Why You Need a Language Professional for Your International Marketing Plan

Having an international marketing plan in only one language could severely limit the reach of your brand. For example, both domestically and abroad, there are nearly half a billion people who speak Spanish.

Think of all the customers who could be served by utilizing the services of a language professional for your international marketing plan.

There are over 80 major languages that are used in the business world. Keep reading to find out how to reach the billions of customers outside your network.

Expanding Your Market

If you find yourself shipping products beyond the borders of your home country, it’s a necessity to be able to communicate about your products and offerings.

You may want to work with customers you feel you have the most in common with, but you also want to avoid bias. Language bias could alienate your customers. It could also leave them feeling underrepresented in their company.

The solution is to prepare a customer service strategy to welcome new and potential customers.

In the United States, many companies have realized that their main market is Spanish-speaking. After decades, they’ve begun to focus on that market.

As the world continues to globalize, more people from various countries welcome new immigrants. The products that stick out to new consumers will be the ones that speak their language.

For instance, being the first dish detergent or car company to welcome new immigrants in their own language could build a lifetime of brand loyalty.

Adding Translation to Your Company

Consider hiring a professional translator who is a native of the language market you’re targeting. It’s important to have someone who is comfortable with idioms and regional slang.

They will help you write clearer text about products and translate your training materials.

Technology, legal, and medical companies must hire someone who is well versed in those fields. This can eliminate confusion or problematic wording.

A full-time in-house translator might be too expensive for your company. Instead, find part-time translator services as needed. It is to your advantage to outsource this task to  professional translation services who specialize in this type of work.

A member of your team who has moderate translation skills is not enough. Finding someone who knows a culture intimately is a much more worthwhile investment. A translation company is such a service.

Make sure you’re communicating the concepts and not simply literal translation, which can be a turn-off and confuse your intended message.

Adding Translation to Your Website

Add search engine optimization to take advantage of the foreign language market. Then be sure you’ve added language translation options to your website.

You want to ensure that foreign language speakers can understand why your product works for them and how it fits into their life.

A website without the possibility to translate can be alienating and drive their business to a competitor. Get your translator in touch with your web design team to ensure that the site looks good for your new international market.

An International Marketing Plan Increases Profits

If language is your main hurdle to expanding into European, African or Asian markets, you’re lucky. This is a simple problem that you can overcome by working with a language professional.

Expand your market by adding translation services to your videos, website, and marketing materials. Contact us to determine how to grow your brand with language services.

Auerbach International is a leading global marketing and translation services firm with expertise in the top 80 languages.

10 Steps to Successful Global Expansion

To start global expansion overseas, it’s first important to start at home. You must be willing to dedicate manpower and money for these fundamentals … and to adapt to what works abroad. Read on to learn the 10 key steps we’ve identified as essential to your business success.

  1. Evaluate Your Names and Slogans in Other Languages

Before you spend huge amounts in global expansion ventures, first determine the basics. Do your company name, product names and taglines have any negative meanings in other languages? Take a look at some of these humorous translations.

For example, Coors’ slogan “Turn it loose” was interpreted in Spanish as “Suffer from Diarrhea.” Colgate introduced Cue toothpaste in France, unaware that Cue is a French adult magazine. Ghana’s popular soda Pee Cola wouldn’t sell well in the U.S. or U.K., and neither would Pet Sweat, a Japanese bottled water sold to humans. Even multinationals make mistakes.

Evaluating names and slogans before market launch is very cheap insurance. A professional language agency will often inexpensively research approximately seven names and slogans in the top 10 world languages. Catch these gaffes before they catch you.

  1. Adapt to Target Countries’ Marketing Methods

Purchases overseas may be done in cash as is done in much of Africa or by swiping a cell phone as occurs in Korea. Are you willing and equipped to accept less common payment methods?

Do you market at home via e-commerce, social media, direct mail or telephone? Will those methods work in your target countries or must you change them? In much of Latin America, Asia and the Middle East, for example, getting a personal referral or introduction is the main way prospects will talk to you.

