In the contemporary global business landscape, B2B localisation plays a crucial role in ensuring success and growth for scaling companies.
As businesses expand their operations across borders, they encounter diverse cultures, languages, and business practices. As a result, the content in the home market language is not specific to those new target markets and may no longer be relevant.
B2B localisation involves adapting communications, products, services and marketing strategies in line with the norms and nuances of these new target markets. This, in turn, enables businesses to effectively connect and build trust with local partners, suppliers and customers.
Most importantly, B2B localisation promotes cultural sensitivity, which has a knock-on effect on brand relevance, positioning businesses as trusted and credible partners in global markets, ultimately contributing to sustainable growth and gaining a competitive advantage.
In this article, we examine the role of localisation in B2B success, break down the key considerations for B2B localisation strategies, and discuss how to overcome challenges that may arise.
Understanding B2B localisation
To gain a clear understanding of the function of B2B localisation, it’s important to be able to define it with clarity, fully grasp the scope of areas it encompasses, and truly comprehend the role it plays in business success.
B2B localisation entails the modification of specific strategies to cater to the unique needs of varying target markets in different regions or countries. It involves taking a comprehensive approach that covers various elements, such as:
- Translation – this ensures accurate conversion from one language to another in content, including on websites, product information and both internal and external documentation
- Transcreation – this focuses on adapting marketing messages, visuals and design elements to resonate with the local culture
- Technical localisation – this addresses the compatibility of software, platforms and systems with regional requirements
- Legal and regulatory localisation – this is crucial as compliance in these areas is required for contracts, licenses and other legal documentation
The role of localisation in B2B success
Localisation is of paramount importance in B2B operations as it enables businesses to effectively navigate global markets. The adaptability of any company’s products and services, along with their communications, is key to success as this is inevitably what will drive a positive experience and engagement for customers, stakeholders, suppliers and even employees. When carried out effectively, localisation facilitates market expansion by breaking down language and cultural barriers, allowing businesses to tap into new regions.
Diligent localisation ensures that content and marketing messages resonate with these new target audiences, creating a deeper connection and brand trust. This personalised approach strengthens customer loyalty and drives higher engagement levels, which in turn increases market penetration.
Key considerations for B2B localisation strategies
There are five core elements to consider when gearing up to implement a B2B localisation strategy.
Market research and analysis
Thorough market research and analysis are critical when developing a B2B localisation strategy to give businesses a deeper understanding of their intended target markets, any associated cultural nuances, and language preferences. Your buyer personas in the target market may not have the same beliefs, values, and buying habits that your home market buyers do. As a result, you need a keen understanding of the buyer landscape in your target market.
Next, research into the competitor landscape is also a vital initial step to take when in the planning phase. Try to answer a question like what content do my competitors localise and in what languages?
The knowledge gained through this advanced preparation will enable companies to identify cultural sensitivities and preferences, as well as to determine the appropriate tone, messaging and visuals that resonate with the local audience. It will also guide the selection of suitable language variants and dialects – a vital aspect of localisation.
Adapting content for local audiences
Creating strategies for adapting B2B content to resonate with local audiences is crucial. In fact, to 52% of internet users, it is essential.
Translating and localising marketing materials, website content and product documentation will allow for clear communication and understanding on the part of the customer. Customising messaging to align with cultural norms and preferences establishes credibility and enhances the overall customer experience, ultimately leading to successful market integration.
Local partner collaborations
Collaborating with local partners, such as linguists, is crucial for successful B2B localisation. These individuals will offer invaluable local expertise and networking opportunities, simplifying market entry and expansion. Strategic partnerships further enhance local presence and credibility, unlocking opportunities for growth.
Technology and automation
Utilising technological tools and automation is essential to streamlining the B2B localisation processes. Translation Management Systems (TMS) and Content Management Systems (CMS) enable the efficient handling of multilingual content, leveraging artificial intelligence to improve workflows, accuracy and speed. These advancements save time and reduce costs, ultimately boosting overall business productivity.
Quality assurance and testing
Linguistic quality assurance is vital in B2B localisation to ensure the accuracy, consistency, and cultural appropriateness of any outputs. Rigorous localisation and functional testing further validate the effectiveness of localised products and services, identifying any issues or discrepancies ahead of time.
Overcoming challenges in B2B localisation
As with any worthwhile endeavour, there will inevitably be some obstacles along the way. In terms of B2B localisation, there are two main areas where such challenges can crop up.
- 1. Understanding cultural and linguistic nuances
Navigating cultural sensitivities requires thorough research and an understanding of local customs, beliefs, and even taboos. Strategies for successful integration in this context include adapting visuals, colours, symbols and messaging to align with cultural preferences while avoiding offensive or inappropriate content.
Accurate and culturally resonant translations demand skilled linguists with expertise in the target language. Working with native speakers and cultural consultants ensures precise translations and a nuanced understanding of all messaging. Such experts will provide insights into idiomatic expressions, local jargon and cultural references, helping scaling businesses overcome challenges and ensure cultural authenticity.
- 2. Scalability and cost efficiency
Managing scalability and cost efficiency in B2B localisation requires a balanced approach.
For example, B2B can prioritise high-impact areas such as marketing content and customer-facing materials while finding cost-effective solutions for less critical components.
Leveraging technology, like Translation Management Systems (TMS) and Machine Translation Plus Post-Editing (MTPE), can streamline processes and reduce costs without compromising quality. With many translators charging only 50-70% of their regular rate for post-editing services, this strategic combination of technology and post-editing optimises cost efficiency while maintaining a high level of accuracy and cultural adaptation.
Hire the best localisation employees in the business with International Achievers Group
B2B localisation is crucial for global business expansion, as it enables companies to adapt to diverse markets and connect with local audiences. Implementing comprehensive B2B localisation strategies ensures effective communication while building trust and enhancing the customer experience, leading to sustained business success in the global marketplace.
The first step to building your B2B localisation strategy is finding the best localisation team to assist you every step of the way. At International Achievers Group, our localisation recruitment services will help you to achieve just this.
As specialists in delivering excellent localisation recruitment solutions, our refined recruitment system enables us to identify and match the most skilled localisation talent to meet the evolving needs of growing companies. We recruit and place roles such as
- Localisation Project Managers
- Localisation Engineers
- Localisation Directors
- Lead Linguists
- Localisation Testing Leads
We pride ourselves in pairing scaling businesses with the ideal candidates to ensure their localisation practices align with industry standards.