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Is your international advertising working in every country?

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution but when launching in a new market, consider what will engage audiences in each country or culture and whether your existing marketing messages will resonate with international audiences. Here are a few questions to keep front of mind.

Are you prioritising local audiences?

When adapting a global campaign for a local audience, consider regional, cultural and personal differences at every stage. Instead of relying on central assumptions which can often lead to asset wastage or a lack of local engagement, work closely with in-market experts and prioritise shared responsibility and collaboration. By doing this, marketers can strike the right balance between understanding and responding to the needs of individual regions while maintaining a brand’s global integrity.

Armed with this local understanding, the process of creating, testing, approving and validating campaign assets is streamlined – ensuring the right message reaches markets around the world. To keep local audiences front of mind, we work directly with global brands providing local insights that directly impact in-market communication.

Are you speaking the right language?

Every project requires a different solution and local language specialists interrogate each word of a global marketing campaign to define the right approach. Some might involve a straight translation, but it’s far more likely that transcreation – where the copy is not only translated but also localised – creative adaptation and additional copywriting will be necessary.

Also consider visual language and the messages conveyed via your imagery. People, landscapes, typical backgrounds and the importance assigned to various colours vary from market to market. We work with brands to ensure the imagery at the heart of their campaign can be replaced or that the images picked will work for all markets. In addition to words and images, audio also needs to be considered in instances where a marketing message is accompanied by a voice-over or music.

Are you set up for localisation success?

No two localisation projects are the same – though many require different services across multiple languages and linguists per market. Setting yourself up for localisation success means comprehensively briefing your writers and building a relationship of trust.

Ensure your brand isn’t lost in translation – communicate all the information your linguists need regarding the brand and global strategy, along with clear guidance on the tone of voice, campaign messaging and local language preferences. In addition, share the media and design context where the copy will appear – whether that’s a newspaper, a digital banner or an OOH advert. What’s the visual accompanying the copy? Language and design need to work together to touch the audience visually and conceptually. By briefing your linguists from the start, you’ll save a lot of time and money on unnecessary reworks, plus you’re giving the creative team the tools needed to be brand guardians.

Access to data and geo-localisation has resulted in increasingly targeted marketing, so you might consider localising your content not just on a local level but on a microlocal level. That means that, instead of producing localised content for a market, content is produced for a specific city or event.

Ultimately, the work involved in coming up with a bespoke localisation and creative adaptation approach means Google Translate and other online translation systems aren’t a solution. Instead, it’s best to assemble a team of cultural experts, copywriters and linguists to adapt your global campaign and ensure it resonates in your target markets.

Find out how we can ensure your international advertising works in every country by getting in touch today.

Freedman International is a leading insight-driven localisation agency with over 30 years' experience helping global marketers build their brands internationally. With an end-to-end service offering, from providing in-depth local cultural insights, through to creative adaptation, transcreation and production of campaign assets, Freedman ensures that global communications resonate with local audiences and are effective in every market.