Will your benefits and appeals work in your target countries? U.S. advertising that promises low prices may have to be rewritten to focus on the family, education or the environment, motivators of many buyers abroad. A professional global-expansion firm can guide you on connections and marketing methods,

Have you planned to localize your website? Over 72% of global consumers prefer to use their native language when shopping online, even if they speak English well. Additionally, more than 56% say that obtaining information in their own language is more important than price. Are you working with a professional language localization firm that understands both culture and translation?

  1. Willing to Acculturate?

You must be willing to adjust your product and marketing messages to local cultures. This can involve selling methods, content, packaging, pricing, names, benefits and appeals, and most other factors. Correct acculturation can help you succeed in your target country and provide other expansion opportunities. If you aren’t adaptable, global expansion isn’t for you.

For example, McDonald’s sells lamb burgers in New Zealand and mainly has vegetarian offerings in India. There they also had to establish two kitchens so that cooks don’t mix vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes or utensils together.

In the U.S., shampoo is typically sold in pricey, medium-size plastic bottles. However, if you sell shampoo in small packets for one or two hair washes at a time, your market greatly expands to the cash economies of developing countries.

  1. Build Your Home-Market Demographics

Build a profile of your expected or current customers. Ask the following questions:

  • Who buys your product or service – children, men, women, both?
  • What are their age ranges or education level – urban or rural, consumers or other businesses?
  • If businesses, what titles or levels purchase from you?
  • Is your target audience growing or shrinking over what time period?
  • What income levels can afford your product? (For example, candy requires minimal income while golf clubs require an upper middle or upper income).

Be as specific as possible. Then determine whether your product or service will appeal to the same profile abroad or whether other audiences are possible. You might have too much competition at home to target other niches, but those niches might be available overseas.

Also, don’t assume that reliable infrastructure (i.e., efficient ports, roads, Internet, electricity, health services, refrigeration) is readily available abroad. If your target countries don’t have these, what is your Plan B?

  1. Received Inquiries from Abroad

While unsolicited, incoming inquiries may be flukes, they can indicate sources of market interest. Look on the Internet for in-depth reports about these countries and their lifestyles, spending habits, business practices, etc.

At trade shows, foreign distributors or agents may ask to represent you abroad. Consider this option as part of a whole global expansion strategy. Plus, be sure to ask a global marketing consultancy how to vet these people before you decide to hire them. Their extensive contacts and reputation may not be as sterling as they present to you.

  1. Determine Complementary Products or Services

For example, if you’re selling a sports drink, similar primary products are sportswear and sports equipment. Search online for market studies of those products’ international sales and their biggest country markets. These indicate the volume and revenue to be gained.

You can also search the Internet for market studies of your product’s or service’s expansion. These studies are often done by independent research firms or sometimes by Master’s or PhD students.

  1. Examine Foreign Trade Publications

Does your product/service have trade publications in the U.S.? See what their international circulation is, and then research what trade publications exist in other languages and countries. For advertisers, each publication publishes its circulation figures. Those are an indicator of market size and country interest. Do be sure to distinguish between paid and unpaid subscribers. The paid numbers are a stronger indicator.

  1. Read Secondary Market Studies, then Cross-Reference

Many large databases such as Business Monitor International, Thomson and the Euro Monitor Passport analyze the present and future growth of many industries around the world.

See what market studies are on the Internet. These may be domestic or foreign. If foreign, see whether there’s a synopsis in English. If not, a professional language agency can translate these for you. Don’t skimp on this expense. It’s a miniscule part of your overseas research and expansion budget.

Through the many sources above, you should have obtained countries that may be good markets as well as stats about population size, income, growth, etc. Now let’s cross-reference.

Let’s say you’re selling sheet music for pianos. Your main target market is children from ages 6 to 16. Which countries have huge populations in this age range? Some are in Europe. Others include Russia, Turkey, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, China, South Africa and Egypt.

However, sheet music requires either a piano at home or access to one outside (such as at school or a music academy). In addition, most piano students’ families are middle to upper income. In developing countries, these are the elites.

For example, Egypt has forecast rapid population growth among 6 to 16 year olds but most Egyptians are poor. Therefore, the market for this product is very limited and concentrated in the wealthy sections of a country’s big cities (Cairo and Alexandria). Is it worth your expense of targeting this limited group?

