A Simple Guide to Making Your Product Global


Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp was one of the most talked about events last year. Less discussed is how a US-based company literally became the go-to instant messaging app in most parts of the world including the USA.

The global reach of WhatsApp was well planned and executed. In an interview, founder Jan Koum said he built the app with a unique global approach and worked on internationalizing it right from its early days to improve discoverability as well as usability among global audience.

Perhaps your business has an earth-shattering idea good enough to make it the next big thing globally but don’t know where to start? Here is a simple guide to get things going.

1. Identify Your Target Areas

Determine how your English-only product is faring in several foreign countries. It is a good predictor of how well your product could do globally if you were to pump a few hundreds of dollars into tailoring your product for such regions. You could use Google Analytics for your product website, and consider crunching numbers with app store analytics for key metrics such as downloads/visitors by geography.

2. To Diversify or not is the question

Should you put your money down into optimizing your product line for a particular geography or spread your efforts towards diversifying your base into multiple countries?

Any strategy you employ should focus on attracting, engaging and retaining global customers. Break all of this down into a customer centric framework that has four different layers namely, customer acquisition, core product development, engaging with customers and finally support.

As a savvy marketing manager, your focus should be on discoverability of your mobile-app on play store or your product website online.

3. Translation, Localization and Transcreation

Sounds like business jargon, eh? Prepping for a global launch of your product in an overseas market involves any or all of the aforementioned processes. Translating the content of your entire product related texts and documents into a foreign language is as important as retaining all other key aspects of your product such as graphics, design and UX. If you think your business will only improve with some tweaks and modifications of UX elements, you could try localizing the content. Perhaps you have pinned all your hopes on your product for its potential. Press the pedal and go into acceleration mode with transcreation. Stop being too reliant on the original product constraints and invest in original content, UX and custom designs and move one-step closer to your global customers.

4. Pick a Professional Translation Service

A simple Google search could throw tens of hundreds of translation services, which promise cheap rates, high quality and most importantly fast turnaround. There are so many options you will have a tough time settling on one. Broadly speaking, you could choose between machine translation, professional translation agencies that provide on demand services, and large translation agencies with dedicated account management and project delivery.

5. It’s Time to Get Cracking

Work with all stakeholders (including the translation service) you think might have a direct or indirect impact on your product preparation. Before you roll out, set up an environment in which you can test the product. If possible, recruit some people living in target countries, and give them early access to your product when it is in beta phase. Once you are sure of launching it, roll it out in to the market and keep an eye on the analytics for user flow and traffic. Measure the performance of your overall product plan, and learn to correct your mistakes in the next run. Keep iterating until you achieve desired results. Please read more about “Arabic Translation Services” at Universal Translation Studio (universaltranslationstudio.com)

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