Oxford Street….. both tourist heaven and a Londoner's nightmare! So many people but with that, so many potential customers! Looking at the volume of global brands on offer, this may be an exaggerated example however, this is not too dissimilar from what is on offer any high street in the UK or in Europe.
Brands like Zara, H&M, Sketchers, Apple and United Colors of Benetton have become a symbol of the globalised world. This is not only because they have built up a strong brand identity via more traditional marketing methods such as TV/Print advertising and sponsorship deals but also because they have been able to put themselves directly in front of target local audiences via their retail premises.
It’s essential to have a localised website to appeal to wider online audience and also more subtle changes such as adapting sizes and units of measurement in order to cater for the local clientele. The process requires a marketing strategy from the outset to get it right but if done well can revolutionize a business and open up their products and services to huge new international markets. Companies who essentially exist primarily online such as ASOS and Amazon have been able to focus their efforts on an international online marketing strategy and the results are clear to see when looking at their global financial results and also how they are able to embrace and thrive in emerging markets.
In the same way that the line between some Sales and Marketing roles are starting to Blur with Social selling and promotion, translation and localisation must be the 3rd cog of this machine to ensure your international clients and prospective clients are being engaged and enticed. For example, a well thought out twitter campaign including localised tweets designed to appeal to and engage prospective German clients for a new product line launching on the German section of your website. While Google translate has many benefits for being able to gain a basic understanding and perform a quick “translation”, I’m not sure machine translation will ever be able to replace the human element of localisation and show clients that you really understand them.
Great content is the driving force to online success, with the correct elements in place it should be one of the main factors pulling traffic to your website and social channels. This may be via blog posts or social media updates but there is no doubt quality translation and localisation is the passport to your brand gaining recognition in the globalized market. Much like previously mentioned; what works in English doesn’t necessarily work in other languages and this is where the art and creativity of translation and transcreation comes into its own. Content Marketing has for a while now been considered a real art form in the digital marketing sphere.
When engaging in an entirely new territory where both language and culture are new it can be a worthwhile investment to engage with a local PR agency who may be able to advise what has/hasn’t worked previously and also ensure the campaign avoids any potential offence and embraces the local mind set.
As a small or medium sized business, going global requires a strategy to ensure you have all the tools to compete in this international marketplace. We hope some of the points above will help your global adventure!