Friday, 29 January 2016

The Baltic Countries Are a Hotbed of Multilingualism in Europe

Baltic states, Latvia Riga  Latvian, Russian language
Rīga Capital of Latvia. Baltic state.   Photo: Baltic Media
At risk of digital extinction: Europe's smaller languages fight to survive
The internet and its technologies are eroding many languages, especially in the Baltic countries. What can be done about it?

The Baltic countries are a hotbed of multilingualism in Europe. Bilingualism is the norm in Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia; trilingualism is increasingly the new standard. If you get lost in the old cities of Riga, Vilnius or Tallinn, chances are pretty good you'll find somebody to ask for directions who speaks your language.

In Latvia, where I live, 95% of the population is bilingual and 54% speak at least three languages. This gives Latvia the second-highest rate of bilingualism in all of Europe, and makes the country one of only eight EU member states where the majority of citizens are trilingual – a long-term EU objective, also reached by Lithuania and Estonia.
Though we are great proponents of multilingualism, Baltic citizens hold their mother languages closest to their hearts. Language is bound to our identity as a people. It is the language of our poetry, our folk hymns and our song festivals.

If you ask most Baltic professionals which language they use at work, however, you will get a different story. More often than not, multilingual Balts will say they start to use a larger proportion of English words when explaining the technical aspects of their trade, mixing in English terminology with their mother language. English is increasingly becoming the language of the boardroom, the product presentation, and professional shop talk, effectively tipping the linguistic scales.

The languages of the Baltics are not ill-equipped to "talk shop" because of some inherent linguistic deficiencies. They are among the richest languages in the world, with a grammar that comes pre-equipped for flexibility and expressiveness. Estonian, for example, has 14 noun cases, while Latvian has a dizzying array of two-letter prefixes that convey subtle changes in meaning to almost any noun or verb.
But it is true that smaller languages are not being given a chance to evolve and keep up to speed in the digital age, because larger languages – particularly English, with between 30-50% of online content, and increasingly Russian, Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic – have become the dominant languages of the digital universe, squeezing out smaller languages along the way.
The domination of the internet by a handful of larger languages means that they have become our default domains for talking about technology, software, and business – the great muses of the modern day. As a result, we're having a harder time discussing these subjects in our mother tongue, which has been relegated to our private lives.
Recent studies have shown that the Baltics are not alone; according to a recent report from Meta-Net, a network of research centres investigating the effect of technology on language, as many as 21 European languages are at risk of digital extinction. It looks like the grim reaper will come armed with an iPhone instead of a scythe.
This threat of digital extinction for smaller languages will become even more acute as the internet – and the larger languages that it rode in on – extends into every aspect of our lives, dictating how we speak and think. Smartphones, tablets, mobile apps and social media all increase the reach of the digital universe, accompanying us from the second we wake up (and check the news and our email) to the last moment before we sleep (one final scroll through our Twitter feeds).
How can we reverse this trend for the European languages at risk? The answer seems to lie not in more stringent language policy – for politics has always proven to be ineffective at telling people what or how to speak – but in the technological tools that support our languages today.
In order to tend to the continued development of our languages, we must continue to create technologies that provide smaller languages with the same support enjoyed by larger ones. Desktop proofing tools, multilingual apps and interfaces, online encyclopedias and other digital resources – these are all essential tools that can bolster smaller languages in the digital age.
Another innovation that can help strengthen smaller languages is machine translation. Though generic services like Google Translate fail to serve smaller languages, specialised machine translation platforms allow users to build their own customised systems for any language combination. In the Baltics, we've created a machine translation system for our languages that performs better than Google Translate. Other smaller languages can do the same.
New language technologies present an important way in which we can enable smaller languages in the linguistically diverse digital age, helping them be heard around the world. With these technologies, we can ensure the survival of small languages such as Latvian, Lithuanian, and Estonian – and the many, many other global languages currently at risk of digital extinction – making sure they continue to thrive well into the multilingual future.

Human Translation Services into Latvian, Estonian, Lithuanian and other languages

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

How To Be Successful On Cross-Border E-Commerce In China?

