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Otávio Banffy

Translation being elementary for multinational marketing strategies

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Today I'm bringing you a post from Laura Cattaneo, published in January this month, that talks about how translations make a difference in marketing strategies, especially for big multinational companies.

Now, to us, that is a given. We work on with this, we know why it's important, we recognize how powerful a tool it is.

But to others, particularly company administrators with a lack of vision or understanding, it might be difficult to comprehend that benefit.

I found this post to be excellent at talking about that need.


According to the American Marketing Association, localizing contents is key to a company internationalization strategy. Why? For very concrete reasons: it can make or break a company’s success abroad, distinguishing brands that communicate effectively with international markets from other brands that remain foreign and inaccessible; and it increases sales in the target markets, with clear ROI from translation and localization efforts, directly impacting their bottom line.


Straight from the get-go, she points out what you get from hiring people instead of machines to perform the task.


Translators are not only expert in the language of the market you want to approach, but accomplished cultural experts as well. So, by making the smart choice, what do you get in return?

  1. Human translation (as opposed to machine translation) of your contents based on logic, sense, target audience, goals to achieve (marketing translation, transcreation, legal or technical translation), avoiding missteps in terms of culture, laws and regulations, competitive landscape. (...)
  2. Review, editing and proofreading of existing or translated contents in the target language to avoid repetitions, look for inconsistencies, bring consistency among channels and materials, pick up any mistakes or inappropriate contents in view of the target country or audience. It is also the last chance to avoid mistakes that can cost you dearly.
  3. Replicate your brand tone of voice into another language, adapting it to the local culture, habits and way of thinking while keeping its core nature and personality alive. By creating a local brand language unique to your company/brand/product, these will stand out from the competition and be easily recognizable by your audience or potential targets.

And an interesting and convincing note too: 


75% of consumers prefer to buy products in their native language, while 60% rarely or never buy from English-only websites(“Can’t read, won’t buy”, 2014 survey by Common Sense Advisory).

You might recall while reading the third pointer that this is something we mentioned before in some of our posts. Having a unique tone of voice helps shape the company, and only a human translator can do that, with competence and a personal style. Very nice to see her saying that out loud here, too.

Laura's post continues on by giving companies quite a handful of interesting tips for their businesses, which are good that translators note them too, and links to various sources with tidbits of information on them.

It's an interesting read for you, and even more likely an interesting read to translation agencies and companies too. Make use of it!

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