Multilingual marketing by native speakers

When taking your brand to other countries, you’ll have to connect with the audience there using their cultural and social terminology, not just their language.

Research shows that about 75% of people prefer to buy products in their native language, so if you don’t get this right, your chances of succeeding are going to be very low.

Introducing your brand to different markets will be challenging and potentially even disastrous if you don’t plan for the obvious and less obvious cultural differences. Not doing the right research could end in a few unbridgeable mistakes.

After all, marketing is all about connecting with your audience - in the right place, at the right time - so you don’t want to be making these mistakes.

Don’t take it literally!

You probably know already that sayings don’t necessarily have a direct translation into a different language. Or if they do, they may use completely different words or explain the same matter within a different context. This is just one of the challenges you’ll face when introducing your product to a new market.

An example

The other day one of our Marketing Consultants identified an issue with an idiom that was being used for one of our clients. The saying ‘all singing all dancing’ - which you are probably familiar with - was being used to list the benefits of one of our client’s products in the USA. Since we speak the same language, this should be fine, right? Well, it turned out it wasn’t…

Our colleague, who knows very well what words to use when targeting products and services to the American English speakers, (after all she is American herself), didn’t have a clue as to the meaning of the ‘singing and dancing’ expression. She thought this was an error as in her mind this only worked as a literal expression. What do singing and dancing have to do with car mats and dog barriers? This obviously generated a funny debate in the office about the dangers of translating expressions literally into another language.

Considering that Germans are not particularly known for drinking tea, how are you supposed to say ‘this is not my cup of tea’ in German? Would it be acceptable to say ‘this is not my type of sausage’ or would that sound weird even in Germany? - we wondered. Luckily, our German colleague was there to shed some light on the matter…

Not sticking to a simple translation

Sayings, words meaning different things, the idiosyncrasy of the country in question, how people see and interpret colours, socially accepted behaviour, can all have an impact in the way you market your brand.

When we say ‘translation’, we are not just referring to words. We are talking about all the peculiarities of the country that will need to be considered to run a successful marketing campaign.

Would you know how to type one thousand in Spanish (with numbers)? The question may seem a bit silly since numbers are the same over there, right? Did you know that they use dots instead of commas? So, one thousand would be 1.000. The question that you probably have in your mind now is how do they type 1.27? Well, they use commas! 1,27.

Going beyond barriers

Multilingual marketing with native speakers goes beyond all these barriers. Understanding the social usage of the language is a plus, but as experienced marketers, we can confidently research and offer you the right input to make your brand successful in whichever market you are planning to reach.

Consider the areas that will make a positive impact on the brand and which ones will help you grow. Is it SEO, PPC, Social Media, a freshly designed website? Take the time to think about your goals and what you would like to achieve in this new market to plan a strategy.

If you're looking to market your brand to audience overseas? Then ExtraDigital can help!

Tuesday 26th February 2019

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