Making profit as a business is much easier said than done. If you run a company, all your activities most likely revolve around that goal. However, growing your business and increasing your sales involve much more and take a lot more effort than most people think. When going global for example and intending to reach wider audiences, various factors come into play and it is essential to carefully consider them. Language being one of them, it is important for any business to translate all business materials reliably in order to cross that barrier successfully. By doing so, you can considerably increase your chances of making more profit and growing your business further. Here’s how.

Target foreign markets

In an era marked by globalisation and technological advances, most companies are faced, at some point, with the opportunity to go global and expand their activities internationally. Many businesses actually get to a point where they have no other choice than to go beyond their local markets to survive or to differentiate themselves from their competitors. It is sometimes the only way to stand out, but it can actually be an extremely beneficial opportunity: when taking your business abroad, you get the chance to reach a wider audience, and more potential customers obviously means more potential sales. By addressing a larger number of prospects, you increase your chances to have more customers reaching out to your company to satisfy their needs, and therefore to stand out from your competitors. Also, this will allow you to develop your company image and create a relationship of trust with your customers. A company that is more visible and more present in the minds of its customers will always seem more reliable and trustworthy.

Although it is easier than ever to approach international markets due to technology developments, this step might actually not be as easy as it seems. Taking your business beyond your local country also means facing new populations, new languages, new cultures and new norms. That’s why taking this process seriously is vital not to make any mistakes and this is where translations come into play. Getting your business materials translated is therefore essential and involves more than just translating words. Every language has its own unique and complex way of functioning as well as a culture that comes with it, and all different kinds of materials should be translated with a specific and appropriate approach in order to remain efficient. Whether it is the translation of your marketing materials, your website or your legal documents, reaching out to a professional translation agency is probably the safest and the most reliable way to manage this step.

Get your marketing materials and your website translated

When running marketing campaigns, materials are created to have a specific impact, generate a certain reaction and create particular emotions in the minds of the people they are targeting. That’s the particularity of marketing messages: there is always an implicit message that has to be conveyed to generate specific feelings. In order to do so, they must be fully understandable to the audience and should therefore be in their native language. Trying to reach a new audience that speaks a different language and has a different culture is a very complex step. Literal translations are just not enough. Businesses that aim to take their brand abroad want their marketing campaigns to keep the same impact and to remain as efficient as in their local market. The goal is to ensure the marketing campaigns involved make the international expansion worth it in terms of sales and growth.

As the purpose of all marketing documents is to support sales, their content is crucial and will determine whether they are efficient or not. The language is therefore one of the most important, if not the most important aspects to consider. Each language is unique and functions in a specific way. Expressions, wordplays, rhymes and other stylistic ways to express ideas will most likely not translate the same from one language to another if translated literally. Most of the time, a readjustment is necessary for elements such as headlines or slogans. Haribo for example, managed to readapt its slogan to different languages to keep the rhymes present in it as well as the spirit of the message, without translating it word-for-word (“Kids and grown-ups love it so, the happy world of Haribo” in English, “Haribo c’est beau la vie, pour les grands et les petits” in French…).

Marketing translations are an essential step in the international expansion of a business, that can have a serious impact on brand recognition and company image and could even result in money losses (whether it is a positive one or a negative one). Poor marketing translations can quickly result in a negative company image, which would be a costly mistake. For this reason, this process should be managed carefully and rigorously to avoid bad situations, and all marketing documents should be tailored to each local culture. Each country has its own culture, traditions, customs, norms and values and each population has specific needs and purchasing habits. It is therefore essential to transcribe marketing materials in the most adapted and appealing way for the target audience and to adapt them to each country.

Translate your website as well

Your website is your first point of contact with your potential customers. That’s why it should be attractive but also understandable from the first look. Most customers will only spend a few seconds on a website before deciding whether to have a deeper look into it or not. The goal is therefore not only to attract them but also to retain them, and language plays a huge role in that step.

Most people would rather shop on websites that are available in their native language, which is actually understandable: anyone would feel more inclined to purchase something if all the information provided about it is understandable. Making your website available in different languages will therefore help you reach a much larger number of prospects and be more visible and reachable.

Again, translating your website word-for-word is not the best alternative, due to the complexity of each language and each culture. Even the layout of the website has to be adapted. As a simple example, translating your website from English into a language that is read from right to left such as Arabic will requires some changes in the display of the pages. Reaching out to professional translation services is a way to guarantee the quality and the efficiency of the translation of your website. It can also be a way to stand out from the competition, as your competitors might not have multilingual websites.

Localised content

The marketing materials you will need to have translated as a growing business will require a very specific kind of work. A whole creative process is involved and much more than translation, it is a question of transcreation. It is not just about translating words but localising content and adapting it to a different culture. Even countries that speak the same language should be approached differently, as they remain different markets and have cultural differences. Many cultural, political and social factors have to be considered in order to adapt a marketing strategy to a new country and to grow sales. From brand names to slogans, and even colours and imagery, every single element of a marketing material is there for a reason and should be readapted to each country, each language and each culture, as they are the core of what these marketing messages are based on. A marketing campaign that worked successfully in one country will not necessarily be as efficient in a different one due to these factors. That’s why getting it done by a company specialising in transcreation, localisation and creative translations is the safest option, since marketing materials need a true localisation and transcreation rather than just being translated to keep their intended message and meaning while also being carefully adapted.

As you can see, trying to grow your business and to increase your sales will, at some point, lead you to deal with the translation on various documents. From marketing brochures to websites and even legal documents, expanding your business is a complex process that should be managed carefully. Placing the work in the hands of professionals is a way to secure this step and to make sure everything is done rigorously, reliably and appropriately. Reaching out to professional translation services is a common thing and a way to make sure marketing messages are transcribed accurately into new languages and tailored to target markets and their culture.

By Kar

Dr. Kar works in the interface of digital transformation and data science. Professionally a professor in one of the top B-Schools of Asia and an alumni of XLRI, he has extensive experience in teaching, training, consultancy and research in reputed institutes. He is a regular contributor of Business Fundas and a frequent author in research platforms. He is widely cited as a researcher. Note: The articles authored in this blog are his personal views and does not reflect that of his affiliations.