Global marketing and localization go hand in hand. If you’re thinking of localizing your campaign to target a region, consider localization in the marketing mix to tailor its elements, including website language, design, user interface, user manual, and social media, to suit the locals especially if you’re entering new markets where native companies have already been marketing and selling their products and services.
What Is Localization, Translation, And Global Marketing?
In business, localization is the process of adjusting and adapting content and offers to the local markets. So generally, it is not just translation or translating texts from the source to the target language.
Translation is changing text from the source to the target language, but it aims at preserving the meaning of the words.
Global marketing refers to the activities and processes of a business to identify, satisfy, and attract customers from all over the world.
The processes include a holistic approach to conduct business in different countries. It is a part of an overall campaign strategy to achieve the objectives of the organization as well as a sustainable growth globally.
The challenges of global marketing
Global marketing comes with certain challenges that marketers should factor in when designing a marketing campaign.
Considering the existing market for their product in the target region is important. That’s why they need to do a market research and test; however, it involves a lot of time and money.
In addition, global marketing is not as easy because it’s hard to adjust to the existing and varying rules when they enter a new market, and some of these include cultural, legal, and language rules that they need to follow to ensure that their messages are understood and accepted.
Marketers can also face financial risk in global marketing as well because some regions or countries don’t really need or buy the products they sell.
Importance of localization in global marketing
In a nutshell, localization allows marketers to adapt the elements, which include the content of their global marketing campaign to target their audience.
In this way, their campaign will match or suit the interests and needs of their target market in that area.
However, translation, which is translating a source language into a target language, may be insufficient because it might not be aligned with the social values, for instance, of the specific locality or country.
On the other hand, localization, a strategy supporting global marketing initiatives is not only translation, but it is adapted to the social trends, social value, economy, legislation, and technology of the specific country/countries where the company wants to reach out and promote their brand offers.
Marketers who take the time to understand their market are more likely to have a successful campaign than those who do not. This is because they can show customers how committed they are in their effort to reach out to them.
As a result, customers are more likely to respond positively to the brand and buy its offers. It is because marketers take the time to understand what’s really important to that specific group of consumers.
Gaining competitive edge
There are already native companies that you should go up against when you try launching your enterprise in a specific locality. So being new in the market and to promote your offers to the people in the specific country or local market, you should include localization in your global marketing strategy.
In this way, you’ll be able to compete better with native companies and earn the trust of the consumers who will have a positive perception of your brand even if you’re not native to their country.
To increase the likelihood of success of your global marketing efforts and gain a competitive edge over your global competitors, localization is also a great strategy without even saying. For example, your competitors are not localizing their content, but you do. In this way, you’re staying ahead of them when it comes to entering the new market.
Entering new markets
It is never easy to enter a new market and you’ll face a lot of obstacles on your way to launching your business to a specific country or countries.
Some barriers include logistical, legal, communication, and cultural challenges. All these things can slow you down in your marketing effort.
In global marketing, localization will not remove all these obstacles on your way, but it will help you remove any cultural issues, which can negatively affect your brand’s image.
If you’d consider localization in your global marketing strategy, you’ll be able to enter new markets easier than without it. So when done correctly, you can avoid any translation mistakes, which might put you in a bad light.
Improving brand loyalty
Customer loyalty is very important for a brand because this will help them gain advantage over the competition. There are many things that can affect and improve their loyalty to your brand. This includes making their experience of doing business with you satisfying and smooth. One of the best ways to do that is localization.
Localization allows you to communicate with them in a way that they understand, in their native language and with your product tailored to their needs.
Both of these can help you gain their trust and loyalty, making them more likely to stick with your brand and even spread the good word about your business.
Increasing customer satisfaction
Global marketing with localization as a part of the marketing mix, you can show your diligence and commitment because you are putting in effort to understand the needs of your customers.
Localizing your marketing effort, you’ll address their needs in an understandable manner. Thus, they can become more comfortable with you and your brand. As a result, it’ll be easier to sell to them.
Localizing elements, such as payment methods, user manuals, and customer support, for instance, will make your customer’s journey transacting with you smoother.
Localization in global marketing can help increase revenue
As you’ll be marketing to new markets, you’re more likely to increase your revenue because you’ll be reaching out to a larger audience. But then, it will be possible if you include localization in your global marketing effort.
By localizing your global marketing plan’s content and elements, you’ll be able to penetrate the local market and market to your target audience that will understand your brand message better.
That’s why if you’re trying to reach out to more customers and make the marketing elements of your campaign tailored to the country you want to market your products to, ensure that you customize your plan, including your website’s landing pages, product offerings, and communication campaigns.
As again, different countries have different social values, not only language. It is also why a global marketing plan should include localization of the environment where you present your ad campaign.
So, when designing a plan, you need to identify the elements, which are most likely to be well-received by your target region. You should also reflect and think about the things that can drive growth in different markets.
Four Ps of Marketing
The four Ps of marketing or the marketing mix include all the elements used to promote and sell your offers, while also building your brand. You can use it when localizing your marketing campaign and offers.
In your global marketing effort, you should localize your product to adapt to the locality where you plan selling your offers. So if you’re selling a product targeted for an international audience, you might consider tailoring it to include features, which will adapt and be relevant for your potential customers.
Price is the amount you’re selling your offer for. It should be balanced, not too high or not too low. It’s the product’s monetary value.
Determining the product’s price is crucial for the brand because this will directly affect the demand, supply, profit, and the amount that marketers should spend in marketing and promoting the product.
When determining the price, marketers should determine how the price compares to competitors and what the value of the product is.
