It’s clear that the fast global adoption of the internet has broken down the barriers to the creation of awareness of your professional service, but generating new business overseas is often a more complex task than just a website translation.
As a global professional translation service ourselves, we know the first step to successful marketing overseas is thorough research. You need to understand as much as possible about your target market and this includes cultural nuances. Through agencies such as Millward Brown, we’ve been heavily involved with some of the world’s biggest brands international growth plans and can verify that the more time spent in this phase can really pay dividends! Market research translation tasks are often a long and intricate process and one that isn’t just a simple questionnaire change or focus group adaptation. We’re lucky that as translators, we employ native speakers worldwide to help us with these challenges – but there are plenty of business who assume every market is fundamentally the same and can encounter pitfalls!
Does the actual Service Fit?
We understand marketing is not all about communication, but one of the essential 5 P’s is the product itself! It may be that a particular professional service, project or delivery method is wildly successful in the UK, but simply doesn’t apply in a standard form to the international market and being open to change the service itself is often a difficult but rewarding hurdle to leap over. You may need to adapt the service you offer not only to suit local requirements but to comply with local regulations. For example, if you offer financial services on your website, it might be seen in countries where this is illegal without a licence. As such, it’s best to employ a legal translation service to make sure your T&C’s are covered.
Selling the Intangible
Without a physical product to sell, you need to take a different approach to international marketing – especially if your brand isn’t established in the local geography. As you can’t often show samples to potential customers, or use a local wholesaler to distribute what you offer – it’s incredibly important that your qualifications, experience and credentials are translated for the new marketing campaigns. This could include detailed and complex translation of your process documentation. We’re experienced in helping you translate this information without jeopardising your intellectual property.
Consider the International Customer Journey
Attracting clients could mean the translation of brochures and websites, but also all pitch documents and presentations too. If you’re one of the high percentage of B2B organisations using content marketing as a way of becoming thought-leaders in your industry – think about how this content can be translated, localised or transcreated with a global market in mind. It should be clear from your research that it’s not all about the content itself, but the media that your potential clients use to get their information. For example, certain markets may be ahead of the curve in mobile adoption – so what does this mean for your content? Do your target markets consume more video? Have you considered transcribing these and offering subtitles for non-English speakers? Some countries even have intricate business card protocol (Japan actually has a name for the ritual of swapping business cards!) so it may be wise to get these translated too. As what you’re selling is a personal and professional service, first impressions are incredibly important.
If the client is putting together detailed tender documents or request for proposals, you need to ensure that your professional service stands out – for all the right reasons! Understanding your business and your commercial added-value benefit is essential to winning new clients and it’s much more than simply translating the words on a page. We pride ourselves on translating the context of your documents. After all – you wouldn’t trust Google translate with your brand! Just try typing a simple sentence in one language and translate back and forth and see how misconstrued the message becomes.
The Sale is not The End…
After you’ve wowed your international clients with your perfectly-translated proposal and they’re on board, there are still some boxes to tick from a marketing perspective. As you know, the customer experience is key to ensure repeat business, which is much more profitable than finding it in the first place! The lack of a physical product in professional services organisations also has important implications for contracts. With trade in goods, the focus is often on responsibilities for delivery, set out using internationally recognised Incoterms. This is where contact translation services come into play. In the professional services market though, you are unable to use Incoterms to formalise where the service will be delivered or who is responsible for insurance. It can also be difficult to specify exactly what services are to be provided and to what standards. It can be helpful to focus on what the desired outcomes are – i.e. what your service should achieve. This can be part of a service level agreement in the contract. Different business cultures, legal environments and languages increase the risk of confusion when you trade internationally. It’s important to have a clear contract which ensures expectations of all parties are being met. Give us a call today to see how we can help you reach new, exciting and profitable markets overseas through professional translation services.