How to Localize your Marketing Campaigns

Advertising campaigns are a vital element of a company’s advancement – they promote brand image and voice, and can increase popularity of products, services, people and promotions.

Achieving a high level of success with international marketing campaigns can be difficult, especially if we’re unfamiliar with culturally accepted norms, a new target audience, or have limited knowledge of language requirements for a specific campaign.

In order to appeal to our potential customers, we must ensure our marketing campaigns reflect the society in which it is to be used, while also connecting with people on a level they can understand and with which they can relate.

When planning a new international marketing campaign, the following points will help you achieve success:


1. Translation and Localization

Professional translation and localization are key to successful marketing campaigns.

Translation will give you the language required to connect with your audience, but localization gives an extra depth to this which means that your campaign will be customized to fit the culture and society within which you are advertising.

For instance, by only translating your company slogan you might find that it means something completely different to your primary intention, as KFC discovered when they translated their “Finger Lickin’ Good” into Chinese which then became “Eat your fingers off”.

Localization avoids these potential pitfalls as it considers the impact of the entire message within a cultural context.
Localization also considers elements such as currencies, symbols, images, humour, idioms and so on, all of which are changeable dependent upon location and societal norms.


2. Plan in Advance for Localization

Advance planning for localization will help to ensure a successful integration of your brand into a new, foreign market.

The amount of time spent on the original campaign or content (in the source language) should be equalled with every new language and location change. In this way you can be sure that the integrity of your brand is safe and that your marketing campaign will have the best chance of success.

Planning in advance also means allowing time for customization, editing, proofreading, and a final review, before your campaign reaches its intended audience.


3. Culture, Society and Knowing your Audience

As already suggested, cultural awareness of the society, people and language of the region you are targeting is essential for a successful marketing campaign.

Find out everything you can about your new audience – learn their history, look at their societal structures, consider their beliefs, religions, and perspectives in order to better understand them.

Once you have a sound comprehension of your intended audience it is easier to adapt marketing strategies to fit their values, pique their interests and capture their attention.

Remember, everyone is different, even those who live in the same country may hold differing regional perspectives which aren’t shared with others from the same nation, so be sure to do your research thoroughly or use localization professionals who can advise and assist with marketing, design concepts, or language.


4. Don’t Overlook Minor Details

It is often the little things which matter most to people, so ensuring that small details such as, images, colours, font style, or tone of voice are acceptable within each new setting will improve your chance of success.

Minor alterations can have a massive impact on success rates, and ensuring you are up to speed with the most relevant information for your new market will keep you ahead of the game.

Don’t forget to consider elements such as, popular marketing channels and social media platforms, as these do change depending on location and can have a significant impact upon return on investment of campaigns.


This guide gives a brief outline of a few important factors which can affect international marketing campaigns but if you would like more detailed advice or assistance please contact the experts at Creative Word.

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