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Tokyo, Japan

Multilingual marketing for a global marketplace

Posted 23 September 2014

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Content and multilingual marketing isn’t only about aiming at foreign markets.

With countries such as the US and United Kingdom having citizens whose first language isn’t English, their needs need to be addressed by B2C companies selling domestically.

Even if companies have marketing aimed at customers in the home market, they may fail to target it across the very different language, cultural and geographical distinctions among this consumer group. Getting it right on the home market can give an insight into the sense of market potential and challenges based on content for the UK market first. This is key to marketing overseas, which will present the same challenges and require the same considerations. If marketing is handled correctly, companies will be able to dip their toes into foreign markets long before finally taking the plunge.

Localisation (adapting a product to meet the language, cultural and other requirements of a specific target market) involves far more than nuanced translations and content management systems. The core marketing elements – buyer personas, SEO, subdomains and hosting location – must be tackled first. Also, many marketing decisions about the best way to enter foreign markets aren’t always made by the right people. This is a job often delegated to people who really aren’t qualified to make the best call.

Professional translation providers are the best people for the job. Your agents and distributors may be great sales people – but would you get your UK sales team to write your website? What’s more do you really want to be taking them away from their sales role whilst they struggle with the nuances of the English language? Unless you can be a local in a country, travel there and have personal business relationships in that country, you should be looking for a translation company to partner with; one which is interested in getting to know your company’s products and services and taking on this essential role. After all, you may be competing with local companies in the country you are marketing to. You’ll therefore need to be on a level playing field.

Translating content is an investment and needs to be considered as such. It’s not an add-on or an afterthought to be pushed onto unwilling overseas contacts, but one of the most important fundamentals when targeting consumers overseas. So where do you find a great translation company?

All claim to do the same – but do they?

Language services providers all seem to give out the same message, so how do you make a choice when they all state that they offer high quality translation services at cost-effective prices, with a fast turnaround if needed? There’s usually a heap of jargon to work your way through if you visit any translation company’s website, too.

What most businesses need is a true partner. A team that is prepared to get to know your business and work with you and help you add value to your products, which will ultimately give you a return on your investment.

Money talks

It shouldn’t all be about cost, but very often, it’s a deciding factor. The same is true when sourcing multilingual marketing translation services. However, be vigilant and make sure you know what’s included in the prices quoted. Not all translation companies are equal in that respect.

Ask for an initial consultation to find out exactly what a company can do for you. If costs are higher, there may be a very good reason for that. What is the company offering in their price per word? What are the additional costs which your company will have to bear to get “translated” text into the required format so that it displays correctly, for example?

Ultimately, what are you looking to achieve:

  • Sell more products?
  • Offer better customer service?
  • Communicate more easily?
  • Train your staff cost-effectively?
  • Meet legal requirements?
  • Compete more effectively?

Once you have ascertained your goals, look for a partner who understands your needs and help you to achieve them.

ALM Translations has been advising and helping its clients with their multilingual marketing requirements since 2002. Contact us today for a free consultation or alternatively, send any documentation to info@almtranslations.com for a competitive, fully transparent quotation.
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