In terms of localizing the price, it can be as simple as changing the symbol of the currency.
It can also be a structural change, such as increasing the price in a locality or country where the cost of production, for instance, is higher. Or it can be lowering the price in a market where the consumers cannot afford or find it hard to afford your offer.
For this factor, you need to consider online presence, retail locations, and distribution channels in the target region.
For example, you might want to consider working with partners that help sell your products in the locality. Online marketplaces that are most relevant to the region should also be taken into consideration.
In your global marketing campaign, you should focus on localizing the different promotional materials and communications offline and online. For an online campaign, you must specifically focus on localizing your advertising campaigns and social media presence that adapt to the region where you want to promote your offers. Part of localization can include translating the language of the advertisement.
What are the advantages of localization in global marketing?
Localization, when done appropriately, offers businesses plenty of advantages, including growth. It paves the way for businesses to grow through better brand awareness and reach. It also offers a potential boost in the company’s SEO efforts. In addition, it helps brands to overcome any challenges, including customer loyalty.
Global marketing localization also allows companies to foster a more personal connection with their customers as it better humanizes the brand and gives it a voice, not only language, that the locals will understand.
As localization also entails adjusting the marketing elements to match a locality’s social values and needs, a brand gains the trust of the local consumers, who in turn can become the brand’s loyal ambassadors.
It also creates higher engagement levels with customers because it shows respect for the values and cultures of the locality.
As your brand also does not impose your international content, it connects with your target audience better because you adjust and adapt it to their needs and relay your message in a manner they understand.
Localization also aids global marketing in terms of potential increased profits because it makes marketing spending more cost-effective, increasing your potential sales.
It also allows you to offer enough materials that are easily and readily understood by the locals because the content is localized; thus, you’ll also cut down customer support costs.
Looking for an organic growth strategy? Add localization in your marketing mix.
Why does global marketing work better when localized?
You should not ignore the localization of each element of your marketing campaign if you wish to enter new markets or sell your international products and services to local customers in another country.
Don’t rely on translation alone. As translation is only the mere transfer of words from the source to the target language, it is not tailored in a way that matches the culture, social values, and custom of the locality in where you want to market your offers.
But with localization, your marketing effort will be better highlighted and in a wider context to deliver your expected results depending on the campaign’s objectives, whether sales, brand awareness, engagement, and increased traffic.
You must prioritize localization from the start, right when you’re still conceptualizing your campaign so that you can achieve your goals easier.
Global marketing approach to localization
Adapting your content to adapt the demands and needs of a specific audience, you can expect better results, including engagement and traffic because it fits the unique demands of the local market where you plan to promote your products and services.
Needless to say that localization is a unique strategy to use at your disposal and address the unique demands of the new market, including culture, purchasing habits, and customer behavior.
This is the better approach because the customers in another country might not be familiar with your delivery mode and content.
It can also ensure that the tailored and localized strategy will offer your clients abroad the same rewarding and smooth experience that they would receive and often would expect from a locally operated business.
What is included in a localization strategy?
Here are the things to include in your localization strategy.
To localize your content, you should consider changing its language. However, you should not hire just any translator for this, but only reliable translators because the translated language should be accurate based on the specifications of the language in the new market.
A lot of people now do shopping online, and ecommerce businesses with a website can gain an advantage over their competitors if they localize their digital marketing strategies. Thus, you should consider creating desktop- and mobile-friendly content to boost your presence in the region or country.
Social values and norms
No two countries are alike when it comes to cultures. In a global marketing and localization effort, you should understand this very well to attract more customers, who will gain more confidence and trust in your business. It is because you take them into consideration when designing your content and marketing communications.
Purchasing preferences and currencies aren’t the same across countries; thus, you must also consider localizing these elements and make the right adjustments.
For example, you might want to add alternative payment options if the customers in a particular country are not using credit cards.
Other formats to adjust for your new market
· System of measurements
· Telephone number formats
· Keyboard formats
· Time and date formats
· Content and image sensitivity
· Punctuations and symbols
Important Business Aspects That May Change for the New Market
· Messaging: Adapt your marketing materials and content to suit the local preferences of the target market. Consider the social trends, customs, and values, to name some, when designing your marketing campaign.
· Channels: Adapt your messaging channels based on the preferences and customs of the target region or market. How will you reach your customers – social media, local partners….?
· Business model: Adapt your marketing campaign based on the tax structures and local regulations in each market.
· Product portfolio: Consider creating specialized or custom offers suitable for the particular customers in the market or region you wish to launch your campaign to.
You might even want to change or adapt your business’ name to meet the cultural preferences and language of the country where you’re launching your offers.
Global Marketing and the Importance of Localization in Its Success
Localization can impact your global marketing’s success in the market or region where you plan to launch or promote your offers. It is why you need to design and implement tailored campaigns to feel and sound to the different markets or regions. Here are some questions to ask yourself –
· What are the themes and messages that the locals can relate to?
· What are the economic, political, and cultural factors in every region that can affect the success of your brand?
· What are the ways to adapt your marketing strategy to the region or country where you’re selling your offers?
Your global marketing strategy should be based on a solid plan that will position your brand in the international markets and make it more competitive in the global markets. So, if you want to get started with the right foot, you must include localization in your marketing mix.
How are you going to market to a country where local players have already established their name and have built a solid base of local customers? What are the most effective strategies to reach them, improve engagement, and keep you in their mind?
At the end of the day, the success of a global marketing campaign relies on different factors, including marketing localization. Without it, your campaign might not succeed entering the new market regardless of the creativity and effort you put into it. Target a specific territory better with localization and reach a wider market effectively.