There is a ton of content on social networks, websites, and other digital platforms. Businesses must differentiate to see a great return on investment. A key way big players have been doing this is through marketing localization. The good news is with AI-technology coupled with native-speaking translators, marketing localization is no longer something only for corporate giants. Taia’s experts (our superheroes) share eight lessons learned about marketing localization.
#1 Marketing Localization (Not Just Marketing Translation)
Technology speeds up the translation process for sure.
Marketing materials (social media posts, ad copy, landing pages, email marketing, etc.) should go beyond word-for-word translation; they should be adapted for local markets. It will ensure that messaging is relevant and resonates with the audience.
Learn more on Localization here.
#2 Marketing Localization for Phrases, Sayings, and Idioms
Phrases, sayings, and idioms are difficult to translate and easy to mistranslate. Taia experts recommend removing them where possible in business documents, manuals, product descriptions, and other materials.
But with marketing materials, idioms and sayings add personality.
Due to phrases, sayings, and idioms being culturally specific, it is important that all marketing is localized and that a native speaker reviews the final content.
Taia experts also warn there’s something called “false cognates” or “false friends” when translating. It is when phrases or idioms may sound similar between language pairs but have a completely different meaning. This is why it’s important to ensure you partner with professionals and native speakers when doing marketing localization.
#3 Marketing Localization: Brand Names, Product Names, and Slogans
Brand names, product names, and slogans are tricky to translate. Marketing localization should be done with much care and thought.
For example, your brand names, product names, and slogans are your business’ identity. Where possible, you should stay as close and authentic to your brand.
The exceptions are when your brand name, product name, and slogans have a different meaning in the local markets, which are inappropriate. Otherwise, keep them as is to avoid diluting your brand.
It’s important to consult a native speaker when considering marketing localization of brand names, product names, and slogans.
To demonstrate the importance of having a local expert on board – the infamous Honda Jazz example. Originally the name was going to be the Honda Fitta. A native speaker was part of the localization process and flagged that “fitta” is a slang term for vagina in Sweden. Fortunately, the mistake was caught, especially because the slogan was “small on the outside, but large on the inside”.
#4 Time and Marketing Localization
Marketing Localization requires more time than a business document, product manual, and other material translations.
Taia experts advise that you need more resources to ensure your marketing materials are completely suitable for local markets.
For example, you need a translator and a reviewer who ensures the translation is accurate, without errors and that it is culturally relevant. The more experts involved, the longer it takes, but the quality is guaranteed. Businesses need to understand that marketing localization takes time though and plan accordingly.
#5 Marketing Localization and Space/Character Limits
With marketing materials, there may be space or character constraints (for example, Twitter, Google Ads, or printed marketing materials).
One language may require more words than another to convey the same message.
Fortunately, a professional translation partner can assist a business with the best solution for localizing marketing materials with space or character limits.
#6 Marketing Localization: Tone and Style
Cultures and contexts differ between regions. Tone and style should therefore also be adapted to suit the local markets.
Some cultures may be formal and rigid; others may be casual and liberal.
#7 Marketing Localization: Authenticity VS Adaptability
Your brand’s voice and values should be translated in an authentic way.
But also, Taia experts advise that you always consider the target market when translating content.
It’s a fine balancing act between being authentic and adaptable with marketing localization.
#8 Marketing Localization: Colors and Imagery
It’s always important to know colors and imagery have cultural meaning.
Your marketing material must reflect that and ensure it resonates with the culture.
It means that marketing localization goes far beyond just translating words but translating experiences.
Taia experts mention this takes work and time, but if done correctly, it will transform your business in local markets.
A quick example of color having cultural meaning
Blue can have both negative and positive meanings. For example, in North America, blue represents tranquility and reliability but also depression and loneliness. Blue is often a symbol of masculinity in Europe and North America. However, in China, it is often connected with femininity. In parts of Asia and the Middle East, blue represents immortality. Blue is believed to repel evil in Turkey, Greece, and Albania.
Marketing Localization Experts
Marketing localization is not something to be done by an in-house bilingual speaker.
It takes native language experts and professional translation partners.
There are too many examples of businesses that either did not do their homework, did not consult with a local translation expert, or decided to translate their messages without localizing them.
Most of these scenarios did not have happy endings and so it’s best to leave localization in expert hands.
Marketing Localization Partner
Your first reaction may be to feel overwhelmed when you learn there are so many facets to marketing localization. Although the localization process may be complex, it does not have to be for your business.
Taia’s platform is your gateway to local, native translators and experts in your specific industry. With all this support on one, easy-to-use platform, your business never needs to fear marketing localization again.
Taia is based in Europe but has native specialists based across the world. We specialize in translation and localization across all industries, continents, and in over 97 language pairs.
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