Marketing Translation

Are you tired of poor marketing translations?

If your speciality is marketing, branding, SEO, or communication and you’re tired of bad literal translations that don’t consider localisation or the unique challenges of marketing translation, this blog might be useful for you to understand how a professional translation agency can successfully translate your marketing strategy without compromising the aim of your marketing campaign or the integrity of your brand.

Why marketing translation is such a challenge

  1. Translating humour. Humour, if used correctly, can be an extremely powerful tool for any marketing campaign.  This tool can sometimes make an advertisement a hit or cultural phenomenon in a country (think the “whaasssup?!” Budweiser adverts). Interestingly, what may seem quite funny to one culture is not always as funny to another. That’s why if humour is a fundamental element of your marketing strategy, that punch-line or joke needs to have the same humorous effect on the audience in foreign markets.
  2. Translating the brand or campaign image. We can all understand the significance of certain colours and images in culture⎯they represent different concepts and emotions established by thousands of years of tradition. So, it is most important that one translates that meaning in marketing and does not employ the colour or image without consideration, which could, in turn, produce an adverse effect than the intended one. An example of what could go wrong without such consideration is seen in the instance of when Gerber baby food (with its iconic baby face logo seen below) was launched in Africa without realising that in African cultures the type of food is often displayed on the label. The horror, the horror!

  3. The need to avoid cultural blunders. The lack of such insight into the cultural subtleties can yield embarrassing results as we can see when a translation of a Parker Pens ad (see below) claimed to “help prevent unwanted pregnancies” or when the Kentucky Fried Chicken catchphrase was translated to “eat your fingers off” for the Chinese market; they might be grammatically correct but lack the cultural insight to translate the actual meaning. These mistakes make it evident that the best way to avoid these problems, be they cultural or language-related, is to hire professional translators to do the job, thus guaranteeing an effective translation and marketing scheme for overseas markets.

How a professional translator overcomes these challenges

  1. Globalisation: Having just one campaign that easily translates linguistically and culturally would definitely simplify the process of expansion and perhaps be even more economically responsible, but all sorts of different linguistic and culture factors need to be accessed for it to be valid. A successful globalised campaign can be observed in a well-established globalised marketing design, like Coca-Cola, where the logo and colour are synonymous with the brand; but can you imagine if it Coca-Cola’s name and colour has turned out to be offensive to another culture?
  2. Localisation: Although no translation may be needed for a campaign with the most recognised brand in the world, there is still an element of localisation that even Coca-Cola has to implement. In the case of the recent “name-on-a-can” campaign, that element of localisation would be finding the most appropriate names corresponding to each country. Understanding most common terms and language used in different contexts across different cultures and languages is undoubtedly a task for a professional translator.

How we integrate SEO in a translation

  1. By understanding the key words and phrases used in a country or area. In order to effectively expand your client base, it is crucial to reach them by whatever means necessary. All sorts of different factors must be taken into account such as the relevant terminology, slang, and variants of the language being translated to.  This is why it is a good idea to consider choosing a translation agency that offers SEO services so you can make the most of your new market possibilities.
  2. By optimising the metadata. Metadata is a critical factor in understanding how the market works and what it is exactly that clients are looking for. The role of the translator is to understand the objective of the company as well as analyse the original metadata in the source language, then to appropriately apply the influencing cultural factors to the translation of said information.
  3. By incorporating localised data and information. It is not enough to simply translate your website word for word; implementing localised and researched terms that are commonly used in the targeted market can ensure that the search engine conducts the client to your website when performing the search.

If you want to successfully reach foreign markets while staying true to your marketing strategy and avoiding embarrassing mistakes, you can rely on a professional translation agency to consider all of the factors and capture a bigger audience.


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