Many marketers take their time when translating their website and collateral, such as brochures, webinars, or online videos. Those marketers are confident that English is "the language of business" and that, even if the product is available internationally, English-only digital properties will be enough to convince prospects to evaluate it.

Studies beg to differ.

According to a report titled "Can't Read, Won't Buy," research firm Common Sense Advisory found that 75% of customers prefer to purchase products in their own language. So if a competitor has translated some collateral and you haven't, you're already at a disadvantage.

The advantages of a localized website are obvious, but there's something else that's routinely getting ignored: the importance of localized mobile advertising.

As companies are still trying to develop their mobile advertising strategies, customers have already adopted mobile as the primary way of accessing the Internet. A study from InMobi discovered that global customers use their phones mostly (37%) or exclusively (23%) online.

That presents an enormous opportunity for businesses that translate and tailor their mobile content for local audiences.

Benefits of Localized Mobile Advertising

Mobile user acquisition firm Appia conducted a study about the benefits of localizing mobile ads to serve different regions (specifically, Germany, Spain, and France). The company ran controlled tests of mobile ads that were both localized and in English across those three markets. The ads were distributed across Appia's network at the same time, and traffic was served evenly, based on real-time visits to a mobile app or website.

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image of Françoise  Henderson

Françoise Henderson is the co-founder and CEO of global language service provider Rubric. She has more than 20 years of experience in localization, and she serves as an adviser to nonprofit organization Translators Without Borders.

LinkedIn: Francoise Henderson

Twitter: @rubricfrancoise