Global Marketing – Selling a Product across Cultural Borders

Running an online business selling a product may seem simple – advertise your product, draw in customers, sell. However, with so many competing products, getting people to buy your product actually proves quite difficult. This statement is true for both national and international businesses, irrespective of the size of your eCommerce business.

It is not that easy to sell products online, especially across cultural and geographic borders. Therefore, here are a few ways to bump your business in a competitive online world.

Identify your target market

Not just a general target audience, this being anyone who might find your product relevant to their needs. Be more deliberate in identifying why people need your product specifically, over any other similar product.

One such example would be marketing an overseas brand of baby formula to mothers in China. The 2008 Chinese milk scandal means that many Chinese mothers will not purchase locally produced formula for their children. Several people now import formula to China, because they can provide the assurance that the formula is safe, healthy and suitable for babies.

Be Local at Heart but Global in mind

A good way to identify which individuals match the products you wish to sell online is to create demographic personas for each type of person you want to add as part of your target audience. Aspects such region, gender, age, language, and cultural dos and don’ts all need to be included. A critical part of all cross-cultural or global trade is to make sure that your products or marketing is not offensive to your target audience.

This is, in principle, just good marketing. Identifying an unfulfilled need and fulfilling it. The same can apply to any product, simply by emphasizing why it is superior to other, similar products. Though the same needs gap will not always be universal, so it’s important to localize your content.

What is Localized Content?

Localized content is essentially personalized content. It is written for a particular cultural segment. The language, style, and content are all adapted to the target audience. The increasing demand for localized content means producers are adapting their online marketing to not just one overall target market, but several demographics within that target market.

How does one localize content?

The localization of content does not just mean translating it from its source language to its destination language. As mentioned several times above, the interpretation of language and culture needs to be taken into account. Therefore, website content needs to be transcreated and not just translated.

online content context marketing

To effectively transcreate a web page, the right individual is needed for the job. You will need someone who understands both the product and the market demographic for whom you are localizing the content. They will need a good grasp of both English and whatever language your page is being translated into. In this way, they can not only translate the content to make for comfortable reading in the new language but also market the product in a way that suits the new demographic.

Is there a lot of localized content out there?

No. At an estimate, half of all online content is in English. Another 30 percent is made up of just nine other languages, including German, Spanish, French, Chinese, Arabic, and Russian. For this reason, a significant chunk of a potentially huge target market is not being catered to. Even content that has been translated is often done so poorly or has not been adapted culturally, merely translated and left as is.

Final words

Global Marketing - Selling a Product across Cultural Borders - conclusion

If you’re looking to take your product worldwide, it is vital to look a little further than just translating your website’s pages. Whether you hit up the Yellow Pages to find someone who can professionally translate, and transcreate, your content to suit a new market or start with a freelancer sourced online, which may be cheaper, is up to you.

By spending the time, money, and effort to ensure that your website content is appropriate to all cultures within your target market, you will find that your potential client base is far greater than you thought. Consequently, your product sales will be boosted, and your online business will grow from strength to strength, allowing you to expand and to continue to explore new markets.

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Article Published by Souvik Banerjee

Web Developer & SEO Specialist with 10+ years of experience in Open Source Web Development, specialized in Joomla & WordPress development. He is also the moderator of this blog “RS Web Solutions”.

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