What did you do to make your marketing material appropriate for entering a new cultural market?


What did you do to make your marketing material appropriate for entering a new cultural market? Have you gone through the process of translating and customizing the material of your website to work in a cross-cultural content?

Did you do more than translate the language? Did you adjust pictures? Did you have a local business or localization expert to review language, terms, legal issues?

Did you work with a localization expert? Were they subject matter experts? translators? culture specific?


Marketing Culture Translation

asked Apr 1 '11 at 13:52
Joseph Barisonzi
12,141 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll

2 Answers


Very good questions!
lots of people confuse translation with localization. Actually, localization is lot more than translation.
Like you said in the question, pictures, currency, color, culture etc should all be localized. If a company entering into foreign country, the material should be "localized" not just translated.
A localization expert is very necessary? especially if you are using freelance contractor online, in the first place, in most of the case the quality of the tranlation cannont be guaranteed; second, you don't know if the message you trying to deliver will be well received by the costumers you want to target.
For example, when pampers first enter Japan, they advertise efficiency, how their product can save time and effort for Moms, however the sales stay slow. In Japanese culture it reflect laziness of Mom. Later they discover the issue and change the message to beneficial to babies' health, the sales were soared.

answered Apr 12 '11 at 16:49
86 points


Great question.

Having worked on a SaaS platform available in the EU and US, you have to examine everything from the text down to the actual business model, and purchasing preferences. How will the customer pay? - that's a question that isn't just about payment mechanics like credit cards vs. direct bill pay from a bank (more European, for example) - but purchasing culture. Do consumers in country X pay their bills more or less on time? Do they tend to require more or less evaluation time to make a purchase decision. What about T&C, and other legalese.

In a software product, the translation is a two-part issue: you have to localize the actual language in the product, and you have to localize and adapt all your text assets to fit the local market. Translating text labels in an application isn't that bad. But translating the message is a bigger deal. People can just 'smell' Euroglish, or Britglish, or detect traces of being 'non-native.' It can make a customer uncomfortable with you.

Not to deliberately cast the work of offshore developers in a bad light but even tracking spelling errors and other text mishaps turns out to be expensive. Sure, 10-15 tickets in a bug tracker isn't exactly expensive to fix, or expensive to do, but it's going to be another issue for your start-up mind to have to manage. And the context-switching is expensive.

answered Apr 2 '11 at 02:11
840 points

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