Multilingual Marketing: The Right People for the Job

Apr 11, 2018


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Article ImageA multinational’s success increasingly relies on its ability to connect with audiences around the globe. To do so, the company needs to speak to its customers in their native language. According to Common Sense Advisory, a typical global player must translate its digital content into at least 12 languages to effectively engage 80% of its global prospects. The majority of international users are hesitant to trust any brand whose content is not in their native language. 

In light of these facts, companies have realized that instead of merely adopting the latest digital technologies, they must work to restructure their business models and rethink how they attract and connect to their audience, in many different languages.

The CMO challenge is huge. Whereas in the past the CMO could rely on local branches or local distributors this is no longer the case. But the ability to act locally from the headquarters requires new talent, capabilities, and skills.

The audiences that are exposed directly online to the actions and marketing messages of the company headquarters are everywhere around the globe. Delays in response and engagement due to reliance on a local branch are spoiling the momentum and can even cause losses.

That is where a multilingual digital marketing strategy comes into play. 

Today’s online landscape is rapidly shifting, as detailed by the World Economic Forum white paper on the digital transformation of industries. This has created challenges for top executives in terms of developing effective multilingual digital marketing strategies that cater to the proliferating number of online channels and device platforms, and the growing demands of global users for personalization.

To cope with these challenges, The World Economic Forum has documented the transformation of existing marketing job roles and the emergence of new ones. By employing appropriate talent in these specific roles and equipping them with the latest multilingual and translation capabilities, multinationals can actually use the digital revolution to their advantage.

Let’s take a detailed look at how companies can use each of these emerging digital marketing roles to accomplish this. 

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Digital Marketing Professionals

Global consumers actively avoid content that’s not in their own native language. To make consumers spend more time on their websites, blogs, and social media channels, digital marketing professionals must make sure that their content is localized according to the target market.

This entails carrying out in-depth research on cultures--figuring out what works and what doesn’t-- and most importantly, tailor-making content that fits the needs of global consumers. With the proper integration of translation capabilities, digital marketing professionals can use localized content marketing to reach additional territories. 

Digital Communications Managers

Online purchases are driven by brand awareness and customer loyalty. It is impossible to develop a healthy local identity in target markets without translating all forms of communications into native languages. For this reason, digital communications managers will need to ensure that all public relations activities, local advertisements, email campaigns and launch events are localized through internal or external sources.

It is a widely accepted fact that email campaigns give one of the highest ROI among all marketing strategies. However, through localized email content, this ROI will increase even more. 

SEM/PPC Managers

The digital revolution has created abundant opportunities for SEM/PPC managers to innovate their inbound marketing strategies. One of the most effective ways for companies to increase their search engine rankings is to translate their content into native languages. This way, it becomes possible to tap into those global prospects who exclusively search in their native language.

SEM/PPC managers will need to perform extensive local keyword research to develop a deep understanding of what target markets are searching for online. By targeting local keywords, multi-nationals can further improve their search engine rankings, both locally and internationally. 

Digital Copywriters

As the digital revolution begins to take hold, the role of foreign copywriters is becoming increasingly important. To support their global audience, companies should consider employing foreign copywriters or make sure that their content is effectively translated into target foreign markets.

By translating their blog, help centers, customer service portals and entire website copy, global companies allow their customers to gain awareness and answer their own questions. According to Common Sense Advisory, 52% of website consumers purchase exclusively from websites that display content in their mother tongue. 

Media Acquisition Managers

Using local media to funnel marketing content is a great way to foster identity and trust. However, media acquisition managers must first understand the way different media entities work in a specific target market before they can make an informed decision to buy them.

Localization services should be at hand for media acquisition managers to translate overseas media content as and when they please. This is necessary to make intelligent media acquisitions. 

User Experience Designers

Foreign markets have varied customs, contrasting cultures, and different ways of doing things. What is acceptable in one market may be considered distasteful in another. To understand what to do and what not to do, UX designers need to employ internal or external multilingual services. They must then use this acquired understanding to localize user interactions accordingly.  

Multilingual Digital Marketing is the Future

Localization needs to be an essential element of the marketing strategies in all the emerging roles of digital marketers. By providing content in native languages, digital marketers can cultivate awareness and foster a local identity for any brand, thereby building bonds of trust that encourage foreign consumers down the purchase cycle.

On the other hand, companies that fail to adapt to the transforming digital environment will quickly find themselves outpaced by competitors already beginning to penetrate into local markets.

The fact is that customers around the world are demanding increased personalization and tailor-made content to facilitate their purchases. As competition intensifies, companies that strive to integrate localization and multilingual capabilities into their workflows are well on their way to developing a very real competitive advantage. 


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