By contrast, China overall has a low per-capita income because the population is over 1 billion people, but huge segments are middle class and wealthy. Chinese parents spend heavily on children’s education, and music is a big part of that.

This method can give you a list of around ten potential overseas markets.

  1. Evaluate Your Current and Potential Sales Methods

How do you sell domestically? Do those methods apply overseas? For example, cold calling is not done in most countries. Also, in the U.S., retailers usually open every day and many operate until 9 p.m. on weekdays and until 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. on weekends. Some countries restrict Sunday selling (stores must close by 1 p.m. or 3 p.m.) or prevent sales on certain religious days (such as Fridays in Muslim countries). How will those affect your expansion decision?

If you’re seeking reps abroad, be sure to contact your nearest District Export Council. These are offices of the U.S. Commerce Department that provide trusted and vetted manufacturers, distributors and agents in other countries.

Countries’ commercial attachés at embassies in Washington and at their consulates in many cities can also help link U.S. companies with overseas partnering opportunities.

  1. Examine Countries’ Laws and Customs

Adaptability is critical. Ask yourself the following kinds of questions:

  • Does your service require a license of some kind? What are the licensing laws in your target countries?
  • Are you accustomed to interacting with senior CEOs? That’s more common abroad than here.
  • Are you offended by nepotism? In Latin America, for example, companies employ family members because they’re more trusted than outsiders.
  • How strong is your stomach? Can you tolerate spicy foods and many courses? Dining is a major way to build trust with overseas partners. If you’re not accustomed to their process, you’ll not succeed in building critical relationships.
  • What is your budget for market entry? China may seem appealing but generating a profit first takes many years of constant investment and customer cultivation.
  • Do you speak the native language? If not, are you prepared to work with an interpreter?
  • Do your desired countries permit your bringing profits home? Or do they have currency export controls?
  • How involved is the government in your overseas venture?
  • In most other countries, it’s hard and expensive to fire employees. Are you prepared for that or will you use reps or agents instead?

Getting the Right Guidance

The first steps will help you create a list of potential overseas markets. The final steps will help you narrow your list. They also illustrate the flexibility you’ll need when doing international business. Many more steps and examples can be added.

With this guidance, you can begin the process of gaining lucrative revenue streams outside your home market (U.S exports were 196.8 billion in September of 2017 alone). This pie is too big for you not to get your piece.

We at Auerbach International are a full-service language agency (translating, interpreting, name screening, etc.) and global-marketing consultancy (countries to target and strategies to enter them). Contact us today to learn how we can team with you to create your successful global expansion.

Go Global: Tips to Localizing Your Market for the Global Marketing

International Localization for Global Businesses

 

International Localization refers to the adaptation of a product, application or document content to meet the language, cultural and other requirements of a specific target market at a global level. No matter how prepared you are for a marketing campaign, failing to reach your target audience can lead to your demise. This ability to resonate starts with the translation of your message throughout your campaign. Whether it’s a difference in culture or language, it’s essential to provide content and services that translate internationally.

 

Avoid Getting Lost in Translation

International Localization means staying on target. Your online presence needs to translate correctly and efficiently. For example, you don’t want to face the embarrassing consequences of your slogan or pitch suffering in translation.  A little effort goes a long way to achieving your ideal results. It’s vital that you familiarize yourself with who you’re talking to. Make sure that your translation doesn’t turn your audience off by making a cultural misstep.

Set up shop locally where there is the opportunity or sell through e-markets. These are other options to localize your business within international markets. If you choose to be a vendor on different platforms, such as eBay and Etsy, the currency conversions will be done for you. However, make sure you don’t use the basic platform-translation features available.

Translating correctly is a very difficult skill that requires knowledge of local customs – especially for B2C foods, clothing, household goods, and other daily-use products — as well as a broad base of terminology. A mistake in a local translation can lead to more than just embarrassment. See some of the translation bloopers we have discovered.

You’re most likely focusing on specific regions around the globe because they have already shown interest in your product. By taking the necessary steps to set up localized marketing materials, you can quickly assimilate your business into the culture. This will help you to understand your target market on a more personal level and ensure your marketing is on point.

