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Marketing Local While Going Global

By: Tara Allison
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Localised messaging is critical for gaining market share.

As companies expand into new global markets, marketing teams are inevitably tasked with building a customer base through targeted regional campaigns. This can pose a challenge for many marketing professionals, particularly when team members don’t have experience working in a particular locality. Issues of culture, language, data regulation, and a host of other factors make for a difficult marketing landscape. But with the right content strategy that prioritises localisation techniques, brands can establish themselves in the market and build a customer base that will ultimately lead to profitable returns.

Localised marketing materials

When going global, many companies will adopt an international or American voice for their communications messaging. This neutral approach may work well for companies advertising to a mass audience, but it would be a mistake for brands looking to gain market share in a new regional market. The key is to localise messaging in a way that connects with the audience and motivates them to engage with the brand. Localisation can take a number of forms, but overall, brands need to demonstrate a cultural understanding and awareness of the nuances facing consumers in that market. By showing consumers you understand their needs and desires, and are truly working to become part of the culture not just exploit it; brands can make valuable connections that lead to conversions.

More than just language translation

Language is perhaps the most obvious way to localise marketing messaging, but it’s also not as simple as it may appear. Yes, it’s critical to create messaging in the local language to increase engagement. But that doesn’t mean brands can simply translate materials they’ve used in other markets. Idioms, jokes, and turns of phrase often don’t directly translate between languages. Dialects can also vary wildly from region to region within the same country. That’s why it’s important for brands to partner with the right translation service provider (ideally a locally based provider) to navigate the nuances of the local language and develop copy that will have the most impact.

Engage personnel on the ground

The best way to make sure marketing materials accurately reflect local language and culture is to engage with local experts. Content like high-level product descriptions can be executed remotely. But only someone who is part of a particular culture can truly understand the nuances of the local region and tailor marketing messaging effectively. The more complex the content, the more important it is to have someone on the ground. This may mean partnering with local agencies, or it may mean employing someone as the start of a local team. Either way, brands should prepare to establish a local marketing presence when entering a new market.

Learn from consumer data

Data is a core component of any localisation strategy as customers can provide companies with information about the market as a whole. As such, companies expanding into new global markets need to have a detailed understanding of the local laws governing consumer data. Some countries are much more lenient about consumer data than others, which can have a tremendous impact on the way brands market in those countries.

Having a well-articulated data policy is important not only from a legal perspective, but also in terms of overall personalisation efforts and market research. Partnering with the right global ecommerce solutions provider can help companies navigate complicated legal issues.

Marketing internationally comes with a host of unique considerations that many marketing professionals take for granted while working in their native regions. But that also doesn’t mean you have to throw out the playbook entirely. By simply crafting messaging and materials that are culturally relevant and reflect the needs of the local audience, brands can gain market share and secure high ROI for their globalisation efforts.