What is Deep Localization?
Most companies I work with initially view localization in a limited perspective covering language only. After more than 15 years of taking foreign digital content into Asian markets, I can share some of my learning which will expand your view of localization and link it to the Matrix Packaging of digital content.
The ultimate aim for localization must be a top line presentation of the content in a way that feels like a local creation. Language is part of that. However, deep localization must also include the following elements:
Art: – does the look and feel local or foreign?
Commerce: – It is very important to add local payment channels, don’t assume they are the same in each market, as they can be very different. The easier it is to make a payment the better the acceptance will be and the monetization process will perform better.
Customer Service: – if you are asking someone to part with money, there is a good chance local customer service will be required. This is where working with a local channel partner through licensing can help. That service should offer local language and where possible multiple ways to connect including mobile, email, social networks, web.
Social Interaction: - how are they going to link and communicate with their friends? This also works hand in hand with the database system and again payment commerce platforms. The social network can include open forums and customer service.
Matrix Packaging: - I will define Matrix Packaging below in more detail. Essentially, this is recognizing that true fans will seek, engage and consume content in wide and varied ways. If they are core fans that will expand their consumption in a variety of ways and control of, this is critical for the monetization of your content.
Legal and cultural: - There will be requirements specific to that market that will require research and planning prior to launch.
Go-to-Market: - If you are going international you have three real options.
1- Run multiple versions which will be expensive and will require resources to develop and maintain. An ROI is needed to really judge the net value in trying to tackle “foreign markets”. There is a saying that you “cannot get half pregnant.” An alternative analogy is simply “do it right or not at all”. The damage and cost of poor foreign publishing can be quite destructive not only to the product but also the brand reputation.
2- My advice is that if you cannot allocate the correct resources then don’t expand globally, focus first on your core market and organically grow.
3- License to a local partner for publishing. They will need support and resources allocated to their localization and on-going promotional efforts. The larger online markets in Asia require a significant amount of customer service, conducted in a timely and focused manner.
What is Matrix Packaging?
MP is a term which reflects the multiple ways interested consumers can access information about a particular subject or content, specifically how you package that combination. This may include publishing on web or mobile then supported through social networks, forums and so on. Within the traditional media sector, this can be quite expansive as fans in particular areas like sport or movies can get additional information from a vast number of sources.
MP focuses on guiding the consumer through multiple sources -- making it easy to gain access to more information and more monetization opportunities, maintaining ownership of that consumer relationship. This is where the cross-over with localization becomes linked into this planning process.
As part of making this content look and feel local, there is a significant opportunity emerging which will allow us to really know the customer down to detailed micro levels. As Big Data and analytics continue to evolve, the ability to localize and target should become more defined right down to personal localization and individualized targeting.
MP is better controlled when you own the varied resources and can channel the movement between them. There is an art alone in designing user interface and how to enable them to flow onto other connected resources and then monetize those at different points.