 

Familiarize Yourself with Trends 

When you set up shop abroad, take advantage of any local presence you have to analyze what is trending in that country. By knowing the particularities of your target region, you’ll have a better idea of what speaks to this audience.

After doing some research, you can shape your business and campaigns around the vibe and voice that your target market wants to hear. It’s crucial to understand your market by localization to achieve international marketing success.

 

International Localization: Getting Started

By implementing these factors we’ve covered and consulting with a professional, you’ll be able to better relate to your international target market and capitalize on the global marketplace.

Ready to get started? We’re here to help! Contact us today for a consultation regarding your next global marketing campaign.  

Auerbach International helps expand businesses into countries and cultures through global marketing strategies and professional translations into 80+ languages

World-Quest MarketingTMCountries. Strategies. Cultural Cues.
Translations-Express!TM 80 Languages. Always Fast. Culturally Correct. Always Accurate.

Language Myths and Realities, Part 1: Websites & Volunteers

Over our 25 years, many clients have come to us after discovering that their presumed money-saving methods are more costly after all.

This article is the first in a series to expose some common myths about rendering languages so that your firm can do it right…and gain more revenue targeting ethnic and global markets correctly.

1. Websites: All or nothing

Most companies assume that they have to localize their entire website to attract overseas customers. That certainly could be an end goal.

The hardest part of website localization is not the language agency’s ability to do it. The hardest part is for you, the client, to decide exactly what pages, what links, what press releases and what embedded product brochures you want done. And since that decision is time-consuming or involves a committee, you end up doing nothing. In return, you gain limited or no global business.

One alternative is to start with something: your home page, your contact page, and perhaps three-five key product pages. Your language service can localize those selected links quickly and inexpensively.

And if even that partial selection process proves too daunting, you can simply summarize your company in one-two doc pages. You can then afford to translate those summaries into even more languages and gain exposure to many more potential customers at home and abroad.

When targeting foreign markets, be sure also to ask your translation service to get your domain registered in other languages and countries. Then overseas prospects can find you more easily.

The benefit of website localization to gain some business vs. none is clearly illustrated by this client example:

“Two weeks before a conference in Tokyo, we decided it was critical that our company attend. With virtually no time to prepare properly, we panicked realizing that the company’s website needed to be translated to Japanese so that it could be clearly understood by the conference attendees. In just four business days, Auerbach International not only completed the translation, but also provided the needed web-ready files.

Our now-enhanced, multi-lingual website worked flawlessly from the start. We received numerous compliments from Japanese who were surprised that this could be done so well, and so quickly.”

2. Our volunteer translators (amateurs, students, etc.) can do it.

Maybe, up to a point… one that’s reached pretty quickly. The more amateurs you have, the more variations you will get in how to express your message, in the terminology used for the same word or phrase, and in spelling (or misspelling) or (wrong) grammar.

Sooner than expected, firms using “community translators” often discover that their free volunteers become too unwieldy and time-consuming to manage… and that it’s far more cost-effective to use a professional language translation service with its cost-saving methods, industry-specialized translators, consistent terminology and rapid deliveries of all languages simultaneously.

3. My cousin speaks that language. She can translate our files.

Yes, if your files are very simple. Usually they aren’t. And your cousin, friend or neighbor will quickly discover how time-consuming the process can be … especially when you need the translation yesterday.

A professional language service can use entry-level translators for non-technical projects. These linguists are at least pre-qualified and tested to assure some higher degree of quality.

But if your cousin has to look up lots of technical words… they may still be incorrect and the process can incur a lot of time (and resentment). Your supposed cost savings can easily vanish when your project is delayed or contain mistakes requiring more costly fixes.

Conclusion

A professional language service uses a three-step process:

  1. Initial translation by a target-language, trained translator who speaks your industry vocabulary;
  2. Second-translator, quality-assurance review to ensure correct nuances, expressions, terminology and dialect; and
  3. Proofreading for spelling, punctuation, grammar and formatting.

Professional linguists are trained in technical terminology, can translate your files correctly the first time, and generate revenue for you more quickly. Yes, it’s an upfront investment.

But damage to your reputation or brand and time-to-market delays are even more costly to repair. And always ask your language service for pricing options to meet your budget. Some are more flexible than others.

