Congratulations, your product/service has made it to the international markets and the sales are going through the roof!
So good to hear, isn’t it? However, let’s go back in time to find how things usually go to end up here at this exact moment.
Behind every marketing localization project, there is a much more complex bag of tips that some businesses often overlook. While the whole point is to go global, there’s more than just that. Your core plan should be all about ‘selling right’.
Here are quick and handy tips and tricks to fix your localization market project and keep your business on track with your core plan.
Collaborate with Localization Experts.
Yeah, that’s kind of predictable, but it doesn’t make it any less true.
Marketing localization is becoming more and more complex, with a lot of things to work on and put into consideration. The process involves several elements, including:
- Web and app localization,
- Software localization,
- Development and Engineering,
- Translation/Post-Translation Formatting
- Audiovisual localization (subtitling, transcription, voice over),
- Marketing and Advertising, and
And this might sound harsh, but this is all that makes a marketing localization strategy a make-or-break deal. That’s why it could be more like a risky business if it isn’t managed by the industry’s top-notches.
So, what you need is a full-fledged in-country localization team of:
- Native translators and linguists,
- Marketing Experts,
- Desktop Publishing (DTP) Specialists,
- SEO specialists,
- QA testing teams, with
- An accomplished localization project manager efficiently and effectively pulling the strings and putting together the efforts of his team to produce superior results.
Experience is a deal breaker; work with people you are sure they have done, and nailed, this kind of thing before and can easily help you predict and avoid any bumps in the road. Not only does this ensure impeccable results but also helps make the whole thing less stressful for you.
Have a sit down with the project manager to get clear on the needs and goals of your project, including the target markets, the linguistic, cultural, and technical challenges, as well as budget and timeline.
Your marketing localization project, then, starts right off the bat.
Did we mention everything? Here’s a ‘small’ checklist for what you need to localize, including but not limited to:
- product/service name,
- websites and apps,
- software and design of the layout,
- headers, footers, menus,
- graphics, colors, images, cultural references, themes,
- offers, currencies, measurements, phone numbers,
- taglines and slogans,
- marketing and advertising campaigns, and
- social media.
And localization isn’t just about translation; it’s more about adapting content for the convenience of a target audience in a local market. It’s sophisticated and challenging (you should probably check our first tip above). Perhaps, one of your top priorities should be your product offerings. In 2017, Nike, the world’s biggest sports brand, has launched a hijab collection line for Muslim female audience.
You don’t have to carry out big changes to your business, you only need to tailor your product/service to your target audience.
Also, this prompts you to cross out Machine Translation from your translation and localization strategy. You are adapting content to humans to address their needs, and as a result, they relate to the solution (product or service) you are providing. Machine translation has the opposite effect; your content will sound ‘translated’ lacking any emotions, which can be off-putting to your audience, no matter how they might need your product.
Speaking of off-putting, a seemingly minor detail as using the wrong color, either for the product or in graphics for the website, can deter your audience. Take, for example, yellow: it is a cheery bright color with positive vibes for Western cultures, yet it’s not favorable to Latin Americans’.
Localization is all about consistency in adaptation. So, yes, localize it all.
Take it from the Locals.
Because locals know best; you will need their help to lead the process.
Your locally-based localization team and marketing team will not only have in-depth knowledge about your product but also have local insights about their market, more than anyone else. Additionally, they will go the extra mile and carry out comprehensive market research, leaving nothing to chance. This experience- and research-based local input about their cultural preferences and consuming behaviors is invaluable. It builds credibility and helps develop a positive image of your brand.
Otherwise, you will be just putting your marketing localization at stake.
Put Advertising on your Marketing Localization To-Do List.
Advertising is an indispensable part of your marketing plan, let alone your marketing localization plan.
Generally speaking, advertising either informs, persuades, or reminds customers about your brand or product. You might inform or remind customers without localization, but how exactly can a business persuade people without speaking their language or addressing their culture?
While some tend to have a standardized tone, ads with local flavor seem to be more inviting to the audience. Thus, designing your localization marketing strategy involves localizing context of your ads and campaigns, marketing content writing (tone and style of language, idioms, slang, metaphors, symbols…etc.), and visual elements.
No one wants the drama that Pepsi got itself into with their advertisement to the Indian market. It had implications of promoting child labor, which was revolting for the Indian people.
Embrace Social Media.
We can’t think of more powerful tools to get publicity and visibility for your business like social media. This communication tool shapes how your business goes. Implementing an efficient social media localization strategy maximizes your marketing messages and enhances your brand’s connection with both existing and prospective clients.
Your marketing localization team can do wonders by spending the time necessary for good research on the online behavior of your social media target audience, to ensure a relevant, engaging communication with this locale.
This research includes many factors; mainly the most commonly used social media channels. In Egypt, for instance, Facebook is the most popular social network, and Instagram taking over Twitter to become the second popular. Meanwhile, in China, users prefer a social network called Weibo. If you tried communicating with Chinese customers with Facebook like Egyptians, your message will fall on deaf ears. Other factors include demographics, languages preferred, cultural cues, trending topics…etc.
Only then, you can start promoting content that develops trust in your business and eventually converts to sales.
Wrapping Up: Your Business Is Good To Go.
Marketing localization is a big deal; it’s going to take time, money, and efforts. Yet, selling right is worth everything you put into it. With the right resources and logistics, your investment will definitely pay off.