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Oh no, I am not against the booming global economy or your plan to launch your product in an exotic foreign market. All i am saying is that where ever you launch your product, try to grasp the local culture of that place, soak in it’s diversity and understand the habits of the local people.

The needs and expectations of your audience will vary depending on the location, and here I am not talking about an inter-country perspective but about an intra country perspective. So, if you think the audience from a metro and a 3 tier city will expect the same features in your product – it’s time to think again.

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Why Should You Board The Local Bandwagon:

According to a survey, 86% of the localised campaigns outperformed the English campaigns in both click-throughs and conversions. Also, while english campaigns had an average CTR of 2.35% and a conversion rate of 7.47%, the localised versions saw click-through rates of 3.34% – an increase of 42%, and 9.08% conversion rates – a 22% lift over the English campaign (Source: Appia).
So, do not shy away from launching campaigns in the native language of your target audience or designing a landing page in their native language.

Localisation not only lets you permeate through boundaries which were otherwise un-pierceable, but also lets you forge a very strong connection with your target audience. Know that localisation is much more than just translating your webpage in your target audience’s language, and please don’t use Google Translate to do so. It is all about connecting with your consumers on their play field, where they most feel comfortable, thus building your brand image in a way that is unique.

Increase Your Conversion By Going Local

What Not To Do:

Do you know that Colgate launched toothpaste in France named “Cue” without realising that it’s also the name of a French pornographic magazine or that Coca Cola’s brand name, when first marketed in China, was sometimes translated as “Bite The Wax Tadpole.” These are examples of blatantly translating tag lines, and even big brands are not oblivious to such mistakes.

Needless to say, before testing the waters in an unchartered territory do extensive research – try to know their culture, behaviour, habits, and language really well. Interestingly, the localisation is not just limited to getting the tagline or content right. It is also about distribution- the channel that you use to market your product is also equally important. Using the common assumption that technology propagates from metros to smaller cities. Use mediums which are more popular in that geographic location. For example there might be more Facebook users than Snapchat users in a small city, so it will be better to use the former for marketing your product.

Also, respect societal norms and create a culturally appropriate campaign for each market. Do analyse the consumer behaviour before starting any sort of marketing. For instance, markeeters in North India will use more aggressive and sales oriented techniques where as for South India the team may decide to tone down the message a bit. The important thing to learn here is to understand the rules of the area and then amping up your game.

How To Do It:

Humanise your brand – people understand emotions better than anything else. So, if you can attach a sentiment with your brand, that is in line with what people love, it will do great things for your brand. Vernacular is different from state to state and imbibe this in your core message – so talk like a local.

Take a cue from McDonald’s on how they tapped into family values and price competitiveness to connect with Indian consumers.Leo Burnett, McDonald’s lead agency in India, deliberately avoided hiring celebrity spokespeople even though this is the norm these days.”We have not used any brand ambassadors for McDonald’s,” said Samarjit Choudhry, vice president of Leo Burnett India.”The brand belongs to the consumers and whatever works best for the consumer is what is done. Our guests are our biggest advocates and ambassadors.”

So, go ahead and forge that connection with your target audience – go local to convert.

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    Vinita Joshi
    Vinita Joshi is a Product Marketing Manager at Solomofy. She has worked with Samsung in the Product Marketing domain, and also dabbled her hands in entrepreneurship. When not working, you can find her digging a book or just lazing around.

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