Key Issues in Marketing Globally
Global marketing ands Globalization used to be important to only large, multi-national companies. But with rapid advances in communication technologies, global marketing communications are relevant to many businesses around the world.
Whether you are in the beginning stages of expanding or an experienced expat, targeting a global audience is a nuanced and important aspect of Globalization marketing that deserves a dedicated staff to make sure it is done right.
The Importance of Translation Services for Global Marketing
Globalization has become an extremely controversial topic. While many companies and individuals benefit, some obviously lose out. But let’s focus on some advantages provided by the independent research firm, Common Sense Advisory:
- Businesses that expanded their translation budgets were 1.5 times more likely than their Fortune 500 peers to report an increase in total revenue.
- Companies that translated information to communicate with and retain their partners were 2.67 times more likely to experience revenue increases. There was also a 2.6 increase in the probability of generating improved profits.
- Fortune 500 companies that translated to keep up with or to gain an edge over their competitors were 2.04 times more likely to have an increase in profits and 1.27 times more likely to generate augmented earnings per share.
It does not matter whether you are a Fortune 500 company or small enterprise. The same trends apply: Going Global increases companies’ revenue and profits.
Globalization contains many elements. Among these are understanding the competitive environment; knowing other countries’ HR, tax, investment and accounting laws; possible product reconfiguration and design; local pricing and funds collection; after-sales servicing; and product shipping and distribution.
While all this can seem daunting, it does not have to be if we take the process one step at a time. And among the first and most essential steps, even for Anglophone markets, is to translate or acculturate your content, because (also according to Common Sense Advisory):
- 72.4% of global consumers prefer to use their native language when shopping online;
- 55% only buy products from websites that provide information in their own language; and
- 56.2% said that obtaining information in their own language is even more important than price.
Again, whether you are B2C or B2B, customers prefer to buy from companies that address them in their own language. Even if your target market speaks English excellently, the cultural connection of using the audiences’ primary language cannot be overstated.
Globalization With Marketing that Makes Sense
Before translating any content, it is essential to verify your company name, product names and tagline in key languages to ensure no gaffes.
- Clairol, for example, introduced its Clairol Mist into Germany without first discovering that “Mist” is German slang for “manure,” not very appealing on ladies’ hair.
- Entenmann’s and other US bakeries were bought by a Mexican conglomerate, Grupo Bimbo. The parent company is now called Bimbo Bakeries.
Both examples present these firms comically instead of professionally. They are great additions to our Bloopers list but not to the firms’ credibility or reputations.
This element of global marketing communications is extremely cheap insurance before you invest huge sums in overseas selling and/or manufacturing. (Our firm will evaluate up to eight names in ten languages for $1500, including Chinese, which has its own complications. Please contact us to discuss.).
After verifying names, an easy way to start the global expansion process is simply to localize your business website. Then you can see where orders originate and plan further expansion accordingly. If localizing even part of your website proves difficult, simply do a one- to two-page summary of the company and products in various languages.
If your business is B2C or does online sales, you will also have to ensure that your website is provisioned to accept foreign currency.
In either case, you should localize your website meta tags and consider getting your URL translated and presented on the search engines of key language markets. After all, the point is for overseas prospects to find you. [Our firm can assist you inexpensively with these aspects as well].
The Language of Global Marketing
When expanding into new markets, there are a lot of variables to consider in your global marketing plan. With a professional language translation service, you can avoid potential cultural faux pas by translating into native languages.
In addition to providing the basis for global marketing communications, professional translation services can also help you connect to your global customers and executives working overseas:
- Your language agency can translate emails into English from your overseas contacts and can translate your responses written in English into your target languages, usually all within 24-48 hours.
- If an overseas prospect calls or you need to call abroad, you do not need to speak the local language or find an employee who does. [And if you do, how well can you evaluate whether the employee speaks some local dialect, educated speech, or with off-putting slang?] Instead, you can use our 24/7 telephonic interpreting service which connects you instantly – and only when needed — with a third-party interpreter in 240 languages. Please call us at (415) 592-0042 ext.107 to register.
Auerbach International can always assist with all these basic steps to get you optimized for global marketing communications. For the more advanced steps, please contact us for a free consultation to explore your needs.
The author Philip Auerbach is president of Auerbach International, a 26-year-old firm that translates any content into 80 languages, identifies countries to target and provides strategies to enter those markets. Please see www.auerbach-intl.com.