Global and local marketing: The essentials for success

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At the same time, there are a growing number of marketing tools to help you promote your business in this international marketplace. Because these tools are so easy to use, companies can quickly jump on the wave and spread their marketing message around the world. These “do-it-yourself” campaigns, despite the best of intentions, usually end ... Read more

At the same time, there are a growing number of marketing tools to help you promote your business in this international marketplace. Because these tools are so easy to use, companies can quickly jump on the wave and spread their marketing message around the world.

These “do-it-yourself” campaigns, despite the best of intentions, usually end up failing and sometimes cost the company a lot of money. Because it’s so easy to get started, many marketers are tempted to overlook a crucial element of this industry: analyzing international markets at the local level.

Understand the differences between markets

Before launching an international campaign, it’s important to understand the difference between global and local marketing.

What is global marketing?

Global marketing, at the most basic level, is about delivering a common message to everyone. Your website’s home page is a perfect example of this, and it should be written so that as many people as possible learn about your company and services.

Global marketing materials are usually written in English, which is actually a second language.

A global marketing campaign can be a great way to raise awareness of your business or services, as well as to stimulate sales to large companies. If English is not your first language, you will need a translator to create copy for an international audience. You’ll also need a search engine optimization expert to optimize this content for high rankings on global search engines.

What is localized marketing?

Localized marketing is more targeted and aimed at a much smaller audience. A good example of this is the sales letter sent to potential clients in Europe.

To maximize conversions, you need to create emails that are written in local languages and take local customs and norms into account. This also applies to campaign materials targeting specific international markets, such as website landing pages.

Localized marketing is a very complex process. Even if the content is virtually identical, marketers will run almost all of their campaigns in the target language. In order to make sure the message is culturally appropriate for the target market, native speakers who are familiar with both the language and customs must be used.

Why localized marketing is better than global marketing

About 62% of international consumers, regardless of English proficiency, rarely use English-language websites. CSA Research indicated that 30% of the 3,002 respondents never buy at English-language sites, and another 29% rarely do. Across the 10-country sample, 56% either spend more time on sites in their own language than they do in English, or boycott English-language URLs altogether. People tend to read, share and enjoy content in their own language. So if you want to achieve local engagement, translating to local markets is an integral part of a comprehensive global marketing strategy. That’s what we’re trying to do.

Search engines like Google create the illusion of localization through pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, in which marketers place text ads for people in targeted markets and ask them to click through to their sites.

But if you don’t create landing pages, you’ll just get more visitors, not more sales from those clicks. Worse, many of the clicks you have to pay for will turn out to be a waste of money.

Instead, marketers need to allocate their budgets more carefully: according to a study by Common Sense Advisory Inc., large companies spend between 0.03% and 1% of their annual revenue on multilingual code and content.

To CFOs, this may seem like an excessive expenditure. However, it has been proven that such investments generate sufficient revenue to cover costs and increase profits. Among companies with current localization programs, 63% invest more than $3 million a year in language services, as this expense is considered a revenue driver.
In the end, localization is better than global advertising because it allows you to target your audience accordingly.

Let’s look at localization

Preparing for a localization project is very similar to any other marketing campaign. The real difference lies in the resources you have available to implement the campaign.

Identify your potential market

In a global campaign it doesn’t matter where the end user is, you just want to reach as many people as possible. Localized campaigns are more targeted, so you need to decide who you want to target. Some products and services work great in one market, but don’t work at all in another. To avoid wasting your budget, identify unpromising markets early on and then focus on those that seem to work well.

Know your target market

There’s no shortage of examples of companies that failed to launch products internationally because they didn’t understand the cultural norms of their new markets.

Get Help

You can’t do great research without knowing your target market thoroughly. By partnering with a localization expert you’ll have access to a dedicated team of in-country linguists. Hiring in-country linguists for localization is extremely important – not only will it help you avoid mistakes, but it will also make sure that your message doesn’t get lost.


Once the research and planning before the event is complete, the company can move on to the implementation phase of the campaign. As mentioned earlier, this is very similar to running a campaign on your own turf. However, be sure to follow any additional guidelines provided by your localization partner.

How do I know if I need to translate for my local market?

For companies planning to expand overseas, it’s important to make sure that your target overseas market has the same local impact and momentum that you’ve achieved in your home market, as this can be a key factor in your success there. The goal is to be as successful in other countries as you are in your local markets in other countries. In order to achieve this goal, a thorough analysis of the local market and target audience in your chosen country must be done before you begin the translation process. In fact, translating marketing materials is not just a translation, it often involves localization and adaptation. Localizing your marketing strategy to your target country or region is very important, and understanding the culture and demographics is just as important as the language when choosing the right words for your new audience. Adaptation means recreating messages to fit different cultures and consumer needs, while retaining the meaning behind them. In fact, these are highly specialized services, especially when it comes to transcription. This is why companies often have to work with a transcription agency that can cover their multilingual services.

Drive sales

The purpose of marketing materials such as brochures, flyers and advertising copy is, among other things, to drive sales and appeal to the target audience they are aimed at. Therefore, their effectiveness is crucial for penetrating the market and gaining the trust of customers.

