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Navigating the challenges of content localization in 2023-2024: Industry insights and practical solutions

What you'll learn in this summary of our localization report: 

  • Why translating and localizing content is a sound investment 
  • How localization increases important metrics like customer engagement 
  • How DeepL’s AI translation can help streamline your company’s localization process 


Localization—not to be confused with translation—is the practice of adapting products or content to local languages and cultures. Essential for businesses looking to expand their global reach, content localization allows companies to reach consumers where they’re most comfortable: in their native language.  

Recently, DeepL partnered with Regina Corso Consulting to survey marketers in France, Germany, Japan, and the United States who are responsible for translation and localization at their companies. Using the results of this survey, we created the report, The state of translation and localization in 2023-2024: insights, challenges, and opportunities.  

In this blog post, we’ll summarize some of the survey’s key findings and explore why localization is one of the most important investments for global companies. Then, to learn why DeepL’s AI translation tool is the ideal helper to speed up localization processes, you can access our full report

The survey: objectives and scope 

illustration showing a content localization strategy with a page and bar graphs

 

The study—targeted at director-level marketers in companies with over 100 employees—had three main objectives:  

  1. To learn more about how these marketers approach translation and localization at their companies 
  2. Find out if they use machine translation and AI-writing tools in their workflows 
  3. Understand the challenges they most commonly encounter 

Below, you’ll find a selection of the main insights that we uncovered. 

The ROI of localization 

For businesses to succeed in international markets and drive growth, they need to create multilingual content—which is why localization plays such an important role in global expansion.  

For this report, we wanted to find out, more specifically, how localized content impacts return on investment (ROI). Here’s what we discovered: 

Key insight: An overwhelming 96% of respondents reported a positive ROI from localization efforts, and notably, 65% reported an ROI of 3x or greater. 

Why it matters: For companies that aren’t sure if they should allocate resources to localization, these figures offer compelling evidence to do so. 

The rise of AI in content creation 

Illustration showing how AI content creation helps businesses connect with the right target market

 

AI’s role in content generation has been expanding over the past months. An interesting trend that’s reshaping the localization process, we wanted to know how prevalent the use of AI tools is with today’s marketers.  

Key insight: AI-assisted writing tools are used by 77% of respondents, and machine translation by an astonishing 98%. 

Why it matters: This isn't a passing trend; it’s the new standard. Businesses slow to adapt risk being overshadowed by those who have integrated these technologies into their localization efforts. 

Increasing engagement through localization 

Many marketers wonder if investing in localization is worth the time and effort. What tangible benefits does it boast for businesses to localize new and existing content? 

Well, according to our research, increased customer engagement is high on the list.  

Key insight: 75% of respondents agreed that localized content significantly boosts customer engagement. 

Why it matters: Engaged customers are more likely to become repeat customers, refer your business, and spend more money on products and services. 

The value of human oversight 

Illustration of a magnifying glass showing translation and localization tools that help communicate with a target audience

Even as AI tools become more advanced, human involvement will remain an integral part of a successful content localization strategy. Machine translation isn’t perfect, and a human-in-the-loop approach is the key to success.    Incorporating human review allows companies to ensure all content adheres to their style and quality guidelines. 

Key insight: 99% of respondents supplement machine translation with human review. 

Why it matters: This underscores the need for a balanced approach that incorporates both technological and human expertise for high-quality outcomes. 

The strengths and weaknesses of machine translation 

While machine translation can speed up the localization process, it still has some weak spots to keep in mind. 

Key insight: A significant 82% expressed concerns about accurately translating industry-specific terms. 

Why it matters: For industry-specific jargon and vocabulary, companies should consider training custom machine translation models or selecting a machine translator that comes with a glossary feature. 

Learn how to streamline your content localization process with DeepL 

These are just a few of the many insights you can expect from The state of translation and localization in 2023-2024 report. It's the ideal resource for anyone interested in:   

  • Content localization best practices from industry experts at companies like HubSpot and Phrase  
  • Solutions to common localization and translation challenges  
  • Recommendations on selecting the right machine translation vendor   
  • And much more!  

For fast, accurate, and secure AI translations to speed up your localization projects, DeepL is the best solution around. Ready to take the first step towards transforming translation and localization at your company?  

Download the full report now for free and learn how DeepL can help streamline your localization processes.