China’s statistics seems to be more appealing everyday: the country now has 642 million Internet users, amongst which 360 million are online buyers. And the latter are more and more interested in foreign products, as these items are now available to consumers through cross-border distribution channels. If you wish your brand to integrate the Chinese market, here are a few pointers on how to make the most out of this cross-border development.
Foreign e-commerce websites
The Chinese clientele can purchase foreign products … on foreign e-commerce platforms. These usually have their limits regarding Chinese consumers, since they do not all offer payment and logistics solution which are suitable to them.
However those who really want to appeal to this target will make extra efforts: have a Mandarin version of their website, use payment methods which Chinese consumers can use and propose an advance delivery system. These services can be expensive for small players: finding partners to deal with this matter is essential.
Daigou services are widely used. These are like personal buyers: they will buy the product you are looking for directly in a country where prices are lower than in China and will send them to you afterwards.
Even though you might not get a discount on retail price, the overall cost here is still lower than buying directly in China since import taxes are very high. Add that to the burden of logistics to China and of quality or security, and you will understand why this type of service will certainly not disappear soon.
Besides, these Daigou usually get known by consumers through WeChat – an app used by everyone in China – and this proximity appeals greatly to the Chinese clientele.

Since the creation of Free Trade Zone in China, companies which are established there benefit from better import procedures and taxes. Today there are approximately 5,000 platforms on the Chinese market and each has its own specifics: bulk purchase, social shopping, focus on small brands or on outlets… it is up to you to figure out which one suits you best.
Once consumers know that your products come from the USA or Europe, quality is no longer an issue. On the other hand, what will be decisive for them is what they know about you. Indeed, they will make their choice according to three main things: other buyers’ experience, their relations’ recommendations (Word of Mouth, or WOM) and what they have read from reliable sources (in articles or on social media). Sharing quality content is therefore very important. Plus, since your products will be copied quickly after you enter the Chinese market, you better have a strong content strategy to support your sales, otherwise the latter will decrease fast.

Information gets spread in two different ways in China: either you provide Internet users with quality content and they will simply share it without changing its format, or you do not provide them with one and your information will be changed or exaggerated. You should thus be careful with what is said online.
However, since Mandarin is a tonal and contextual language it can be easy to come up with creative content to support your sales.
Spread the Word
If there are many social media in China, WeChat is the one we are interested in: it enables its 650 million users not only to send messages but also to follow their favourite brands, celebrities and experts. The latter are called KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) and generally have around 300,000 fans. Celebrities’ fanbases sometimes go up to 20 million followers. Collaborating with KOLs will help you reach a large audience.
Besides KOLs, the networks of individual users are also used in marketing strategies in China. It is what we call We Media and it encompasses any information people will share online (via blogs, social media, document sharing or video posting for example). Individuals are seen as opinion leaders in their own circle and can be an additional channel to relay your content.
Finally, as we’ve said before, Daigou heavily use WeChat and are usually quite close to customers. They can give you a lot of insights on this clientele and also be a good way to spread the word about your products.

The Specifics of E-Commerce in China

The e-commerce environment in China is very different from what you could find in other countries. Most e-commerce platform offer the same products. If it does provide Chinese customers with a full experience of foreign products, the reasons for this uniformity lie elsewhere.
First, these platforms usually do not get the approval from brands to sell full ranges of their products and therefore need to diversify their offer if they want their website to be attractive enough.
Another thing is that some platforms ask foreign brands for exclusivity in order to integrate them in their website.
You must understand the reasoning behind: even though these web firms want to welcome new brands, they are not willing to take any risk. Therefore they will only accept those brands they are sure are appealing to Chinese consumers, which is why it is crucial for you to work on your online image and to set a digital marketing strategy before even considering asking e-commerce platforms to feature your products. Since the Chinese web arena is complex to any outsider, collaborating with an agency will help you greatly.

Source: MarketingChina

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Why Is Internet Growth Slowing Down?

Internet, web pages, content languages translation

For instance, according to recent numbers, more than 50% of web pages are in English, while over 25% of internet users speak English, but only about 5% of the global population are native English speakers.

The growth in the number of internet users is slowing down, far too early in the adoption cycle.
Comparing internet adoption with another fast-growing global technology, mobile cellular service, we see remarkably similar decreases in annual growth rates, from over 70% in 1996 to under 10% in 2015. However, mobile cellular service is nearing saturation at almost 100% penetration, while internet usage has not yet reached 50% of the global population.

Source: International Telecommunications Union (2015* numbers estimated), World Bank, Internet Society analysis.

The slowdown in growth rates is not just bad news, it is also puzzling, because the internet is more widely available and affordable than ever.

Take Rwanda – a country that has put the digital agenda at the center of its policy plans, with great success. Today 85% of the population is covered by 3G mobile broadband, and almost 40% have access to 4G. The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) ranks Rwanda first among developing countries on its affordability index. Yet just under 25% of the population subscribe to mobile broadband.

