Going global with your company’s message can seem overwhelming. However, it can be simply broken into seven essential steps when launching international markets.
Your advertising campaign might look and sound great in English-speaking countries. Is it the same somewhere else, though, like Spain or China? With printed material, remember it is not just a matter of translating the content; recognition of a country’s culture should also be considered. With other media, it is important to present material in the same spoken language used in the target market. Do not make the assumption that subtitles will be as effective as using a voiceover or an actor from that country.
It may seem obvious to state that spending time in the target country will give your company a significant advantage, but it should always be stressed. Through direct contact with your target audience’s people, culture and aspects of daily life, you will gain essential education as to the communication norms, customs and traditions in this market. Though having a team of professionals is important, your company’s direct interaction will ensure decision makers have a clear frame of reference and do not just rely on other’s opinions.
Just because someone speaks the language, it does not mean he or she can correctly or properly write in it. Communicating the same message clearly and fluently in two different languages truly is more of an art than a science. Though you may use Google translate as a quick and helpful way to understand an odd word, or ask the Spanish-speaker in the office to assist with an email, do not rely on these methods to produce professional results. Reputable translation agencies will use qualified, professional linguists that are native or have lived in the target country long enough to know the culture and the nuances of the language. The less expensive option at the onset can often end up being the most expensive in the long run, because you may have to try to correct mistakes in order to maintain your company’s reputation.
Make it easy for your target audience to connect to your business by having a localized website and e-commerce presence. Having translated material and information readily available online will expedite your ability to globally communicate and sell your products and services.
In what countries have your competitors established a presence? Or are they exploring new marketplaces? If your competitors are establishing a presence in a country where you are not, investigate why. Keep abreast of where your competitors have found opportunities and ask how it could be relevant to your company’s global expansion. Observe their marketing efforts and how the target audience responds. Some investigative intelligence may be even more effective than your own market research.
Your domestic marketing agency most likely will not understand the culture and thought processes of another country’s target audience. Establish a relationship with an in-country marketing agency before any media launches. They can assist with adapting your material in order for it to be culturally relevant. A native marketing agency will know what to say and how to say it, much better than you will.
Social media is a great marketing tool. You can get to know your customers, read what they are saying about you (and your competitors) and engage with them. However, make sure you use the right platform for your market. For example, does your target audience prefer Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn? Find out what social media your target audience likes best and be committed to making it your main platform. It can differ from country to country, so do not assume that all audiences have the same preferences.
Considering these seven simple steps when going global will help ensure you have an effective and relevant marketing campaign in any part of the world.
To learn more about translation and localization, visit Terralíngua. Terralíngua is an ISO certified, professional translation company specialized in helping businesses communicate on a global platform.