Thanks to advancements in technology, businesses can reach audiences across the globe. However, sometimes reach isn’t enough. The need for relevance has quickly supplanted the idea of mass-targeted marketing. You can get that relevance with a localized marketing strategy.
This strategy, along, with the aid of powerful platforms and algorithms, allows companies to access data to carefully tailor their brand’s outreach. By customizing your localized marketing campaign, you create a unified user experience that won’t get lost in translation.
This guide will cover the localization strategy definition and provide some insights for maximizing localization marketing.
What is a Localization Strategy?
At its core, a localized marketing strategy is a method of crafting campaigns that account for various aspects of a culture’s buying habits. It takes into consideration the local customs, taboos, and preferences of the audience as they are engaging with a brand.
Organizations rely heavily on a localized marketing strategy to avoid missteps and mistargeting when entering a foreign market. Without taking into account a new demographic’s cultural norms, a company runs the risk of having to rebrand an existing, and typically expensive, marketing campaign. It’s all too commonplace to see companies appear in viral news articles due to ridiculous or outright offensive advertisements. By implementing a well-thought-out localization strategy, you can avoid this scenario.
While a standardized marketing approach might have worked for previous generations, global communication now penetrates the far-reaches of the world. So, the need for a localized marketing strategy is becoming increasingly necessary.
Localization Strategy Example
To help illustrate what a localization strategy is and the advantages of creating a country-by-country marketing campaign, here are a few examples of companies that have done it right.
Media giant Netflix has made a name for itself for crafting an algorithm that granularly analyzes an individual’s preferences. As the streaming platform has garnered a foothold in 190 countries, it has curated its content to appeal to each demographic. Whether it’s through movie recommendations or subtitle selection, Netflix has invested resources to cater to everyone, regardless of their location.
When it comes to a localized marketing strategy in the eCommerce sector, ASOS has left a distinguishing mark. Over the past half-decade, the online retailer has been able to beat out well-established competitors without a brick-and-mortar storefront.
The company surpassed previous expectations due to its international sales. After applying a comprehensive localized marketing campaign tailored to each operating region, it was able to secure 60 percent of its sales from the international community.
While language translation is a vital component of localization, ASOS went further by integrating regional purchasing habits and supporting ten different payment systems.
It’s easy to believe that a world-recognized brand like Coca-Cola wouldn’t need to invest in a localized marketing strategy. After all, regardless of where someone lives, they can always access one of Coke’s products. However, through a genius move, the American multinational beverage corporation delivered a taste of individuality to each of its consumers with its “Share a Coke” campaign.
By researching each region’s most common names, it was able to create cans and bottles that would speak to people on a personal level. This led to a surge in product engagement and purchases. The campaign was also coupled with the viral marketing tactic of posting user-generated content on social media. When someone found a drink with their name on it, they were encouraged to share a picture and their story, leading to further brand awareness.
Why You Need a Localized Marketing Strategy
When a company embraces a comprehensive localized marketing strategy, it can build rapport and influence customer engagement. A business that considers a culture’s nuances has a significant advantage when breaking into new markets. Disregarding cultural norms or simply relying on a direct translation can lead to dire — and embarrassing — consequences.
A localization strategy example that ended in costly rebranding is that of HSBC Holdings. The British multinational investment bank underwent an expensive rebranding campaign due to an unfortunate translation mishap.
In an attempt to reach new investors in foreign markets, the bank simply translated its tagline “Assume Nothing.” Unfortunately, in many of the countries, this directly translated to “Do Nothing.” The blunder ended up costing the bank $10 million to remedy the situation.
Localized Marketing: How to Get Started
When creating a localized marketing campaign, you need to manage three primary aspects.
Crafting the perfect localized marketing strategy means researching how the target audience will consume your content. Your company can strengthen its branding by dissecting factors such as whether your audience engages with your brand through mobile or desktop platforms and the type of language and idioms they use.
Learning and incorporating cultural expressions will allow your company to ensure proper usage throughout a region. Additionally, you’ll want to consider cultural norms, such as the typical treatment of customers. An example can be seen in how Japanese business owners and workers interact with local consumers. The culture is strongly surrounded by honorifics, with terms such as the gender-neutral suffix “sama” being used to address clients.
One aspect that you should immediately address is how a country makes payments. Whether it’s through mobile gateways or multiple currencies, you’ll need to implement measures to avoid empty shopping carts.
Reach Your Market with Reputation
Understanding localization strategy is the first step in reaching a foreign market. If you’re ready to expand your business, you’ll need a platform capable of tailoring your campaign to specific regions. Luckily, Reputation has the solutions you need to deliver a comprehensive, actionable, and agile localized marketing strategy to give you the edge over the competition.