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By Simon Toaldo
As the localization division at eg+ celebrates its fifteenth birthday, Simon Toaldo considers some of the key lessons that have been learned along the way.
Start at the Beginning
“….it has proved invaluable to ensure that the localization agenda is represented from the very start (and at all stages) of the communications development process”
Back to the Future
Looking back, the first observation I’d make is that more than being a simple retrospective, I believe that even now, these six core principles are the tenets for a successful approach for clients and agencies alike when considering localization.
First and foremost, it has proved invaluable to ensure that the localization agenda is represented from the very start (and at all stages) of the communications development process. Key questions to ask from the outset are:
Ensuring that the localization agenda is included at every stage pays dividends in terms of effectiveness, efficiency and economy. Localization should not be viewed as a downstream, largely executional component of the communications system because, if it is, the benefits will be limited.
Beyond the practical and process considerations of localization, it is imperative to ensure that all stakeholders are fully aligned. Principally these might be:
These must all be as one in their understanding of the objectives, strategies and operational approaches that sit beneath the localization agenda. All for one and one for all unlocks the true potential of localization programs.
Of course, the success of the localization program will stand or fall on the quality of the work that is put in front of local consumers. While much of the process and production can (and should) be centralized (or regionalized), there are some components that should stay local to ensure quality and authenticity.
We also passionately believe that to deliver really effective localization you need to ensure that:
By the way, having the right pool of in-market talent, something we pride ourselves on at eg+, to compliment central/regional resources of scale and sophistication is, in our view, the recipe for success.
As localization services become more widely used by client organizations, let’s not forget that it remains very much a specialist service. On the face of it, the components of localization seem pretty straight forward, as the old adage says “it’s easy when you know what you’re doing” really does apply. But there are a myriad of complexities and nuances to be found, for example
While the benefits of a program of localization can be significant (in terms of consistency, compliance, control and cost) we’ve learned that, of course, there will be challenges to the system and these should be embraced rather than ignored. The priority is to have:
Over the years in which we have been providing localization solutions, much has changed, be it digitization, channel fragmentation, the breadth of asset types, the growth of eCommerce or the opportunities afforded by technological innovation.
This change represents an opportunity not a concern. By bringing more assets into the localization system and embracing new approaches, the benefits are amplified – assets are utilized more widely, cross-channel language and production services efficiencies are achieved, brand consistency is enhanced, and economies are multiplied.
About the author
Simon Toaldo is President International at eg+ worldwide. You can contact Simon at Simon.Toaldo@egplusww.com