Marketing documents and materials must be translated to accurately reflect the original core message and style, and adapted to the local culture. This requires thorough market research and a thorough understanding not only of the product or service offered, but also of the local market and culture that directly influence consumer behavior.

When it comes to international marketing campaigns, effective marketing translation services can significantly increase sales and brand awareness. However, inadequate translation of marketing campaign elements or lack of cultural research can quickly lead to a negative brand image. A negative image of a foreign brand can lead to failure in foreign markets, lack of sales growth and even serious losses.

Marketing expenditures are an important part of a company’s internationalization and require knowledge, data and specific information, which means researching not only the target market, but also the culture and language of the country beforehand. In fact, a translator needs linguistic, marketing and writing skills in order to do his or her job well.

Language differences can get in the way of getting your message across

A professional translator can be very helpful in translating your marketing message into a new language. However, in order to successfully market your product or service to your target market, you face a number of challenges in making the translated message appealing and maintaining a certain uniqueness. This requires a deep understanding of what the author or creator of the original wanted and meant by the message, as well as penetrating the minds of the target audience to understand what their needs and preferences are, what appeals to them and what piques their interest in the brand.

This is where language differences and nuances come into play. Phrases, slang, metaphors, puns and rhymes do not always translate equally well into other languages and risk losing the meaning, style and impact of the original message. In most cases, these elements cannot be translated verbatim, or they would be meaningless. When translating headlines or slogans, for example, attention must be paid to subtle nuances in order to make the text appealing and easy to understand. Translation is therefore an appropriate method to meet this situation and expectation.

How can you adapt your marketing message to local cultural differences?

Every country or part of a country has its own culture, traditions, values, and sometimes even religion, which means differences in the way ideas and messages are expressed and understood. To get the most out of your marketing message, to translate it in a way that is most relevant and appealing to the local audience, and to maintain the intended meaning and style, you need to think carefully before you translate.

Cultural differences are the reason why people in a particular region have different needs, interests, preferences, motives, and buying habits. In addition, people in each region have their own unique ways of communicating and expressing themselves, with their own language, symbols, concepts and abbreviation codes. Therefore, it is important to understand your target audience and their culture in order to properly communicate your message and capture their attention.

Interpreters must also take into account a country’s religious beliefs and values. Especially if a country has a dominant religion, it will be a big part of how society functions. It will also affect how people distinguish good from evil, what is admirable and what is not. Therefore, it is important to consider these points when translating your marketing message so as not to offend or offend anyone.

Your brand name

Sometimes you need to change your company’s brand name. Like the content of your marketing message, the brand name should reflect the essence of your company and not offend or shock anyone. It should convey the image the company wants to create with its customers, and it shouldn’t be meaningless to grab attention and be remembered. Examples of mistakes include:

  1. Braniff International translated a slogan touting its finely upholstered seats “Fly in Leather” into Spanish as “Fly Naked.”
  2. Clairol launched a curling iron called “Mist Stick” in Germany even though “mist” is German slang for manure.
  3. Coca-Cola‘s brand name, when first marketed in China, was sometimes translated as “Bite The Wax Tadpole.”

Images, colors and numbers

Image is what makes a brand recognizable and is part of its identity. In order to convey the right message, evoke the right emotions and leave a positive image in consumers’ minds, the right images must be carefully chosen. They must contribute to a valuable and consistent brand image.

Not only words, but also images can have different meanings, create different contexts and evoke different perceptions.

This is the case with packaging options, for example. Of course, they have to be translated into the local language. But it’s not just a question of language. For example, because of the high level of illiteracy in many African cultures, it is common to draw pictures on the packages of products to show what’s inside. This makes the product more accessible and understandable to customers.

Therefore, companies need to adapt to develop marketing campaigns in these countries.

When companies go international, they can reach not only more customers, but also a wider range of cultures, subcultures, values, beliefs and behaviors. This requires a good understanding of local audiences in order to tailor marketing messages to the local target market. It’s not just translating and localizing text word-for-word.

Thus, marketing translation is a complex task that requires time, research, insight and marketing knowledge, as well as some understanding of the target culture. For this reason, global and local marketing are closely related to translation and vice versa. Translators must not only have the necessary knowledge and experience with the target culture on a national or regional level, but also marketing skills. Without a professional translator, marketers cannot provide the right translation for their target market.

As a result, companies are increasingly turning to translation services to help them tailor their marketing messages to different cultures and markets, increase their chances of success abroad and build long-term relationships with international clients.

Translation Services for Global Marketing

Every project is different, but the essence of our work remains the same. You can always rely on the content of your translations when they are done by ABC Translations. Our translations are:

  • Accurate: We test, revise and retest to achieve the results you want.
  • Relevant. Create a message that your customers can understand.
  • Customized. We get to know you and your brand.

Our global marketing translation services work with all types of content translated from websites and emails. We can engage your audience with compelling product descriptions and inform them with accurate specifications. Tell us about your content and your goals.