Do you want to connect better with your consumers abroad? Are you hungry for a higher return on investment? In order to achieve these, your company must craft a solid localisation campaign that can create a powerful impact on a specific target market. As Kelly and Sargent wrote in their article for Common Sense Advisory, “…when times are bad, the companies that have laid the linguistic foundation are the ones that benefit from the international diversification that enables them to survive.”

If you are a novice exporter, a full-blown campaign may seem pretty expensive, especially if you want to reach a broader audience from several countries. However, what most people don’t know is that there are several options that you can use for localising your brands. They may not be as expensive as other strategies, but they can be very effective if you know how to use them right. This post will get you started by learning more about useful localised marketing materials that can fit your budget.

Essential tools

These are the vital materials that you can use for your campaign:

  • Business cards – providing these simple details about you and your company in the local language are ideal for making a good first impression when networking.
  • Flyers and brochures – If budget is tight you may want to stick to flyers with limited info about new products or events. For a little more investment a brochure with more extensive translated information about your company will give your local audience much of what they need to know about you.
  • Landing webpage or microsite – a single web page in the local language can be surprising effective in encouraging customers to engage with you. Spend a little more on a microsite with several pages and you can provide a more detailed presentation of your brand and your offering.

In order to localise these materials, you can choose from three techniques: translation, transcreation, and copywriting. These concepts are often confused since they seem similar. However, they have a lot of differences, and it is important that you know each concept well if you want to utilize them to your advantage.

When you employ translation, you express sentences with identical or very similar meanings to your original version. This is one of the quickest and most inexpensive ways to connect to your customers. And since you translated your content accurately you can be confident the style and messages of your original communications are maintained.

However, the problem with using direct translations is that your message doesn’t become culturally relevant. Sure, you may now have an Arabic version of your English tag line, but are you sure that it will have the desired impact on your audience? Take the notorious KFC campaign for example. As reported by Business News Daily, KFC accidentally sent the wrong message to their Chinese customers when they translated their famous tagline “Finger-lickin’ good” into “Eat your fingers off.”

And this is where transcreation comes in. In this method, you don’t just translate sentences into other languages. But rather, you also make sure that the humour, slang, and message connects well to your audience. Transcreation can be extended to deal not only with the written word, but also with the visuals that you use. Your original tagline may change a little bit, but at least your company’s reputation won’t suffer from horrible direct translations.

Copywriting, meanwhile, refers to written materials that are specially crafted for advertising or marketing purposes. You write a brief for your copywriter and have him or her write fresh copy which will persuade your target market to buy your services or change their belief about your company.


If you are going to a meeting or event in a country whose language you don’t speak, arrange your own interpreter. An escort or consecutive interpreter can orally translate what you say into a language that your audience can understand, and translate what is said to you in the foreign language.

In addition, an interpreter who travels with you can also help you navigate around the country during the business trip. You can get their support them for interviews, meetings with business partners, dinners or even sightseeing.

This person acts as your ears ad mouthpiece so it’s essential that you use a professional with good knowledge of your industry sector. It is unwise to rely on your host or local supplier to arrange the interpreter, as you won’t be sure of the interpreter’s skills or motivations.

Market research and other localisation materials

If you have budget available, you can also use the following methods to boost the effectiveness of your endeavour:

  • Market research – From simple desk research to in-depth qualitative and quantitative research, understanding your target market properly will help you to devise effective ways to connect with them.
  • Branding – developing a brand name, logo and identity which genuinely chimes with the target audience is crucial in helping you stand out against your local and international competitors. Just like any marketing activity, developing a brand requires extensive research and planning in order to make it effective.
  • Promotional campaigns – activities for promoting a particular product or service can include both traditional (television, print, and radio) and new media in order to reach your intended audience. This can be in the form of advertisements, product placements, events, demonstrations, and a whole lot more.

The Wrap Up

Localised materials are vital to any entrepreneur who wants to broaden his or her international customer base. You have a lot of options to choose from, but you need to learn how to use them properly if you want to be successful in your endeavour.