What marketing localisation metrics should you use?

Calculating the success or failure of a marketing localisation campaign can be a complex undertaking, but to find out what works and what doesn’t, as well as what return on investment you’re achieving, deploying the right metrics is essential. 

The best way to measure success in marketing localisation has been the subject of heated debate for years. What is without doubt, though, is that standardised criteria are needed when it comes to allocating budgets and tracking progress. 

For localisation to be as successful as possible, and generate the all-important return on investment, key performance indicators (KPI) are crucial. They enable you to quantify the quality of content that’s been localised and rate efficiency. 

These metrics help clients avoid wasting valuable resources – time and money – on localisation efforts that fall flat, but it helps channel resources to where they’ll have the greatest impact. Whether you are formulating global marketing communication strategies or a China marketing strategy, having the right metrics in place is vital.

Read on for Into23’s expert tips on how to measure localisation and ensure your marketing campaigns are on point.

For localisation, key performance indicators (KPI) are crucial for return on investment

What is localisation?

Localisation is adapting content to look and feel right in another culture. The resulting content should align with local sensibilities and be sensitive to cultural idiosyncrasies. Localising content is important as Nimdzi data shows that 9 out of 10 global users will ignore a product or service if its not in their native language.

Getting marketing localisation right can reap huge rewards. For example, it provides access to and engagement with whole new markets of consumers.

Why measure localisation?

Researching and implementing meaningful key performance indicators provides a benchmark and enables businesses to forecast expenditures and returns for future projects. Another key reason is that measuring localisation outcomes enables companies to spot areas that aren’t producing the required results. Once these weak aspects have been identified, they can be improved for better results.  

Localisation KPIs can also be deployed to measure the effectiveness and skill of a localisation services vendor. Key questions to think about here are: What’s the error rate? Is localised content delivered on time? Does the vendor stick to the budget?


Return on investment

This measure is used to assess the profitability or efficiency of investment. For example, ROI would measure the success of a marketing campaign. If the campaign’s budget were US$1 million and the sales topped US$1.5 million, the ‘profit’ on the original investment would be US$500,000. This is an overarching metric that looks at the impact on business development. It’s also useful for comparing in-house and out-source localisation services. If outsourcing provides a better ROI, and usually does, then that’s the way to go.

HSBC spent around US$10 million in a rebranding exercise as a result of a localisation blunder

In one widely reported case, HSBC spent around US$10 million in a rebranding exercise due to a localisation blunder. When localising one of its campaigns, the slogan ‘assume nothing’, was mistranslated into ‘do nothing’, which can be considered a call to inaction. 

Share of voice

When operating in a market against competitors, it’s vital that consumers hear a business’ voice, and that it’s differentiated. Share of voice (SOV) measures brand visibility and enables businesses to benchmark themselves against their peers. The metrics can be mentioned on social media, coverage in media, and the frequency of search terms. 

If the goal of a localised marketing campaign is to raise awareness, and following the campaign, SOV has increased, then all things being equal, it’ll have succeeded. One caveat is that the causal link between the campaign might not be the only reason SOV increases. Therefore, using a range of KPIs gives a more contextual and accurate picture. 

Market share

Whereas SOV measures the presence of a brand in the public sphere, market share measures the portion of a market that a company commands. The formula is a particular company’s share of the market’s total revenue. If market share increases simultaneously as a localisation campaign is rolled out, then the presumption can be reasonably made that the campaign boosted it.

Client/customer engagement

There’s a range of KPIs that measure client engagement. The most useful ones are:

Localisation measurement: process

1: You’ll need to settle on the KPIs that matter to you. This can be determined by examining your goals for measuring localisation. KPIs typically focus on time, cost, and results.

2: Determine how you’ll gather the data, using what technology, and across what time frame. These parameters must be consistent across campaigns to compare results meaningfully. High-quality data is the basis of high-quality insights, so it’s worth spending time on this step. Inconsistent data, missing information and erratic data collection will result in sub-par insights. 

3: Insights are only useful if they are used to inform actions. Therefore, the next stage is planning how the resulting insights will be applied to future campaigns. This step usually encompasses the involvement of key stakeholders.

4: After formulating a comprehensive roadmap, it’s time for implementation. Start gathering and recording data to produce reports that give clear insights as to the success of a campaign.

5: Periodically reviewing the measurements and their criteria helps ensure they continue to be fit for purpose. If your business goals change, then check if your KPIs cover that.

Producing reports can give clear insights into the success of a campaign

As well as marketing campaigns, these tips and advice apply to application localisation, localisation testing, game localization services, multimedia localisation services, website localization services, and, indeed, any other language localisation service.

Lastly, a word of caution. Though there is a surfeit of KPIs to pick, it pays to be selective. The collection and processing of data can be time-consuming if you’re using myriad metrics. The most efficient approach is to hone in on the KPIs that closely align with your goals.  

To explore your localisation options, get in touch with Into23’s team of highly experienced and creative team of localisation specialists.

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