You’ve made the decision to take your company global. During that process, you’ve probably considered the idea of translating your marketing content and collateral, but what does that entail? How big of a process is that and where do you begin? Let’s dive into why marketing translation is important and uncover the impact it has on your brand’s identity and reputation in a new market.
The Importance of Marketing
The aim of marketing content is to represent your brand’s message across platforms and cultures with a consistent, persuasive, and engaging strategy. This means the quality of your marketing translation is greatly impacted by the translation and localization of your marketing content. High-quality translation allows your message to shine through and help you reach your marketing goals, but poor translation will hinder reaching your goals.
Effective marketing translation capitalizes on global growth, reaches a new target market, and builds audience goodwill. However, inadequate marketing translation, at a minimum, fails to deliver the correct message and at it’s worst, damages your company and brand image.
Avoid a Negative Brand Image
It’s important to recognize the difference between marketing translation and technical translation. Technical translations involve content like instructions, manuals, blueprints, legal documents, and medical records. The content itself involves conveying information with a goal in mind, such as educating the reader. Marketing communication is often much more nuanced. Depending on your brand image and offerings, the content strategy may include humor, emotional appeal, or sarcasm. It is common to use language tools like puns, metaphors, pop culture, and local phrases to connect with the target market. Inadequate translation of these messages easily misconstrues the intent of the message, resulting in confusion or even offense.
Reliable marketing translation engages the local audience using cultural considerations, like local slang and idioms. Literal translation does not work for marketing collateral. Therefore, think of your marketing translation as a separate piece of your overall localization strategy to build a strong brand image and positive perception in your new target market.
Ford: Every Car Has a High-Quality Body – Example
Let’s look at an example of a bad marketing translation to put this into perspective. Automotive giant Ford launched a campaign in Europe to highlight Ford’s commitment to high-quality. What they thought said “every car has a high-quality body” actually read “every car has a high-quality corpse”. This portrayed the image that Ford cars had dead bodies inside, which is not quite what they were going for.
Marketing campaigns are a large investment of company resources, including both time and money. Therefore, it’s important to not let it fall apart when the message leaves its native language. You can maintain the value of your investment with a translation strategy tailored to reach each specific audience based on its language and cultural identity.
Strong Global Brand Identity & Reputation
Marketing translation aids in building a strong global brand identity and reputation when it’s done well. The key to effective global communication is to follow a unique approach in each target market. Tailoring the language itself to a new audience should not be overlooked. For example, a message originally composed in English for a US audience could be ineffective for English speaking residents in India. Working with a translation company that understands these differences will allow your message to work in the new market.
Intel: Sponsors of Tomorrow – Example
Back in 2009, Intel began a global marketing campaign focusing on the tagline “Intel: Sponsors of tomorrow”. Fortunately, during the localization process, a microprocessor realized the literal translation of this tagline wouldn’t work for the Brazilian market. To Latin Americans, the phrase “de mañana” (of tomorrow) has implications of a casual, non-urgent approach to business. With this being the opposite of the intended message, Intel translated the message to instead read “in love with the future”, appealing to the passionate nature of the Brazilian cultural identity.
While it is important to craft unique content to reach each target market, consistent communication of the brand identity remains necessary. This is a delicate balance that requires professional and expert marketing translation experts. When done well and with a focus on detail, the brand reputation reaches a new level.
Capitalize on Market Growth Opportunities
When you enter a new market, the first goal is usually to introduce the brand and offering(s) to the target market. This first impression has lasting effects. Your choice on how to handle your marketing translation will impact whether your impression is positive or negative.
Your translation partner will understand the delicate balance of maintaining a solid and consistent brand message while adjusting for cultural and language differences. A customized approach to content translation provides both to meet the needs of the target market.
Making sure your translation partner understands the intent of each piece of content, whether it is to engage, inform, or sell, is key. Not only do you need to consider the translation of the actual content at each of these levels, but you also need to think through the overall globalization strategy. While marketing content should be persuasive, the core message must also be able to reach the audience at each specific level.
With a proper strategy and customization, your marketing message will not only reach the intended target market, but it will accomplish the goal of the content itself. Getting it right from the start by partnering with a confident and skilled translation team allows you to do just that.
Achieve Success Through Marketing Translation
Approach your marketing translation with a holistic strategy. It’s important to look at the big picture in addition to each specific piece of content that will need translating. This allows for consistent and effective messaging and branding throughout the entire project. Several marketing components to consider include:
- Email communications
- Sales support documentation
- Trade show & event assets
- Print collateral
- Online form creation
- And more!
With the success of your message hindering on a deep understanding of the tools needed to build culturally appropriate content, finding the right translation partner is key. This partner will utilize their strong language skills and industry knowledge to effectively execute your marketing translation project.
At Vocalink Global, we’re committed to offering you marketing translation services that meet your business goals while helping you build a strong brand identity and reputation. Don’t let your message get lost in translation. Partner with the team that will help you build a solid foundation in each new market you enter. Contact us today to discuss your global marketing strategy to begin your journey into the global marketplace with well-crafted translations.