This shows that the digital divide cannot be filled with a “build it and they will come” approach. Instead, the question that needs to be answered is why are those who could connect to the internet not doing so?

The answer, according to survey after survey of non-users, as noted in a recent study on Brazil, is a lack of interest or perceived need for the internet. This, in turn, suggests that the missing element in bridging the digital divide is locally relevant content, which is in the local language(s) and relevant to local demand.
Content of Internet native languages
Source: Internet Society

Filling this gap may be as challenging, or more, than the efforts to deploy infrastructure. For instance, according to recent numbers, more than 50% of web pages are in English, while over 25% of internet users speak English, but only about 5% of the global population are native English speakers.

And even where language is not an issue, local relevance is key. While much existing content has international appeal, much is also targeted. A local online newspaper in Spain may not be of any interest in Mexico, French e-government services are of little use in Senegal, and Uber is only of interest in cities where Uber operates.

A key source of local content is local developers, who know the market and can identify needs. And while the internet provides fertile ground for entrepreneurs, putting access to education, training, cloud computing, and even fundraising potentially just a few clicks away, online innovation requires Internet access and skills, access to payment platforms, and increasingly local hosting solutions.

Focusing on local content generates a new set of challenges, and nurturing innovation is not easy. Without it, however, internet growth may continue to slow, and recent advances in access may not be fully utilized, which makes the access demand side the key issue for stakeholders trying to ensure that slowing growth does not become the new normal.

Source: WEF

Friday, 22 January 2016

2016: The Year of Competitive Rates, High Quality and Speed of Translation Services

For Baltic Media, 2015 will be remembered as a year of thousands of successful language service projects, customers of technical, automotive, medical, media, legal sphere who we proudly call friends, loads of new ideas brought to life.


The Best Market Price

Our goal in 2016 is to maintain the high level of our global language service quality, quick turnaround and the best market price. The competitive translation and transcreation service price from and into the largest languages is achieved thanks to the low production costs due to our geographical location. Baltic Media’s main centre of operations is situated in Riga
It is the largest city in the Baltic States, accompanied by one of the highest internet connection speeds in the world and lowest office space rents in Europe, and results in lower translation service expenses while maintaining high service quality level because we can still afford the world’s leading linguists and language experts. We have been striving to improve and maintain this level of service already for 22 years since Baltic Media begun working in the language service industry.

Europe’s Citizens Are No Longer Satisfied With Using Only a Few Major Languages

Organizations and companies today often translate and localize products and websites into ­many languages to increase market share. This trend goes hand in hand with increasing public demand for content in regional or local languages due to the increasing availability of broadband as well as high speed mobile connectivity and rising numbers of online users and online services. 
Europe’s citizens are no longer satisfied with using only a few major languages. We see this tendency in our practise every day. Therefore we have taken steps to widen our range of provided languages to cover also part of the Middle Eastern language segment.

Our experienced project managers along with qualified and tested resourcesfrom around the world makes it a pleasure to bring the new range of services to you.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Iran Will See an Economic Rebound

Iran investments after sanctions. Persian language

Economic sanctions on Iran have been lifted after it agreed to roll back the scope of its nuclear activities. What does this mean for Iran and the rest of the world?
Iran will see an economic rebound.
The lifting of sanctions has opened the Iranian economy - one of the last great untapped emerging markets - to international trade and investment.
Iran can now return to the oil market, and is expected to start exporting an estimated 300,000 barrels per day immediately. This, in an already oversupplied market, will contribute to the falling price of petrol for consumers across the world.
Iran will also have access to more than $100bn (£70bn) of money that was frozen overseas. However, it can only spend about $30-50bn, as the rest is thought to be been locked into previous commitments.
The money may be used to import goods and services to renovate and modernise many of Iran's economic sectors. Already, Tehran is in talks to buy Airbus passenger aircraft by the dozens. The lifting of banking sanctions also means Iran is reconnected to the world financial network.

