Translation versus Culturalization

Tuesday Tech Talk

In today's all-digital world, it is very easy to fall into the online software translation trap. Translation versus culturalization of your marketing materials is of the utmost importance. It's not just about using Google translate or relying on an online translator to relay your message. It still takes eyeballs' experience and it is a deep understanding of the goal for the advertisement. Many cultures use words differently; in one culture a word could mean a straw, and in another market it could mean a sexual act. Understanding the nuances of language is not something easily translated by a piece of software. 
Often translations miss the mark and say things that hurt, confuse or completely miss the point of the advertisement altogether. Understanding the language is just one component of culturalizing an advertising or marketing campaign. Understanding the market demographic cultural backgrounds and religious references are a big part of understanding and targeting a consumer. That is the start of creating a well-rounded multicultural marketing campaign not just for international markets, but also for the US market. 
10 Things you should take into consideration when cauterizing a marketing campaign.
1. What language does your target market speak?
2. What age is your target consumer?
3. What is the age and gender of your target consumer?
4. How do they consume data (print, television, online or outdoor)?
5. What is that market's expendable cash?
6. Are they interested in your product?
7. Do you already have an existing relationship with that consumer base?
8. Is your marketing material or point of contact written in the language of the consumer?
9. Do you have anyone on staff that speaks a language of the culture you're trying to go after?
10. Do you have a one year, three year or five-year plan for attracting this market and slowly building on successes?
Over the years, I've seen all the errors that can possibly be made wasting money or simply throwing it away by trusting software to translate messaging or to create your sizzling advertisements. That silver bullet simply doesn't exist. It simply takes someone with experience to understand the purpose and the reason for the messaging and someone to culturalize the message not just simply translate the words. 
As my own case study, I will be following this year's political races with particular attention placed on messaging of the English versus Spanish culturalization of the English marketing and advertising efforts. My goal will be to understand if the money spent is worth the return. Tracking effectiveness of the campaign, the outlet chosen and the awareness or outcome it delivered. I will also be paying close attention to the parts of the country that get special attention in regards to culturalizing messaging for Spanish.
My findings should be very interesting. And should answer a lot of questions for all the marketers out there thinking of whether they should culturalize their marketing efforts or not. 

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