A Benefit for our HR-industry Clients

As a benefit to our clients and prospects in the HR industry, Auerbach International is pleased to bring you a unique, one-stop resource.

Background

The landscape for HR products and services is continually changing due to technological advances, creative thinking, changing regulations, new research, globalization, more accurate / available information, agile ways of conducting business and other factors.

Neither a typical HR department nor its traditional HR advisors can possibly keep track of the hundreds of HR specialty product and service offerings available in the marketplace today that help to address these changes.

HR Specialty Products & Services Catalogue™

In response, Auerbach has formed a partnership with the Human Resources Mining & Distribution Co. HRM&DCo has been aggregating HR specialty items from around the world for over five years. These items can be found within the first-ever HR Specialty Products & Services Catalogue.

As shown in the link below, the Catalogue contains over 400 items that cover the entire HR “taxonomy”. These often hard-to-find tools and services range from helping to establish HR strategy, to recruitment and all the way on through to post-employment.

http://www.hrmdco.com/catalogue-index/

HRM&DCo can usually respond to about 95% of your HR needs.

For further information, please contact Mr. Tom Ference at tel (219) 662-0201 or at tference@hrmdco.com

Website Conversion – Don’ts & Do’s

CONVERTING YOUR WEBSITE INTO OTHER LANGUAGES – Don’ts and Do’s  

How much revenue will you gain by preparing your website into the languages of your potential customers?

How much will you lose by not doing it…. or assuming that the whole world speaks English?

[FYI, Only about 27% of world internet users do. Please click for stats.]

Even in fields such as IT or Semiconductors or some aspects of Medicine in which most people worldwide do use English, addressing potential customers in their native languages … written correctly … makes them feel that you want and value their business.

WHAT NOT TO DO

Some firms, even multinationals, think that relying on machine translation (MT, also known as translation software such as Babelfish or Google Translate) will suffice. This is often because they are in a hurry and think that having something is better than nothing. But in most cases, nothing is the revenue that the MT version will produce.

MT has its uses. Advertising / Marketing / Promotion is not one of them; the results are often filled with incorrect grammar, misspellings, wrong word usage, garbled sentence structure and comical mistakes.

Your in-house native speakers should normally not write your website either. How will you know whether their spelling, grammar, technical terminology and sentence structure are correct?

Using MT or unqualified in-house native speakers can make your prospective customer feel like you are showing:

  • Lack of concern (“If you address me in my language so sloppily, will you treat me, your foreign customer, that way too? Why would I think that you really want my business?”);
  • Unprofessionalism (“If XYZ Company can’t even do its website well, how good can they really be?”); and
  • Inattention to detail (“XYZ Company’s product demands precision. If they aren’t precise on their website, how can I trust that their product will work as promised?”).

DOING IT RIGHT

Professional website localization (to use the proper term) involves:

  1. Internationalizing terminology, numbers, dates, currency, images and more;
  2. Acculturating the words and concepts so they are appropriate for the target country.
  3. Translation by a subject-specialized, professionally trained translator of each target language;
  4. Editing/Revising: Review by a second subject-specialized, professionally trained translator of each target language to ensure accuracy;
  5. Proofreading of the target-language spelling, punctuation, grammar and formatting;
  6. Translation and layout of the text in graphics, pictures or images;
  7. Proofing graphics and all other images;
  8. Engineering: Changing the code, if needed, so that it works with non-Latin writing systems (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc.) and right-to-left languages such as Arabic and Hebrew;
  9. Testing all the links to make sure they work properly in each language.
  10. Translating your metatags, the key-word identifiers through which searchers can find you.

Three website localization choices

The hardest part of the language localization process is not the implementation. The biggest barrier is clients’ deciding what parts of their site they want done: All those news articles? Five years of press releases or just six months’ worth? All blog posts? All sublinks to other products or sites? Brochure PDF downloads? All product descriptions or just certain ones?.

The other critical issue is to decide which parts of your site to localize:

  1. Full website: Your entire site, whether big or small;
  2. Abridged website: Home page, Contact page, and key product pages;
  3. Summary website: A one-two page description of your company, probably as a .doc file, translated into many languages and uploaded as target-language docs or PDFs.