The untangling of the world's most complex regime of sanctions starts now.
The European Union terminates all its nuclear-related economic sanctions including an embargo on buying Iranian crude oil, but more importantly, ends restrictions on Iranian trade, shipping and insurance.
"This is a day we were awaiting for years. There will be big changes," says Michael Tockuss, managing director of the German-Iranian chamber of commerce.
"We will also get some 300 Iranian individuals and companies off the (EU) sanctions list. Up to now, we couldn't do a single business transaction with them, not even selling bread or biscuits."
 What it means for Iran
At current prices, the lifting of energy sanctions means Iran could increase its revenue from oil exports by $10bn (£6.9bn) by next year
 Iran's central bank says lifting banking sanctions will allow $30bn of foreign reserves currently frozen in accounts around the world to be brought back - the US Treasury says the figure is $50bn
With sanctions gone Iran could boost its GDP growth to around 5% in 2016-17, from almost zero currently, says the International Monetary Fund
Sanctions have added 15% to the cost of trading with Iran and lifting them will save the country some $15bn yearly in cheaper trade, says Iran's first Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri
Cheaper oil
With the lifting of sanctions Iran will be able to export as much crude oil to the world as it can, or as much as it can find demand for.
Before imposing an oil embargo on Iran in 2012, one in every five barrels of Iranian crude went to European refineries.
Iran has been selling just over one million barrels a day for the past few years, mostly to China, India, Japan and South Korea.
 Tehran says it will hike sales by 500,000 barrels the day after sanctions are lifted and increase total exports to around 2.5 million barrels within the next year.
This will push the price in only one direction: downwards. The market is already flooded by cheap oil and there will be many more barrels in the market than there are buyers.
In order to win back its customers, Iran plans to offer discounts on prices that are already the lowest in 11 years.
Iran's full return to the market could trigger a price war with its arch-rival Saudi Arabia, which is trying to keep its own market share by selling under the market price.
Big banks
But the biggest bottleneck in future business with Iran could be banks. Although Iran will again be connected to the global financial system it is unclear how many banks will re-engage in Iranian business.

About how to invest in Iran
There are currently very few countries in the world with Iran’s conditions and opportunities for investment. After decades of sanctions and separation from international markets, Iran is now ready to take advantage of these opportunities.
These days the top story of some of the world’s most important news media states, “Now that a general agreement has been reached on the nuclear issue between Iran and the P5+1, international investors are lining up behind Iran’s closed doors, ready to enter this country’s market. Once Iran’s doors open to international financial activities millions, or maybe billions of dollars will flow into the country …” 
Why Iran?
Compared to other parts of the world, Iran has significant economic potentials: energy sources, mineral sources, transit opportunities, temperate climate, and a population with a high literacy rate, tourism opportunities, and many other items that can be found with a simple search. Without any exaggeration, we are inviting you to an investment paradise for years to come. Let’s take a look at Iran’s unique conditions and its potentials:
Characteristics and Advantages of Iran’s Economy
  • 18th largest economy in the world in terms of GDP(PPP)
  • Economic growth despite sanctions
  • Young, educated workforces
  • Rich in natural resources
  • Diversified economy
 Natural and Mineral Resources
  • Variety in economic areas and rich in hydrocarbon and oil reserves
  • 4th producer of crude oil in the world
  • 2nd in global natural gas reserves
  • 10th rating in the historic attractions and 5th in ecotourism
  • Largest and greatest number of industries in the Middle East and North Africa
  • 4th to 10th producer of zinc and cobalt
  • High rating in aluminum, magnesium, and copper resources
  • 4th rating in variety of agricultural products
Sources: BBC ,  How To invest in Iran

Persian Language – Official Language in Iran

Alternative title: Fārsī language

Language family: Indo-European languages, Iranian languages, Persian
Persian, or Farsi as it is called by those who speak it, is a language spoken in Iran, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, parts of Georgia, India and Pakistan. The language has developed much in the last few centuries. A great many words have also been loaned from geographically neighbouring languages; firstly from Armenian and Greek, but subsequently from Arabic and to some extent Turkish. In recent years, a lot of western words have been loaned, mainly from English and French.
Official language of: Iran, Qatar.
Language code ISO 639-1: FA 

Persian, also known as Farsi, is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan
Historically, the areas where the language is spoken range from the Middle East to India, but today, Persian is understood in parts of Armenia, Azerbaijan, India, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan and Turkey
There are large groups of Persians who migrated to the USA and Europe, and Los Angeles is often referred to as ‘Tehrangeles’

Persian Language Translation Services

It's very common to use the word    مرسی [Mersi] in Persian to sayThank you, as in the French ‘merci’
In fact, there has been a long historical relationship between Iran and France, and you’ll find hundreds of French words in everyday Persian vocabulary. For many years, French was the second language in Iran and words relating to science and technology are commonly used. For example:
   رادیو [râdio]radio
   شوفر [shoufer]chauffeur
   شوفاژ [shauffage]heating
   دوش [doush]shower
   اتومبیل [otomobile]automobile
   اتوبوس [otobus]bus
Due to historical links with Britain, many Persian words have been borrowed and crop up in the English language, such as:
  پسته [pesteh]pistachio
  سوپ [soup]soup
  اسفناج [s-fenaj]spinach
  قندی [ghandy]candy
  لیمو [lim-ou] lemon
  زعفران [zafarân]saffron
  بازار [bâzâr]bazaar
Source: BBC 

