Wendy M. Pease, a Entrepreneur organization (OE) member in Boston, is president of International Report, specializing in multilingual communications, providing accurate and culturally appropriate linguistic translation and interpretation services. We asked Wendy about the role language plays in global marketing strategy. Here’s what she shared:
When looking for ways to grow your business, does it make sense to go global? The answer is yes: expansion into international markets helps companies grow, increases their purchasing power and diversifies market opportunities. It better prepares the company to face changes in the national economy. This can lead to higher incomes, increased profits, a diverse customer base, and improved stability. Yet there are challenges to overcome, especially for women.
Before the pandemic, global expansion almost always meant international travel. This presented obstacles for all entrepreneurs, and in particular for women. Gender biases in some countries have historically made it difficult for women to expand business, and international travel can disrupt the delicate work-life balance that entrepreneurs of both sexes strive to maintain.
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated global e-commerce and opportunities. The world is doing business from a distance much more successfully than expected. This move to business through the Internet presents huge global opportunities for women, as it effectively level the playing field.
Doing business on the internet eliminates complications related to gender, race, religion, color and lifestyle, simplifying transactions down to the principles of supply and demand. This opens more doors for growth and allows entrepreneurs to study potential markets and the buyer’s journey from the comfort of their own office.
Inbound Marketing is the key to international expansion
So, how do you succeed in your international expansion? First, identify your target market, then develop an inbound marketing strategy.
This involves providing all the information your target consumers need on your website, so consumers can find you and research the answers to their initial questions on their own.
As I wrote in The language of global marketing: translate your national strategies into international sales and profits, with a defined inbound strategy, well-written content, and social media outreach, you can bring in qualified leads instead of continually looking for new leads. You can become an exporter by carefully crafting a global inbound marketing plan.
An essential part of your overall inbound marketing strategy will be translating important information from your website into the native language of your target consumer.
Even if your target consumers are multilingual, most prefer to buy from sites that provide information in their native language. In “Speak to global customers in their own language, “author Nataly Kelly refers to a Common sense advice survey of 2,430 internet users in eight countries:
- 72.1% of consumers spend most or all of their time on websites in their own language.
- 72.4% of consumers said they would be more likely to buy a product with information in their own language.
- 56.2 percent of consumers said the ability to get information in their own language is more important than the price.
Access to product information in their native language was more important than price for more than half of the consumers surveyed. To maximize your business’s potential in another market, translate your inbound marketing content into the native language of your target market.
How to develop your inbound marketing strategy
The first step is to select a market that matches your business goals and marketing strategy. Pick a country, a language, and develop a multilingual marketing strategy that defines your goals and prepares you to connect with potential buyers.
Your multilingual marketing strategy should answer the following questions:
- What materials will you translate?
- What technology is used or needed?
- What are the translation purchasing and document management processes?
- Who will provide the translation?
- How would you rate the translation quality?
Once you’ve created the plan and process for the first country, you can replicate it when you’re ready to expand into other markets. Keep in mind that when it comes to language translation, quality matters. A professional translator understands the target language and culture and can tailor your message to connect with your target consumer.
You might think your business is too small to engage in exporting, but consider this: When you leverage the power of the internet, it doesn’t matter how big or small your business is. The key is to shift your focus from outbound marketing to inbound marketing and get buyers.
The evolution of Internet commerce is decreasing the influence of gender bias, leveling the playing field for women and presenting untapped global markets for expansion. By translating inbound marketing content to engage and educate target consumers, women can capitalize on the potential for global e-commerce success, no international travel is required.