Some 60% of global marketers have no strategy for multilingual content marketing, according to a recent survey by Cloudwords. That's a dangerous oversight, because not thinking about translation until after the content is produced tends to complicate the process and increase costs. And it increases the chance of missing out on opportunities in emerging markets.

Localization is important

The economic potential of non-English-speaking markets, both online and offline, is staggering:

  • By 2025, the number of global consumers in emerging economies will reach 4.2 billion, and annual consumption in emerging global markets will increase to $30 trillion. (McKinsey & Company)
  • 56.2% of consumers say information in their own language is more important than price, and 60% of consumers from non-English-speaking countries rarely or never buy from English-only websites. (Common Sense Advisory)
  • Fortune 500 companies that translated information to keep up with or to gain an edge over their competitors were 2.04 times more likely to have an increase in profits. (Common Sense Advisory)

Therefore, winning consumers in these new high-growth markets will require companies to scale their global marketing initiatives and manage cultural diversity at a whole new level. They will need to radically change their mindset about localization, as well as their translation processes and allocation of resources.

What does good localization look like?

To be more effective in emerging markets, global brands must ensure that their content not only speaks to the culture of the audience but also reflects the intended brand message consistently from one region to the next.

Determining how much to cater to local preferences requires local partners who understand both what will resonate there and what global brand message you are trying to convey, so that they can bridge the gap between the product and the local market.

By running campaign development through a central marketing team and getting input from local stakeholders, you can maintain brand consistency and add local relevancy, while minimizing costs and time to market.

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Darren Megarry is VP of corporate sales at VIA, which delivers multilingual business solutions, including online translation, marketing localization, and global e-learning. He has more than 15 years of international sales and management experience in the software, electronics components, translation, and e-learning markets.

Evelyn Toro is the VP of global operations at VIA, which delivers multilingual business solutions, including online translation, marketing localization, and global e-learning. She has over 13 years of localization experience in increasingly responsible roles within several companies.