Think globally!

Sep 11, 2013 · 3 min

International marketing in foreign languages has never been so easy

In the age of globalization, making decisions about international marketing is a lot easier for companies than it has been in the past, and is now an essential part of their business.

Global marketing strategy - why?

From the moment of reaching a decision about international marketing, the company’s marketing and strategy directors are busy with composing the company’s marketing strategy. However, such strategy can be linguistically and culturally biased from inception: since the company directors and employees feel comfortable in an English-speaking environment, and are familiar with American culture, the obvious audience tends to be in English-speaking countries and especially in North America. An attitude towards marketing that focuses on “what I know and where I am most comfortable” makes sense, obviously, but it also has many disadvantages:

  • The English-speaking market is the same market that competitors tap into, for the same reasons mentioned above.
  • This market is not necessarily the optimal target market for the company, but your Pre-Sales people would never know that, because their research is conducted in English and focuses on English-speaking countries only.
  • Marketing in an English-speaking target market may prove significantly more expensive. For example, when SMEs use search engine ads for marketing, where the competition over popular English keywords is in most cases much more serious, and so clickthrough rates (CTR) are usually lower. This results in marketing that is more expensive in English than in other languages! Investing in promoting the company’s site using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is also a lot cheaper in languages other than English, since the competition for foreign language content is lower. For companies that are already marketing their products and services in English-speaking countries, a multilingual strategy can add significant advantages that go beyond exposure to new target markets, and include possible new partnerships, and opportunities for mergers and acquisitions.


All of the company’s materials regarding products and training must be translated by a professional translator who is a native of the target language. The translator should have knowledge in the particular content area of the company (for example: technical, medical, legal), and should be familiar with the professional jargon unique to that company. Some companies use full-time translator, while others outsource translation. Translation is usually better when it is reviewed by several professional translators, who can give each other comments and feedback. Translation of marketing materials should be reserved for a translator who is an expert in marketing, and who “lives and breaths” the culture of the target country. This type of translation is less literal and more interpretative.

Company website localization

the company’s website must undergo complete localization because potential clients will turn to it when they are looking for further information about the company. A website that seems foreign will deter them. Successful localization of the website requires cooperation between the marketing team and the technical team that oversees the construction and maintenance of the website. Aside from translating the content of the site, certain adjustments of the site’s structure will require a targeted development budget.

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