Marketers are well aware that in a globalizing world, a multilingual digital presence can significantly increase revenues. However, one of the challenges they face is to determine the true impact of language services, website localization, etc., to understand their true value and get stakeholder budget approval if necessary.
It is true that you cannot do international business without translating your most important marketing resources, but in many cases localization simply cannot be attributed to your ROI. This is what you need for global operations and expansion. However, some basic criteria must be measured to assess the effectiveness of the funds spent on language services.
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What metrics measure the impact of translations?
How much revenue does localization bring?
Following this metric, you can see your local investment as a percentage of the profit earned by your supported languages. Placement alone does not account for all these returns because it involves other means. Looking at it from another perspective, you can calculate your ROI based on localization in the same way you would try to figure out what percentage is entirely from a network or team account. But when you think of language services (especially localization) as a revenue catalyst rather than a revenue driver, their value is hard to measure but undeniable.
How much does language support localization cost as a percentage of language support revenue?
This number should decrease over time as your localization plan evolves. However, there is no formula for determining the "correct" investment or percentage. This will change over time and depending on what you translate and what you do locally, your marketing strategy, the amount of content you include, etc.
How does location affect customer acquisition costs?
Your translation costs can be easily calculated as a percentage of customer acquisition costs for each supported language market. Since product localization often accounts for a large portion of your localization budget, you may want to split the amount spent on product localization between sales and marketing.
What is the localization cost as a percentage of the Research and Development budget?
Many software companies see localization as part of their overall budget. It's nice and simple. However, if the translation supports features other than the product, it is not completely pure scale unless you can link it directly to the product based on other features.
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The real ROI of translation is its impact on end users, loyalty and engagement. We should all be obsessed with customer experience and understand how localization affects customer experience metrics. That way we can sit around the proverbial table and speak the language of other business stakeholders.