11 Nov 2011

Localization Manager: Role, Experience, and Skills

As the Internet is making global markets more accessible for growing firms, the need for skilled localisation managers is becoming increasingly paramount.

With direct translations, particularly for marketing copy, not able to convey the exact thought and meaning behind the original message, leading firms have started to rely on creative translations for their localised campaigns. Often, the source text needs to be localised for different regional audiences, as they may not be familiar with the culturally sensitive content of the original.

Similarly, international businesses now accept that multilingual SEO is likely to be a cornerstone of any promotional initiative. Therefore expert linguists need to accurately translate all content, while imaginatively incorporating local keywords and trendy search terms.

However, localisation does not always involve language, as certain products often require localisation. For instance, car manufacturers who sell to the British and American markets must localised all their vehicles by either inserting left or right hand drive.

The Role

Localized brands, products, and marketing always generate better results. It is estimated that international firms can accrue up to 60% of their revenue outside of their domestic market. Therefore, is imperative to foster strong relations with potentially lucrative foreign audiences.

Localization is a complex process, and needs to be effectively controlled and organised. Localization managers will need to accomplish many tasks in order to ensure that a product is ready for a near simultaneous global launch.

For instance, localisation tasks are rarely completed internally, as all work is outsourced to regional experts. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the localisation manager to ensure that a local vendor with correct expertise is selected. It is advisable to not always select the cheapest external company, as it is important for this vendor to understand your product, market, message, and vision.

The best localisation experts always ask the right questions, while making realistic and attainable projections.
A localisation manager will also be required to oversee the visual, linguistic, and technical quality of the project, while ensuring that all tasks remain within budget.

Experience and Skills

Localization managers need to be talented individuals with a keen eye for organisation and precision. Not only are they required to lead and motivate a team, but they also need to communicate the promotional message to a series of external teams. For these reasons, excellent project management and communication skills are required for this job. Furthermore, while being multilingual may not always essential, a deep comprehension of one or more languages is often desirable.

Similarly, an in-depth understanding of local markets and purchasing habits is essential. This information can be garnered from research or experience, but the fact remains that a thorough comprehension of your target audience is required. Consequently, many employers seek candidates with strong international backgrounds.



 
 

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