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What is marketing content?

All businesses understand that their products, especially new ones or those that are intended to be thrust on to a global marketplace must be marketed as effectively as possible. Marketing content includes a variety of formats such as traditional advertisements on TV, radio and paper media, advertising through social media and dedicated website exposure. It is recommended that all businesses intending to expand their sales globally use a minimum of all three forms of marketing material together with the help of professional marketing material translation and localisation expertise.

Key points to consider when translating marketing content for global audiences

1. Know your audience

All good business plans depend on understanding the nature of the new market for that business’s products. That means identifying such factors as:

  • age preference;
  • gender preference;
  • socio-economic groups targeted;
  • niche cultural identification;
  • specific bias to preferred market content.

Few products appeal to everyone. Businesses will want to know that their sales push will be eventually profitable. Developing a successful marketing strategy in a new environment is unlikely to follow the same method as that used in the home market. It is possible that based on a thorough analysis of potential markets overseas, the products themselves may need to be modified to suit the new market, even if successful brand identification can be maintained.

2. Consider the cultural implications of the marketing content

Marketing content translation is rarely the preserve of generalist translators. Even excellent bilingual translators do not necessarily make excellent marketing translators. Businesses will need to develop a relationship with a translation team that specialises in marketing translation and has a solid base in the intended market. Cultural implications are of great importance when developing a marketing strategy. Even very well known brands that have attempted to expand their global market penetration have made serious blunders when their marketing content has been left to translators without localisation expertise. This even includes use of the brand name itself and a lack of appreciation that a brand name in one language does not necessarily mean it can be used unchanged in any other language. This may simply be because the brand is in a language that has no equivalent in another language e.g. it does not use the same type of alphabet or script, reads the wrong way (Arabic for example is always read from right to left, Chinese top to bottom, whereas European languages read from left to right. Brands are often associated with slogans, specific colours, images and jingles. These have to be carefully assessed by localisation experts and amended to suit local cultural values. This includes adapting what is in the business’s promotional material and website. It is not enough to translate a website into another language literally, as images, colours, dress codes and slogans may be culturally insensitive or just misunderstood when viewed by the intended target market.

3. Maintain the voice and value of the brand

Most businesses will understand the value of maintaining the voice and value of their brand. Brand recognition is a key to market penetration, even if the business has to invent or modify the brand that they have used for years in their home market.

4. Hire a professional translation agency

The worst thing that a business can do is to try and sidestep using a professional translation agency with the relevant proven localisation experience. Professional marketing content translation certainly costs money, but in the long run, it is a sound investment. As the old saying goes, “you get what you pay for”.