Expanding into new territories is a big step – you’ll need to consider a new set of customers, diverse professionals, varied laws and legislations, and, of course, you’ll have language barriers with which to contend.
However, with forethought, advance planning, and the right language service provider as your partner, you can gain international success with fewer problems than you may have thought possible.
The following tips will help you achieve your international market goals and have been formulated from our experience partnering with companies as diverse as Chanel, Dubai International Finance Centre and the British Tourism Authority.
1. Commonly Spoken Languages
As a rule, it is often not a good idea to generalise where language is concerned (we tend to be proud of our mother tongue and don’t appreciate it being used incorrectly or inaccurately).
However, if you are aiming to reach a new audience, on a tight budget, it is worth looking at the most commonly used languages so that you can target more than one country or region.
For instance, Arabic is spoken by over 400million people around the world and is the national language of more than 20 countries, so in this way you can target multiple locations with just one language translation.
A word of warning should be heeded here however, translating into Arabic in order to target multiple locations is acceptable, but if you wish to make a truly great impact with your brand it is better to localise the Arabic dialects so that it is more engaging, personal and appealing to your audience.
Remember also, currencies, weights and measures, socially accepted norms, and so on, can all change with regions, countries and dialects.
2. Choose a Professional Language Services Provider
When working on a tight budget, or a tight deadline, it can be tempting to cut corners – don’t!
By choosing to work with a professional language services provider for all your translation and localization requirements you can rest assured that you’ll receive the best service and translation possible.
When selecting which provider best suits your needs consider points such as:
• Do they specialise in the language(s) you require?
• Can they show examples of previous work?
• Who are their clients?
• Do they have ISO certification?
• Do they use native speaking linguists?
• Can they provide translation project managers?
• How do they ensure client confidentiality?
3. Do your Research
We’ve already looked at how expansion can take time, effort and money but don’t let that put you off doing copious amounts of market research, as understanding the market can make all the difference to your success.
Consider the following points:
• What success have we had in similar regions?
• What are our competitors doing?
• What will our budget look like?
• What cultural variances should we be aware of?
• What laws and legislation may impact our move?
• What do the demographics show for the region?
• What connections (suppliers, producers, existing customers) do we have in the region?
The answers to these questions will help you to formulate a plan based on real evidence, and will give you valuable background to the new market and potential customers.
4. Localise your Sales and Customer Service Channels
In order to communicate effectively with potential customers, and support your brand profile, it is necessary to localise your customer services and sales support teams.
This should include social media posts, apps, online messaging facilities, and AI generated responses, alongside human members of your team.
Use native speaking translators and linguists for every localization project and consider offering your team training in cultural awareness.
5. Translation and Localization
Translation and localization should be a priority in your international marketing budget.
Everything that is translated can, potentially, entice new customers and raise brand awareness, so it is worth doing properly. If customers can’t understand your marketing materials, products, or services they won’t spend their money on it!
Localization gives a more in-depth and polished product than translation and it is worth the extra investment as it means everything is tailored to target a specific region, customer, location and language.
Localization will adapt, not only language, but also the following:
• Weights and measures
• Humour and colloquial idioms
• Date, time, address, phone number formats
• Design and layout
• Culturally accepted content
Creative Word can help with all your translation and localization requirements, and we have many years’ experience partnering with prestigious clients, so if you’d like advice on your translation project or wish to speak to a member of the Creative Word team, please contact us.
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