Though there is no silver bullet that will ensure your entire global marketing strategy will be successful, if you incorporate these five global marketing musts into your plans, you can be confident that you will see improved financial results as well as happier, more loyal customers.
1. A Dedicated Localization Budget
With 95% of potential customers residing outside of the US, ambitious brands that want to continue growing should consider expanding beyond their domestic markets. But expanding internationally takes time, money, and resources to ensure messages will resonate—something many organizations aren't adequately planning for.
A recent survey of marketers attending the INBOUND 2015 conference found that 48% of respondents indicated they have no budget allocated for international translation, and 59% said they had no budget in place to translate content for non-English speakers inside the US. That statistic is surprising when you consider that most consumers would prefer to learn about and make purchases in their native language.
Having a dedicated budget for content translation and localization should be in the marketing plan of every brand with aspirations of growth.
2. Native Brand Experiences
When developing global content, marketers should take time to consider the buyer's interest. This is the heart of what constitutes a native brand experience; it goes beyond just making sure websites or mobile apps are translated correctly.
Organizations that deliver these experiences to their customers:
- Do so with a command of local dialects and regional idiosyncrasies.
- Are committed to honoring cultural sensitivities in the region.
- Have a detailed awareness of everything from currencies, customs, and product preferences.
In short, customers in New Delhi won't necessarily want the same experiences as customers in New York, but they want to feel that you value their business the same.
3. Local Marketers
No one will have a better feel for regional tastes and preferences than a local resident does. For your brand to become fluent in every market it does business in, employ individuals already ingrained in the culture of that market to help shape your messaging. Those individuals shouldn't be localization managers whose sole responsibility is managing the translation process. They should be trained marketers who can help you develop market-specific strategies and campaigns, and can give your content the local flair it needs to resonate while staying true to your brand.
4. Consistent Brand Messaging
One of the most difficult aspects of developing a global content strategy is ensuring a consistent brand message across all the markets where you do business.
Every message you create must be experienced on a local level, no matter how far from the audience it originates from. A vast majority of your messaging will be universal, regardless of language, but as mentioned above, some of your messaging must be tailored for local audiences. That’s when you could run into trouble with consistency.
The annals of marketing history are littered with examples of brands that had the best intentions when expanding globally, but somewhere along the way the message was lost in the translation.
Instead of focusing on buzzwords that may be difficult to translate, brands should focus on emotional values that tend to be more ubiquitous. Additionally, brands should focus on having a consistent tone to their messaging regardless of the language being used.
5. Implementation of the Right Technology
For some in marketing, translation and localization are four-letter words. And if you're still doing it the traditional way, managing spreadsheets and enduring a lengthy language quality assurance process, you probably still feel that way. But now there is a better approach to developing and deploying global content.
Brands that implement translation management software have eliminated as much as 90% of the manual processes associated with translation and localization, saving both time and money.
The right technology can reduce time-to-market for new messaging, giving brands the agility they need to respond to market trends and stay one step ahead of the competition. Additionally, proper translation platforms can store previously translated content in the translation memory, giving you the ability to repurpose translations when the identical content inevitably pops up again. That eliminates the need to retranslate entire pages any time even a small portion of content is changed.
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Incorporating these global marketing musts into your 2016 marketing plans will give you access to the resources and tools needed to improve conversions, customer acquisitions, and the overall perception of your brand now and into the future, at home and abroad.