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Language Co-Operation in Nordic Countries. Similarities for Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Speakers to Understand Each Other

Translation service into Nordic, Scandinavian  languages

Mutual understanding of each other’s languages promotes mobility between the Nordic countries and enhances the sense of affinity between the peoples of the Region. The main focus of the work to promote language understanding, both now and in the future, is on children and young people’s understanding of written and oral Danish, Norwegian and Swedish.

The ability to communicate usually presupposes a common language, but there are enough similarities for Danish, Norwegian and Swedish speakers to understand each other. For historical reasons, Danish has enjoyed a strong position as a foreign language in Iceland, and Swedish is one of Finland’s two official languages. As part of the same kingdom, Danish is strong in Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Swedish is the official language of Åland.

Responsibility for Nordic language work is divided between two different councils of ministers. The main responsibility lies with the Nordic Council of Ministers for Education and Research (MR-U). The Nordic Council of Ministers for Culture (MR-K) has sectoral responsibility for language co-operation. Both of them prioritise the Nordic language community and have children and young people as one of the target groups in their work programmes. Indeed, the Council of Ministers also has children and young people as one of its inter-sectoral priorities.

Language agreements
The main source of regulation for language co-operation consists of the four agreements: the Helsinki Treaty, the Cultural Agreement, the Language Declaration and the Nordic Language Convention.

The Helsinki Treaty states that the Nordic countries must seek to preserve and develop co-operation in the legal, cultural, social and economic spheres, as well as in the areas of infrastructure and environmental protection. Regarding mutual language understanding in the Nordic Region, Article 8 states that “Educational provision in the schools of each of the Nordic countries shall include an appropriate measure of instruction in the languages, cultures and general social conditions of the other Nordic countries, .[...]”.

Similarly, the Cultural Agreement is based on an objective of enhancing and intensifying co-operation between the Nordic countries – in this case, in the cultural sphere. The purpose of the agreement is to help increase the overall impact of national investment in education, research and other cultural activities, and ensure that the countries work together to develop the Nordic cultural community, e.g. by “promoting teaching in the other Nordic countries’ languages, cultures and social conditions [...]”.

The Language Declaration (the Declaration on Nordic Language Policy) defines priorities for each country’s national work on language policy. In other words, it points in an overall direction, but each country has its own responsibilities at national level. Different national considerations mean, therefore, that not all of the countries focus on the same issues at the same time. The declaration focuses on the following areas of language policy: teaching in Scandinavian languages as neighbouring languages and as foreign languages; parallel language use between English and the main Nordic languages; the multilingual society and multilingual citizens; and the language of official agencies (plain language use). Every two years, the Council of Ministers submits a report to the Nordic Council on how the countries have followed up on the Language Declaration.

The Nordic Language Convention also applies. The Convention, which entered into force in 1987, is legally binding for all five Nordic countries. The Convention is aimed at governments. Its purpose is to help ensure that Nordic citizens, in certain contexts, are able to communicate in their own languages with official bodies in other Nordic countries. Responsibility for following up on the provisions in the Convention rests with the appropriate national agencies, while national legislation safeguards individual rights.

Language work under the Nordic Council of Ministers for Education and Research (MR-U) consists of the following three priorities:

Follow-up work on the Language Declaration
Responsibility for follow-up work on the Language Declaration rests at national level, but from 2014 more attention will be paid to how Nordic initiatives can help to support national efforts.

Efforts to enhance children and young people’s language comprehension
Focused and targeted efforts are needed to improve children and young people’s mutual understanding of the neighbouring languages (Danish, Norwegian and Swedish).

Listening comprehension
The teaching of neighbouring languages must emphasise the importance of listening comprehension and mutual understanding between Danish, Norwegian and Swedish.

MR-K also prioritises children and young people’s interest in and understanding of Nordic languages in its cultural work (literature plays a special role in this context). Digital solutions have significant potential when it comes to providing shared cultural and linguistic experiences. As part of a joint project between the educational and cultural sectors, funds are allocated for distributing Nordic short films and documentaries via the website Norden i skolen (the Nordic Region in the School).

