Our advice for developing a global marketing strategy

Going global can bring to light some interesting challenges for marketers. Communicating in different markets is not always a straightforward process of directly translating English content into your target language. Cultural differences and preferences play an important role in how effective marketing activities are: and that means that your global marketing strategy has to be flexible and responsive to different market needs.

Many marketers adopt the practice of ‘standardisation’ to make global marketing campaigns easier to manage. This involves standardising source content so that it can be translated for any market without the need for extensive localisation. While this approach can be very effective for certain types of marketing content, we wouldn’t recommend standardisation for everything.

Working with a global network of 4,000 linguists, we know first-hand how important it is to create localised content for different markets. People residing in different countries all have different needs, motivating factors, interests and communication styles. To effectively market your service to your entire audience, your strategy needs to ensure marketing campaigns are developed and can be easily localised for a diverse customer base. This is why your global marketing strategy needs ‘localisation’ at its heart.

With large volumes of content to translate and roll out across different markets and multiple platforms, marketers need ways to manage their marketing assets. We believe that an effective global marketing strategy understands that marketing content needs to be localised for different audiences and can plan ahead for this eventuality. This means that marketing content is created with localisation in mind, ensuring that the process of translation and localisation is efficient and friction free.

With a global marketing strategy based on localisation, marketers can roll out marketing campaigns just as quickly as a strategy based on standardisation: but with much better results.

Localisation, centralisation and your global marketing strategy

Localisation requires having in-depth market knowledge about your target audience. While researching a market remotely can provide some insights, to truly understand your target customer you need in-market support.

Many companies consider using a local marketing agency to support them with their marketing activities. However, this can have an impact on the brand. Brand values can be lost across different marketing assets when created and handled individually, leading to the global brand image being inconsistent between different markets.

A similar problem can occur when marketing content is generated by lots of different authors (even within the UK) i.e. if product specifications are written by one department, while another team is working on developing website content. This can create inconsistencies in one market, and when amplified across multiple global markets the differences can be more extreme.

Centralisation can be the solution. This involves all content being managed by one team, even when created by different agencies or departments. The centralised team ensure that global brand values are consistent across multiple marketing assets, briefing creators and service providers, and ultimately signing off on all content.

In terms of marketing translation and localisation, a centralised process also ensures consistent translations and preserves the brand image and values in different markets. By centralising translation services and working with one trusted translation partner, marketers can achieve consistency in how the brand is conveyed globally. This maintains the core brand values while adapting how they are communicated to each market for maximum consumer engagement.

Your translation partner can also help your marketing team create effective content without necessarily needing a local marketing agency. Working closely with local reviewers – your international colleagues or in-country marketing experts – content can be reviewed to identify the elements that require localisation.

Your translation partner can also help develop translation style guides for different markets, glossaries of terminology, and create unique translation memories for your company. All of these factors improve the quality of the translated content, consistency, preserve brand values and streamline the translation process.

Key takeways for your global marketing strategy

  1. Standardisation works for some marketing content, but not for everything
  2. Localisation allows you to align your marketing content with different needs, motivating factors, interests and communication styles in your target markets
  3. In-market support is vital to truly understand your target customers
  4. Brand values can be lost across different marketing assets when created and handled individually
  5. Centralisation helps to preserve brand values and identity, while allowing content to be localised for each market

This is an extract from our new Guide on How to Develop Successful Global Marketing Campaigns. Taking you through the translation and localisation process and providing tips and best practices on how to localise your global marketing content in order to raise brand awareness, reach customers, drive sales and build customer loyalty. Download your free copy below.

If you have any questions about marketing translation and localisation, or want further advice on how to develop successful global marketing campaigns, please get in touch. Leave a comment below, call +44 (0) 1926 335 681 or send me an email – info@comtectranslations.com

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