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3 min read

Translation & the Localization Maturity Model for Global Businesses

Where does your company fall on the Localization Maturity Model (LMM) continuum?

The LMM is a scale of the stages that companies progress through as they refine their process for providing translated, localized materials for their international customers. The LMM was developed by CommonSense Advisory, a research and consulting company in the language services industry, who provide insight into pricing, technology, quality strategies, industry trends and more. The stages of the LMM range from 0, companies who don’t do anything to manage global growth, to 5, companies who embrace the value of languages and cultures within their company culture.

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Setting a Vision to Move Up the LMM Scale

We get a lot of calls from people who want to translate their website and increase their multilingual lead generation, yet they have no idea where to start. We work with these customers to give them guidance of how to progress along the scale and set a vision for where they ultimately want their company to fall.

Why Translation Matters – Isn’t English Good Enough?

The short answer is “no!” English is not good enough alone. Let’s look at some statistics to find out why translating your website is so important for your global marketing strategy.

covert 3 xs more visitorsFirst, websites that are translated convert three times more visitors into customers. This is true even for bilingual English visitors.

A Gallup survey showed:

  • 90% of the internet users always visit websites in their native language
  • 72.1% spend most of their time on sites in their native language
  • 72% are more apt to buy products presented in their native language
  • 56.2% will PAY MORE for products presented in their native language
  • 42% NEVER purchase from websites not in their native language

It’s clear from these numbers that internet shoppers are looking for information that is in their primary language so that they can fully understand the features and benefits of the items they are researching.

Read more about translating your website to attract leads.

English is NOT the Global Language

There are approximately 1.2 billion English speakers in the world, both native and as a secondary language. Yet the number of native speakers is a fraction of that number at around 378 million.

Now consider that there are 3.1 billion internet users who don’t speak English at all!

On the internet, 75% of the world’s internet users don’t speak any English, and another 16% do speak English but it is not their native language. This means that if your website is only in English you are missing out on delighting 91% of potential visitors because they either can’t understand your website or prefer to go elsewhere because your content is not in their preferred language.

What a missed opportunity!

Translating your website into a few key languages can increase your sales exponentially. 

internet users languagesMoving Up the LMM Scale

Now that you know a little more about why you should translate, let’s dive deeper into the CSA Localization Maturity Model (also called the Globalization Maturity Model).

LMMThey’ve broken it down into 6 stages, numbered from 0 – 5.

  • 0 "Premature or Failed" – Companies at this stage do not recognize the need for translation or for a formal process for managing global growth. They truly believe English is enough.
  • 1 "Reactive" – Companies in this stage are starting to see a need for translation to attract and retain customers but are new to providing translated materials. They respond to demands as they arise. They do not have a formal process for obtaining translation services. Typically, in these companies each person seeks and manages translation individually rather than having a central process.
  • 2 "Repeatable" – Companies in this stage have some translated materials and have created a basic process for managing translation projects. They are starting to track costs and may have someone who is the go-to person for translation services.
  • 3 "Managed" – Companies in this stage have a more in-depth multilingual communications process. Their focus is to optimize and automate the process. These companies typically have a dedicated team that oversees all translation and tracks metrics. They are more sophisticated in their use of language services and technologies to increase ROI.
  • 4 "Optimized" – Companies in this stage partner with an external LSP and use technology to decrease turnaround time and costs. Their approach is more scientific, and they follow a plan to define and continually improve the translation process. Metrics are tracked and integrated with company goals to help measure success and identify areas for improvement.
  • 5 "Transparent" – Companies in this stage make translation and localization an integral part of the organization’s strategy and process. Focus is on management of the process and review for ways to improve efficiencies and outcomes. These companies have an organization-wide process that is known and available to all departments and is an integral part of the company’s annual strategies and goals.

Climbing the LMM scale takes a lot of work and dedication. It’s not typically a linear path, just like any other process of improvement, there are bumps and detours along the way. But reaching the top of the scale means your company has fully embraced a global mindset and provides materials and support to customers in every market they service.

LMM journeyIf your company wants to streamline their translation process and develop a Translation Management Plan, we are happy to consult with you about your needs. We work with companies at every stage of the LMM and provide guidance for progressing toward becoming a truly global company.

Contact us for a free consultation today.

Rapport International specializes in multilingual communications, providing language translation and interpretation services that are accurate and culturally appropriate.  We use the right voice, correct terminology to avoid liability, customize services to your needs, and deliver on time and within your budget. And with our 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can trust that it’s done right.  Contact us today if you would like more information or to get a free quote.

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Rapport International specializes in multilingual communications, providing language translation and interpretation services that are accurate and culturally appropriate. We use the right voice and the correct terminology to avoid liability, customize services to your needs, and deliver on time and within your budget. With our 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can trust that it’s done right. Contact us today if you would like more information or to get a free quote.

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