International marketing is a great way for businesses to achieve accelerated growth. But, there are a lot of things to check off your list before you launch in a new market. To be successful, you need to think like a local as you plan your strategy. Have you considered these four key elements?
Due to government regulations on import/export, privacy, labeling, consumer protection, and more, it’s not always easy to sell your product abroad. There are countries like China with extensive firewall policies and stringent language laws in Canada’s Quebec province. Understanding the requirements of the region you’re targeting is a must. Consider forging relationships with local experts and key partners in-country to ensure you’re tailoring your offerings correctly for specific markets.
Culture plays an important role in global market penetration as well. Understanding your target customers’ appetite for particular colors, symbols and images is imperative to winning their business. A color choice that is viewed positively by consumers in one country can be downright offensive in another. For example, the color white, long associated with purity, hope and marriage in western culture, is the symbol of death in some parts of Asia. Similarly, symbols and images that are well-ingrained in American culture do not always resonate with buyers in other parts of the world. The V hand gesture, for example, while a symbol of peace and victory in the U.S. (with an outward-facing palm), is an offensive gesture in the UK, Ireland and Australia when the palm faces in. Having local guidance on preferences will save you from embarrassing, and potentially brand-damaging, mistakes.
It is well established that English is not the only language used to conduct business around the world. What’s more, if you’re looking to expand into an emerging market, there is a high probability that your customers will speak little to no English at all. The good news is that if your business is web-based, it is already global by nature, since your customers are able to find you easily via the Internet. The challenge is in making sure you are speaking the languages of those customers. Engaging multicultural customers with high-quality multilingual content is paramount to your success in winning and keeping their business.
Having a content strategy that includes translation (transforming text from one language to another), localization (adding cultural nuance to translated text) and even transcreation (adapting and creating new content for the right cultural fit) is the best way to ensure you’re engaging effectively with international customers.
Translation management systems takes global content creation to the next level, by making the process faster and easier. It automates the typically manual processes associated with translation, localization and transcreation and centralizes them in a single, cloud-based platform. This software has become a necessity for companies that are serious about global marketing.
To learn how translation software can help your brand reach more customers around the world, download our free executive brief.
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