Have you set your sights on international expansion?
If your business is already enjoying substantial success in one country, then it could be time to look to overseas markets to bring about a step-change in your revenue generation.
However, no two markets are the same. And when you’re considering operating in a country where you don’t speak the language, things can be even more complicated, so working with a reputable translation agency becomes an essential part of the process.
It’s important to have a robust international marketing strategy in place in order to maximise your chances of success. Are you ready to write yours? Ok, let’s crack on then.
How to build an international business marketing strategy
Marketing Donut highlights the key differences between a regular marketing strategy and one that tackles international operations in this article on ten ways to improve your international marketing strategy.
Certain elements of your strategy will be the same, such as defining your goals, laying out how you’re going to achieve them and what metrics you will use to measure the degree of your success. Marketing Donut then advises researching your new markets in detail to establish their size, key drivers and how well your product is likely to be received.
Then it’s time to adapt your marketing strategy to the international context. Consider everything from local infrastructure (who will sell, deliver, make and otherwise be involved in your business there?) to customs, values and beliefs that might impact how your product is viewed and how popular it could become.
Have you considered all of the above as part of your international business marketing strategy? If not, you could be limiting your potential when it comes to selling your wares overseas.
Building translation services into your marketing strategy
If you don’t speak the language of the country in question, find a decent translation company to work with – and do it fast!
Involving a translation company in your international marketing venture from the outset can make a significant different to your chance of success. Whether you’re researching local customs, looking for information on preferred marketing techniques in your target market or presenting information about your product, having someone on hand who speaks the language fluently is a key part of the process.
A good translator who can handle everything from marketing information to website translation services can quickly become an invaluable part of your international marketing strategy.
Would you attempt to compile your annual accounts without a financial expert to guide you? No, precisely. The same applies when it comes to a language expert.
Professional translators can handle everything from introductory emails to product marketing descriptions to manuals that explain how products work and that contain essential health and safety information. They can also help you establish what such documents legally have to contain in the target market – something that can save you a great deal of time and hassle in the long-run.
Like I said – professional translators can quickly become an invaluable part of your international marketing team.
Accessing localization expertise
Many language experts can also help by sharing their knowledge of local customs, buying habits, social media usage and much more. These are the kind of details that can make a big difference to the way that you connect with local customers and how engaged they are with your product and brand.
Using local knowledge in the right way can, ultimately, increase your sales figures and enhance the reputation of your brand.
Have you accessed such specialist knowledge yet? If not, it’s time to give this due consideration as part of your international marketing strategy.
Using interpretation services
While many of your language-related needs are likely to be met by the use of professional translators, there are also likely to be times when you’ll need to access interpretation services in order to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
When it comes to interpretation services, only the best will suffice. Your interpreter becomes both your ears and your mouthpiece when you’re meeting with those whose language you don’t speak. A personable, talented linguistic can help your international peers feel at ease during a meeting and ensure that conversation flows easily.
Someone whose language skills aren’t quite up to scratch, on the other hand, can cause all kinds of headaches, as iSpot demonstrates in looking at this recent AT&T advert. In this (thankfully fictional) situation, poor interpretation completely derails the purpose and meaning of the business meeting in question.
Getting it right first time
Remember that your international marketing strategy should be a living document that you use and update regularly. After all, what’s the point of writing something in order to file it away and not use it?
Building in language-related elements such as translation, localization and interpretation from the outset will help to position you well for succeeding in your international goals.
It’s also worth thinking longer-term about the languages that you’re using. For example, if you’re translating everything into Spanish in order to sell your products in Mexico, why not devise a longer-term strategy to market your wares in Spanish-speaking countries across South America? That way you can get maximum value out of the materials that you have paid to have professionally translated.
Just remember to localise those translated materials for each and every country that you approach. There are subtle differences between the Spanish spoken in Mexico and that spoken in Argentina, for example, so be sure to use an Argentinian proofreader to review all of the marketing materials that you prepared for your Mexican expansion, before you switch your attention to Argentina!
Are you excited about the potential that overseas markets hold in terms of expanding your business? If so, be sure to clearly define your international business marketing strategy in order to ensure that your cross-border venture delivers everything that you hope it will. It’s never too early to find the right translation, localization and interpretation professionals to help you along the way.
So what are you waiting for?