Digital media’s greatest marketing strength may also be its greatest pitfall: a digital ad can reach anyone, but not everyone reads marketing material the same way. How do you make sure your digital marketing campaign resonates with an audience in Hoboken as well as in Hanoi? The answer is to localize. A localization company maximizes the strengths of the global digital format while maintaining regional appeal.
1) Tap the Regional Zeitgeist
An ad that grabs attention in Manhattan may not in San Francisco, and how much more so for marketing across borders? Consider the recent Seamless campaign designed by Upshot Agency, featuring the witty but eyebrow-raising line “Cooking is so Jersey”. These ads would never fly in San Francisco (or New Jersey), but they reach a generation of snide young New Yorkers. By first speaking the local language, your company can strike chord of humor and, if you’re daring, controversy that is unique to your local market. Speak the language, tap the zeitgeist, grab the audience.
2) Show the Locals You Care
By tapping the regional zeitgeist, you demonstrate your caring and understanding about the lives of your target market. You get it. Establishing this kind of understanding builds trust, and as we all know, brand loyalty is built upon trust. When you speak the language, you connect and you get a response, like when Barack Obama greeted his Jamaican audience with a hearty “Wha gwaan.” Localizing breaks down barriers, a critical factor in showing that your company is not an outsider.
3) You Never Know Where You Will Strike a Chord
Different cultures respond differently, and often unpredictably, to brands. Why does Boston love Dunkin’ Donuts so much? Why is SPAM such a hit in South Korea? The reasons for these are often complex and deeply rooted in local culture and history. Hormel Foods may not have planned to strike a chord when their canned meat traveled across the pacific with American GIs, but as anybody enjoying a bowl of budae-jjigae (“military stew”) knows, the ripple effects have impacted international cuisine. You never know where your company will find a fertile market, or for what reasons–at least until you localize.
4) Greater Reach Increases Capacity for Growth
Increasing your company’s lexicon gives you a broader reach, and correspondingly a greater capacity for growth. You can do a lot more good in a lot more places, and ultimately see a greater return on your investments, simply by adapting your tune to the local rhythms. As Entrepreneur helpfully points out, going global and localizing diversifies your market base, which protects you from destabilizing forces, such as seasonal fluctuations at home. And ultimately, the bottom line is the bottom line.
Digital media has the capacity to travel anywhere, but in a world where we can technically connect with nearly everyone, it is important to truly connect. We truly connect when we speak the local language, understand the local perspective, and foster relationships across borders. Localizing your business gives you the power to reach more people and grow your company in a global environment. So, it’s time you embraced localized digital marketing today.
Christina Comben is Content Manager at translation and localization services provider, Day Translations. Multilingual and qualified to MBA level, Christina is passionate about writing, traveling and continued education.