why is early localization integration vital in product development?

Ketty stressed the urgency and importance of integrating localization early in the product development cycle. 

 

It’s very common in the localization industry to use the phrase “so what’s the deadline? … yesterday!”,  because time-to-market and delivery of translation have to happen quickly.  

Ketty Tirrito – Localization Manager at Zendesk

Ketty went on to explain that delaying localization can lead to rushed translations and potential market delays, emphasizing that proactive localization planning ensures quality and timely market entry.

8. What are the best practices for managing localization quality?


It’s hard to define a single set of best practices for localization, because the range of needs is so disparate across different industries, but Debora and Ketty both took time to share key pieces of the puzzle that have worked for them:

 

Quality of translation is a big topic here. Making sure that the quality is up to your standard and the quality is accurate enough for your product and for your sales.”

 Debora Cohen – Head of Localization at AppsFlyer

Debora touched on the critical aspect of maintaining high translation quality across different markets. She advised establishing clear standards and regularly reviewing localization efforts to ensure they meet the company’s and the market’s expectations, maintaining a high-quality product that resonates with users globally.

9. How can companies foster a localization-friendly corporate culture?

Finally, our speakers turned to the ongoing task that many managers face – educating and enhancing the role of localization across the entire business. 

Debora was able to share some of the tactics Appsflyer have used effectively, particularly taking an inclusive and transparent approach. She suggested that by involving all departments in the localization process and educating them about its benefits, companies can ensure a more integrated and effective approach to global market engagement.

 

Everyone should be involved here; this is a very important joint effort. There has to be taking into consideration.”

Debora Cohen – Head of Localization at AppsFlyer

10. How to implement effective localization strategies

Effective localization requires more than just linguistic translation; it involves a comprehensive strategy that considers cultural differences, technical challenges, and ongoing management of content across multiple markets.

Throughout the webinar, our experts provided valuable insights into the pivotal role of software localization in achieving global business success. We discussed the importance of extending company reach, the strategic necessity of early localization integration, and the impact of technology on localization processes. 

To implement a successful localization strategy, businesses should consider technology solutions that automate and streamline the process. It’s crucial to maintain rigorous quality control, and keep engaging with local markets to understand and adapt to evolving preferences. Adopting these practices will enhance your product and improve customer satisfaction and retention in diverse markets.

Overall, one thing became abundantly clear: localization is not merely a translation task; it’s a comprehensive business strategy that involves meticulous planning, quality management, and technological integration to ensure products resonate with international audiences. This approach can significantly boost your ROI, enhance brand loyalty, and give you a competitive edge.

How effectively are your current localization practices integrated into your broader business strategies? Are there areas where your approach could be more comprehensive or culturally attuned? Hopefully these insights can help you refine your efforts, whether you are optimizing, or building a localization strategy from the ground up. 

Make sure you check out the entire webinar for more insight. 



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