Is international marketing more than just translation?

When I talk to people about international marketing the first question that I am often asked is, “Can you translate from Danish to English?”  And usually they are thinking primarily about their website. While the answer to this question is “yes”, I would like to suggest that there are other things you should consider before deciding to have your website translated.

Why not take a look at the bigger picture first?

What is your motivation for wanting to engage in international marketing?
a. You want to raise the profile and image of your company
b. You have identified a specific business opportunity which requires that you communicate in another language
c. It is part of your overall marketing strategy to enter particular international market/markets

Identifying your own particular reasons from the outset can be used to guide the content that you select for your international communication.

Who is your new target audience?
Remember that by making your website available in another language you are essentially targeting a new audience. Before commissioning a straight translation of your Danish content it may be worth evaluating your current marketing offer and considering which content is most relevant for your new target market, or for a non-Danish audience. If possible ask a native speaker of the country you wish to target to give you feedback on your content.

Don’t forget image and layout
If you have good visuals and attractive marketing presentation in your current marketing material, make sure you keep up these standards in your international marketing. There is nothing worse than a target audience being made to feel that they are considered second best. Excellent text will be wasted by poor quality presentation, particularly if it is of a lower standard than the main part of your website. You are more likely to damage your image than enhance it with this approach.

Maintain, maintain, maintain
Today’s marketing world is no longer static.  As your Danish material is changed and updated, you will also need to keep your international material up-to-date.  So think carefully about how you will up-date news items or newsletters in another language.  If you want a more low-maintenance approach then it is best not to include items that are time or date specific, on the international part of your website.

More than just websites: engaging with other social media
As you venture into international marketing it is important to find ways for your international audiences to engage with you on social media.  What about your LinkedIn profile, Facebook posts and Twitter accounts? How can you make these accessible to a wider audience? It is worth developing a social media strategy that includes your international audiences. This doesn’t mean that you have to move to another language/s for everything, but there are creative ways to manage multi-lingual digital marketing.

Ideas and Inspiration
The good news is you don’t have to start from scratch.  There are good examples here in Aarhus of how to manage Danish and international marketing campaigns in ways that accommodate different audiences both effectively and professionally. Start by looking at some of the bigger names like  ArosVisitAarhus, Danske Bank and Vestas.  All of these websites provide information for different international audiences in a style which matches, but does not necessarily replicate their Danish website.

Finally take some time to check out how other companies in your particular sector are managing their international profile – and go do it one step better!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s