Nowadays, due to globalisation and developments in technology, it is possible to reach new markets and clients based across the globe within seconds. In fact, it was never easier to trade internationally than it is today, and yet, majority of businesses do not take the full advantage of this great potential.
Approaching consumers on your home market is easy, at least in theory. Your business understands the competition, the market, consumer behaviour etc. You know what drives your customers and how to market yourself in order to achieve your goals. As a business owner, you are familiar with the social or political influences and sensitivities.
This however gets slightly complicated when you target international markets. One of the most common mistakes UK SMEs make is assuming that because their material worked so great in the UK, it’ll also do wonders abroad. Although, in some very rare cases, this can be true, usually the angle your business takes approaching foreign consumer must be different to your home market in order for you to succeed.
A study showed that over 90% of online customers prefer to shop when information about a product or service is available in their native language. With more than 20% of people regularly purchasing goods from shops based in other than their home country, this number show the true potential of globalisation and the importance of a localised business approach.
Translation Services & Localisation
One of the most important things to do when entering foreign markets and localising your approach is to translate your material to the native language of your chosen country.
This isn’t however as straightforward as it may seem at first. The translation process is an extensive and complicated one and doesn’t just come down to translating your business material word for word. In fact, working with a translation agency which offers professional translation services is usually the best choice. Such translation companies specialise in translation services for business and can guarantee accuracy by using human translators and not machines.
This can be especially significant when localising marketing or legal materials such as websites or contracts. In those cases, word for word translation simply isn’t good enough. A great example could be localising your brand. In China, for instance, symbolism plays a very vital role in people’s everyday lives. Therefore, using a term, colour or symbol which although in your home country is just fine, in China might be offensive, can be the difference between success or failure of your business escapade.
Is it worth it?
Although the translation & localisation process can sometimes be costly in the short term, it is important that in the long run can make a great difference to your business. In the past, this issue was taken too lightly even by some of the largest organisations in the world, which caused them a huge headaches and money loses. For your own caution, you can read about the international marketing fails here.
All in all, approaching the international markets is much easier said than done. A number of factors can influence the final outcome of your business expansion. Nevertheless, if planned and executed correctly, it can be really beneficial. Localising and translating your material can be one of the most significant factors affecting your internationalisation and therefore should always be conducted by a professional translation agency, specialing in business translation services.