Responsibility for co-ordinating Nordic language co-operation lies with Nordic Language Co-ordination (NOSK). For the period 2014–18, the actual work is being organised by the Federation of the Norden Associations. The expert group Nordic Language Council (ENS) assures the quality of the work. The ENS website provides information about the expert group and stakeholders and about activities such as Nordic Courses in Languages and Literature (Nordkurs), Nordic Languages (Nordspråk), the Nordic Gems courses for student teachers, the Nordic Language Pilots, the Network of Nordic Language Councils, the Nordic Sign Language Network and the Nordic group for parallel language use.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

How to Attract and Retain Customers Around the World? Translate Your Website.

Technology company Smartling (USA) has polled more than 150 marketers to gauge the current state of multilingual marketing. Participants’ responses painted a picture of where the majority of organizations stand in terms of targeting prospects and customers who don’t speak English as their native language – both in and outside of the U.S. – and it isn’t pretty. Given that every company with a website is effectively a global company by default, consider these results:

  • 48 percent of marketers say they have no budget at all for translation outside of the U.S., while 59 percent of respondents do not have any money allocated to reach multilingual audiences within the U.S.

  • More than half of all respondents (nearly 53 percent) are either not translating at all or are only translating into one language.

  • The majority of marketers (86 percent) admit that they generate U.S.-centric content and then translate it for a particular market. Only 14 percent of organizations create original content, and employ local / native marketers in the countries where they are seeking to expand their business. This despite the fact that 13 languages together cover 90 percent of today’s online spending power.

  • Among the companies that are translating, a few still rely on machine translation (8.6 percent); many rely on human translators (42.1 percent); 14.5 percent use both; and others are beginning to use translation management software (4.6 percent). 

The key takeaway here is that the majority of marketers are not properly engaging multilingual audiences in and outside of the U.S even when they know that personalized experiences are crucial to customer acquisition and retention. 

Making matters worse, of those marketers who are trying to reach global audiences, the majority are neglecting localization (adding cultural nuance) and transcreation (creating entirely new content for the right cultural fit) in the translation process. Customers today, demand a personalized experience, and they are extremely sensitive to failed or halfhearted attempts at it. Standard translation of a brand’s U.S.-centric content used to be good enough to attract new global customers and increase revenues. But today, companies must do more to win customers’ trust, business and loyalty.

Native Brand Experiences Lead to Global Growth

The most significant population growth and increases in purchasing power are occurring in parts of the world where English is either not spoken, or is not the preferred language. Additionally, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the U.S. Now more than ever, brands are increasingly doing business in international regions outside of their home market. And, to compete in a very competitive global marketplace there’s only one way to stand out from the crowd: Make your content relevant and meaningful to the end user. And, marketers are missing the boat, as evidenced by the fact that almost half of survey respondents report that five percent or less of their customer base is located outside of the U.S.

Brands that want to attract and retain customers all over the world need to emphasize relevancy in their marketing efforts. And, this means delivering native brand experiences that go beyond traditional translation and resonate with people in any language, across all cultures and in every market. It means communicating in local dialects and considering regional idiosyncrasies. It means taking into account points of cultural sensitivity, and taking an appropriate and respectful approach to all communications. And, it entails knowing your target audiences’ customs and traditions. At every touchpoint, prospects and customers should feel like you are speaking directly to them.

There are four key elements to building native brand experiences:

1. Meeting expectations – Customers are looking for brands that make it easy and enjoyable for them to engage with and buy from. Creating content that is clear, simple and accessible is critical to capturing their attention, especially in non-native markets.

2. Providing context – Word-for-word translations are often unnatural, inaccurate and error-prone, and, worst of all, they lack context. Cultural nuances, use of local dialects and awareness of the “voice” of specific demographics in a given market provide the context that makes or breaks audience engagement.

3. Prioritizing cultural sensitivity – Every community around the world follows specific traditions, conventions and regulations that together make up their culture. A brand committed to being fluent everywhere understands and respects each and every one of them.

4. Delivering content that resonates – Creating native brand experiences means learning what makes customers tick in specific markets and regions around the world and delivering exactly what they want in a way that resonates with them and inspires them to take action.
Familiarity is foundational to comfort, connection and trust. To truly engage with customers outside of your home market, you must provide them with personalized experiences that adhere to the conventions of their language and culture. Brands that view their global content strategy as a growth strategy and deliver authentic native brand experiences will attract and retain customers around the world, and achieve a more dominant global position. 

Source: Martechadvisor