But once those decisions are made, both the website localization process — and global revenue — can start flowing more quickly.

Registering your site abroad

After website localization, your metatags and your company name can also be translated and written in foreign scripts. This can be done phonetically, or by translating the component words (such as “Solar Power Products Incorporated”), or by creating a new corporate name and identity for the overseas market. This method is often done for China and Taiwan.

And then, a professional language service can register it abroad with the host countries’ major search engines.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Postponing. Inaction. Indecision. Perceived complications. Those are the four most common reasons why companies do not localize their websites, even with the quick Summary option. And the greater the delay, the less global revenue will flow. It is relatively fast and easy for a translation service to implement the process. But if …

  • your budget;
  • your committee’s inability to decide what parts (not) to include; or
  • your lack of time …

… prevent you from localizing your entire site now, it is best to start smaller first and do more later. Attracting some overseas business is better than attracting no overseas business. And using a professional language localization service is usually better than damaging your image by using software or amateurs.

NEW!  View our latest Website Localization Video

The NBA Golden State Warriors Team with Auerbach International

Auerbach International is extremely proud to announce its partnership with the NBA’s (National Basketball Association’s) Golden State Warriors, based in the Bay Area. In October 2013, the Warriors will take on the Los Angeles Lakers in Beijing’s MasterCard Center on October 15 and in Shanghai’s Mercedes-Benz Arena on October 18 during two pre-season games this season in China.

To prepare, the Warriors have partnered exclusively with Auerbach to localize their NBA website, www.Warriors.com, including their team roster and blogs in Chinese for their newly launched Chinese website available at www.warriors.com/china.

Following the pre-season games in China, Auerbach International’s rapid deliveries will allow the Warriors to recap game highlights to a huge and growing Chinese fan base. Our partnership will continue through the 2013-2014 U.S. season with frequent game highlights and updates in Chinese for the Warriors’ fans in Asia and locally in the Bay Area.

Auerbach International has been preparing anything written, spoken or electronic into 80 languages for almost 25 years. In so doing, we are honored to expand communications among countries and cultures, and to create job opportunities that world commerce generates.

If your company wants to beat the competition, recruit Auerbach International for all your language service needs. Together we can make a winning team!

MARKETING TO HISPANIC AMERICANS: Global Market Here at Home What Works: Part 2 of 2

Stats Recap from Part I

In 2012, the US had approximately 50 million Hispanics, an increase of almost 50% over 2002. In addition, around 10-11 million more are living here undocumented. One in six US adults is Hispanic and Hispanics have a collective buying power $1.3 trillion annually. Targeting the US Hispanic market can be a stepping stone to a larger global outreach strategy, and is certainly important on its own. And reaching the US Hispanic population can also help you spread to the other 270 million Spanish-speakers worldwide.

How to Reach Them

In decades past, marketing to Hispanics in the US was tackled simply by translating advertising into Spanish. The population was smaller then and it did not have the enormous buying power that it has today. Additionally, the challenge of marketing has been complicated by the rise of the US-born Hispanic who may prefer English materials. Giants like Wal-Mart and PepsiCo have done well in this new arena, using touches of Latino culture in their English ads and acknowledging Hispanics’ traditional culture and immigrant needs in their Spanish campaigns.

Savvy marketers may need to reconfigure their product or service according to the buying motivations of the specific niche they are targeting. Marketers must also understand the need to structure advertising to appeal to the complicated cultural and language traits of the Latino population.

Needless to say, this nuanced approach cannot be met by simply installing a Google Translate button on a website. As experienced veterans will tell you, such Machine Translation (MT) software will make comical and critical mistakes, and is at best only 70-80 percent accurate. Which 30 percent of your message do you want to jeopardize? In addition, any kind of advertising – whether for your website or your brochures – is emphatically not the best usage of MT.

As young, educated and bi-lingual Hispanics have entered the marketing field, businesses interested in reaching this audience should tap into their expertise. Additionally, the importance of using qualified, culturally-adept, professional language localization services cannot be overstated.

