Translation services assist all aspects of your company’s growth, from in-person meetings and presentations to client proposals and web content.
However, translation services are most important when it comes to reaching a global audience. Marketing is one of the most important aspects in connecting with a new demographic or geographical area, which is where professional and seamless translation is required for success.
Effective and accurate communication is key whether you want to focus on an entire marketing campaign or just a few tactics to grab attention (e.g., social media posts or e-campaigns). There are nuances in every language, from humor to common slang, and these minor discrepancies are where a clear marketing message can literally be lost in translation.
Avoid Reputational Damage with Accurate Marketing Translation
A misstep in marketing translation can result in severe financial and reputational damage. For example, when HSBC Holdings, a UK-based financial institution, expanded to a global market in 2009, they used their long-established slogan “Assume Nothing.” Unfortunately, this directly translated as “Do Nothing” in several new language markets, implying that their financial managers do not attempt to help their clients. HSBC ultimately spent an estimated $10 million to backtrack and resolve this language translation mistake.
Translation is important when it comes to marketing, whether you are a global institution, or a small business looking to identify and connect with new clients around the globe. Take a closer look at the considerations to keep in mind when expanding your marketing to new and global audiences. Additionally, discover more about how you can ensure that your message is clear and attention grabbing, right from the start.
What is Marketing Translation?
As the term implies, marketing translation is simply transforming all marketing materials from one language to another. This entails advertisement copy and company slogans, but it can also include:
- Websites and landing pages
- Blogs and press releases
- Social media content and posts
- Videos and photo captions
- Product descriptions
- Emails and e-campaigns
- Banners and billboards
- Television and radio copy
- Trade show materials
- Brochures, flyers, and print materials
- In-person meeting presentations with potential partners, clients, and customers
Effectively, marketing translation involves much more than a simple logo or slogan, it involves every aspect of your brand’s communication with the public.
What are the Challenges of Marketing Translation?
The most obvious challenge of marketing translation is simply getting the words correct in a different language, but translation goes miles beyond the basics in the marketing realm.
When it comes to marketing translation, localization is essential, as this means altering your marketing materials, verbiage, and content to reach a new demographic on their terms. Every community in the world has its own unique culture, which includes slang, humor, and guidelines on what is appropriate and not appropriate. Therefore, you must consider localization tactics if you want your marketing campaign to succeed across international borders.
Translation Mistakes Cause Marketing Campaign Failures
In 2001, in certain Nordic countries, there was the launch of the Honda Fitta. Though “Fitta” was a technically correct term, in local circles, Fitta was also used as a vulgar slang term for a woman’s body part. Honda spent millions rebranding the Fitta as the “Jazz”, but the embarrassment and damage were already done.
Here’s another example of a translation failure. A UK telecom company named Orange launched a similar mistake in the turbulent mid-1990s, when they shared their brand tagline, “The future’s bright… the future’s Orange,” in Northern Ireland. The campaign was not well-received because the color orange represented the Orange Order. Which is a local Protestant fraternal organization, and many residents of the primarily Catholic Northern Ireland geographical area interpreted the slogan to mean that the “future is Protestant.”
You can do a Google search for “marketing translation fails,” and you’ll easily stumble upon dozens of embarrassing examples like these, where the issue wasn’t the translation – it was misunderstanding the quirks and nuancesof the culture.
Localization is an essential factor when you are reaching a new audience, and it’s very easy to make a misstep when your marketing team is not entirely educated in the intricacies of the translated language and how it relates to the broader community.
How to Get Started on Effective Marketing Translation
There are countless cautionary tales about marketing translation, but this doesn’t mean that you should shy away from expanding your brand to new demographics around the world.
After all, only 15% of people in the world speak English, and only 5% consider English as their native language. Therefore, if you can take your business to international heights, your company’s growth potential is practically limitless.
Translation Services for Your Marketing Strategy
The first thing you need to do is develop an effective marketing strategy before you dip your toes into a global marketplace. Your company most likely already has a preferred logo, slogan, phrases, and content that identifies your brand, but does this translate to new cultures? Also, moving forward in your campaigns and content, how can you initially share your message with an international audience and continue this message with promotions and outreach efforts, like social media posts or press releases?
INGCO International is Your Partner for Marketing Translation
The smartest move is to schedule a consultation with a language services company with translation experts. INGCO International is proficient in translations for all marketing strategies and content. We can ensure that your message conveys your exact intention in more than 200 languages around the world. Our professional team of WordologistsSM is obsessed with finding just the right word or phrase to share your message in a way that resonates on a local level.
When it comes to expanding your brandinternationally, don’t do it alone. Reach out to our team today, and we’ll begin with a free consultation to understand your company, your marketing goals, and how you want to expand into a new global market.
With smart moves and strategies from the initial planning stages of your international marketing campaign, you can be confident in your business expansion. All of your communications will connect with your new audience – no hiccups or unintended setbacks along the way.