Global Marketing Starts with Localization

It is often suggested that culture plays the major role in advertising and that it “influences every aspect of marketing”.

If this is true, and it certainly seems to be the case, then all global marketing should start with localization, and here’s why.


What is Localization?

Localization is the process of adapting a product, service, or content to suit a specific location.

For instance, MacDonalds restaurants serve a typical Big Mac in the US, however, in the Middle East and other predominantly Muslim countries, all Big Macs (and other MacDonald’s burgers) are made with Halal meat. It is even possible to check their ingredients, supplier information, and meat processing methods online.

This is a masterclass in MacDonalds’ marketing localization– appeal to the local customers and you’ll ensure good trade. It certainly seems to be working for them, as around 70 million people eat in their restaurants worldwide each day!

To ensure a successful conversion to a new international market, localization is vital.


Plan Ahead for Localization

Creating fresh, new content is exciting and stimulating. It takes consideration, time and energy to get it right; accurately portraying your brand voice means paying attention and reflecting on your values.

The same is true for localizing content for an international audience.
Don’t just assume that you can simply translate existing content, packaging, or advertising, as it is highly likely that local audiences in your new markets will find it is not to their liking.

Colours, images, fonts, currencies, language, humour, common phrases, and so on, all change depending upon location.

Plan ahead for localization and ensure you give the time and consideration to creating content which fits your new audience.


Market Research for Localization

Good advertising will attract customers by understanding their needs, desires and perspective. If you know your audience you can target them specifically by adapting your marketing campaign to suit them.

Pique their interests, share their concerns, consider their dilemmas, understand their needs, and study their culture.

In this way, it is possible to localize your brand to appeal to a new target audience.

Remember, that each region is likely to be slightly different, even within the same country. There is no right approach that will suit everyone but by gaining a thorough understanding of local culture, history, nuances, dialects, and laws, you’ll be able to approach your marketing campaign with confidence.


Localization, Transcreation and Translation

As you should have already gathered, translation alone is not sufficient to deal with variances in regional norms or accepted customs.

Instead, it is vital that localization is employed as a means of attracting the right custom to your product and brand.

If you simply re-write (or translate) content from your main website, or your native site, you are not likely to connect with customers at their level.

Instead, consider using a professional localization team who understand your audience, speak their language, and have in-depth knowledge of local culture.

By adapting your marketing campaigns, website content, brand name and slogans in this way – you can literally re-create content (translate and create = transcreate) in order to resonate with your audience.

Emotional responses to marketing campaigns are the basis for good advertising and to elicit the right response you need to understand your audience. A professional translation and localization company can help you do this effectively, timely, and within budget.


If you require assistance with translation, transcreation, or localization of your marketing campaigns, contact the expert linguists at Creative Word, and we’ll be happy to assist you.

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