International Marketing Is More than Mere Translation
Developing a marketing strategy for international marketing requires excellent localization. But localization means a lot more than hiring a translation service. Extracting revenues from your international marketing efforts requires careful attention to your digital content strategy.
How Should Our Company Clarify International Marketing Localization Expectations?
Localizing your content can be as simple as hiring a translation company to create a copy of your digital content that is in the language of your target market.
Localization could also be as complex as heavily modifying your existing content in such a way that it is not only in a new language, but also in a new cultural framework that may be radically different from yours.
Until you understand which market you are trying to enter and what the localization requirements will be, your international marketing strategy needs more work.
The more effectively you identify the proper approach to localization for your market, the less money your company will spend on localization features which might not be needed while potentially missing out on critical ones.
The cost of localization is not always commensurate with the amount of adaptation that your company will need to do in terms of digital content, however.
According to an article published by the Globalization and Localization Association, localization costs can vary immensely depending on whether the target locale uses bidirectional language or whether it uses a Latin language.
The differences between these modalities can result in unforeseen software issues with localization that can drive up costs. Be ready for these beforehand and you’ll have an easier time with keeping localization costs low.
In particular, the Chinese market can be very challenging for localization because of its numerous naming modes, font issues, and China-specific policies for localization.
As Jung-Sheng Lin of IGDShare describes in this presentation on localizing digital content for China, the best way to work around the many issues that may crop up is to hire a localization consultant who is familiar with the market’s unique challenges.
Is It Possible to Localize Content to Address Different Segments of an International Market?
In a report published by CSA Research on market segmentation, you can segment your digital content for a given market using the maturity of localization.
This means that in areas where localization expectations are low, you can use localization as a product differentiator and signal that fact to prospective customers fact with your digital content.
In contrast, in areas where localization maturity is very high—such as in Western Europe—you can instead do the reverse, offering a lower level of localization at a lower cost to undercut the competition.
Aside from using your digital content localization as a marketing technique, you can also focus your international marketing efforts to open unexploited markets.
In newly-industrialized areas of the world like China, the consumers in the upmarket often have access to non-localized digital content from international businesses because they are bilingual. This positions non-localized digital content as a luxury good.
If, however, your company adapts its localization practices to the price points that the middle market consumers can afford and provides a localized alternative to an upmarket good, there will be a large demand on account of the newly accessible product.
As described in an article published in Smashing Magazine, Chinese entrepreneurs often seek to provide a middle-market localized adaptation of digital content because of how cultural perspectives on localization impact the prospect of success with digital content.
For products with near-infinite liquidity like digital content, localization can thus be a way of adapting a non-luxury product into a product that can command luxury prices because of the social factors involved.
In other words, part of the value added by localization in markets like China is the impression that localized content is more high-end. Importantly, not all newly developed countries share this conception of luxury goods, so be wary of where you’re localizing to.
What’s the First Step Towards Generating Revenues Via Localization?
Knowing how to make your digital content shine via localization takes a lot of practice, but the first step is to hire translation services who can work with you to formulate your international marketing strategy.
Picking the right translation services will ensure that your international marketing efforts don’t suffer from technical issues, language issues, or cultural mishaps.
Once these basic factors are accounted for, your company can then see if there are opportunities to segment the market using localization maturity or localization quality.
If you’re interested in seeing how localization will help your company to garner large revenues as well as cost savings, check out this white paper on Using Translation to Connect With and Engage Multilingual Audiences.