BlogBosses BlogHow do I make my marketing work overseas – getting the best from translation services.

How do I make my marketing work overseas – getting the best from translation services.

How do I make my marketing work overseas – getting the best from translation services.

When you want to convince a potential customer from another country to buy your product or service, things are never straightforward.

Let’s face it, what works for “English speakers” also differs depending on whether the audience is from the UK, the USA, Canada or Australia for example. So why would you even contemplate trying to sell into a non-English speaking country using English?

Getting your marketing copy to work in another language however can seem like a bit of a dark art. We’ve all seen people try to succeed using brochures done with Google Translate, but this approach, though cheap, is rarely effective, doing more harm than good to your company’s reputation.

If your translation is done by a native speaker that’s a good start, for example a student or employee might have native language abilities. But just because you can speak a language it doesn’t make you a good translator, or more importantly, it doesn’t make you a good copywriter, which is what we are really after here.

To make marketing copy work well in another language you need more than just the professional translation skills of being able to write clearly in your mother tongue alongside an in-depth subject knowledge. You’ll also need a finer appreciation of what your audience is looking for, what triggers them to make a purchase, what the customs and traditions are in the target country and what makes a good headline. These are exactly the same skills that you would expect of an English speaking marketer.

Creating accurate marketing copy which really works in another language is sometimes called ‘transcreation’ – taking the basic message from the original text and recreating something that works as a standalone piece for the overseas country concerned. It’s a real skill and not many translators can do this. You’ll also need sensitivity to imagery and colours, which sometimes have to change to reflect different values and beliefs.

Overseas marketing, particularly if you want to translate a website, can be highly successful, but it can take a bit more time and effort to achieve this success. If you are looking at a new market or reviewing an existing one, get in touch now on or call 0844 856 1086 and let’s see how we can help you make the right impression.


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