Successful Ad

An interesting example of a company that has deliberately targeted the Hispanic market is a recent television ad produced for Tide laundry detergent. The ad features a Spanish-speaking “abuela”, or grandmother, who is extolling the virtues of Tide. Her granddaughter pipes in in English, offering a chance for English speakers to hear why her grandmother loves Tide so much. Viewers speaking either language can understand the ad, which also appeals to traditional Latino family roots, the new generation’s assimilation into an English-speaking culture and celebrates diversity within a family environment.

Conclusion

Hispanics in the United States are a presence that can no longer be ignored. They are a growing, young population with tremendous buying power and a history of strong brand loyalty. Businesses that have a long-term vision for their products and services would be wise to take strategic steps to tap into this market – whether for written ads, radio ads, brochures, mobile apps, websites, e-books, DVDs or any other marketing medium. For those with even bigger plans, effectively reaching US Hispanics can be a stepping-stone to the far larger Latin American and European Spanish markets.

MARKETING TO HISPANIC AMERICANS: Global Market Here at Home What Works: Part 1 of 2

If you feel overwhelmed by how to target a global market of 7.1 billion people, you are not alone. The challenge can seem daunting. One place to start is the “international” market right here in the US.

I often encounter people with products, programs or books. One of my first questions for them is, “Do you have that available in Spanish?” The usual reply is a befuddled, questioning look. Most have never considered selling outside of the English-speaking US market.  That oversight can cause you to miss a very big boat. With a huge Spanish-speaking population right here in the US, we also have a multitude of services and support that can help you reach them … without your facing some stressesand fears of truly going “global.”

Stats and Growth

In 2012, the US had approximately 50 million Hispanics, an increase of almost 50% over 2002. In addition, around 10-11 million more are living here undocumented. One in six US adults is Hispanic and Hispanics have a collective buying power $1.3 trillion annually.

Univision Hispanic Insight1 states that, “Companies have recognized that 100 percent of the US population growth in the next ten years will come from Hispanics.”  Why wouldn’t you try to connect with them? With the worldwide spread of the Internet, reaching the US Hispanic population has the potential benefit of also targeting the other 270 million Spanish-speakers worldwide. So expanding your business to US Hispanics can be an intermediate step to far larger international sales.

Trends

In many ways, Hispanics in the US exemplify the stereotypical American household of the 1950s. They often live in large, traditional, married-with-children families that receive lots of help from the grandparents. They eat family meals at home; spend a higher percentage of their income on food, clothing and household items; and spend less money on alcohol and restaurants2. As a group they tend to be younger, with a median age similar to where the US was in 1955. They tend to have high aspirations for their children and are community-oriented, with increasing numbers moving to the suburbs.

Yet this traditionalism also keeps pace with current trends. More than 90% of Hispanic children in the US were born here, and being raised here means they are incorporating increasing aspects of American culture. In general, Hispanics have been earlier adopters of mobile technology and over 39 million Hispanics are online.  While the majority of tech-savvy American Hispanics speak English and prefer to communicate that way, about 30% surf the web in Spanish or bi-lingually. They tend to use their mobile technology for making phone calls, texting and web-surfing, and are prone to consult online with friends before they make a purchase.

Hispanic Buyer Loyalty

Marketers often talk about the fabled fierce brand loyalty of the Hispanic shoppers. Nielsen’s HomeScan study1 found that 70% of Spanish-dominant households stick with a brand they like and will not shop around, regardless of advertisers’ sales and specials. Perhaps because of an immigrant trait, Hispanics are more than twice as likely to ask friends and family for input before they make a purchase. A stranger in a strange land asks his friends how to manage in the new country. The stranger then sticks with what is comfortable and of good quality rather than having to ask again.

Today’s Hispanic market is dominantly US-born and is communicating in English or bi-lingually. This might lead you to believe that you can stick with your English advertising and pull the Hispanic market to you. Think again.

According to the Raslow Study3, Spanish-language advertising is three times more effective among bi-linguals than English only. It benefits all businesses to build brand loyalty and it is only common sense to think that loyalty is more likely to be inspired in a market that you have tried to reach using their own language and culture.

Many of the customers you could reach with English advertising are more comfortable when your ads, your website, your videos, your DVDs, your e-books and your mobile apps are understood by all of their friends and relations. Using a professional language localization service – not error-prone translation software – can help you reach that goal.