Marketing Localization Strategy: A Step-by-step Guide with Practical Examples

December 1, 2023 | Han Ngo
Table of Contents

What is marketing localization? And why is it essential for businesses to adopt a marketing localization strategy? This plays a pivotal role in a company’s journey to expand into the global market. However, not everyone grasps the nuances of executing a marketing localization strategy effectively. To gain a deeper understanding of this activity, we invite you to explore the details in the article below.

What is Marketing localization?

Localization is about tweaking various elements of the original version to align with the cultural intricacies of the targeted location.

So, marketing localization refers to customizing marketing activities to resonate with the cultural specifics of the intended market. This adaptation ensures that the target audience fully grasps the communication message. It also helps strengthen the brand image, bolsters brand recognition, enhances the connection between the brand and the target audience, and more. Consequently, it significantly contributes to the overall efficacy of marketing strategies.

Is marketing localization the same as marketing internationalization? The answer is no. While marketing localization aims to tailor marketing efforts to suit the target audience in a specific market, marketing internationalization involves adjusting marketing activities based on international standards applicable to all foreign markets.

Marketing Localization - Thao & Co.

The importance of marketing localization

Why is it necessary to localize marketing activities? Rolling out marketing initiatives that resonate strongly with the local audience can yield a host of positive advantages for the brand, including:

  1. ● Expanding the reach of the target market
  2. ● Boosting brand recognition
  3. ● Strengthening the connection between the brand and the local audience
  4. ● Building a solid foundation of trust with the audience
  5. ● Improving conversion rates and retaining the loyalty of the target customer base

How to craft a successful marketing localization strategy?

To ensure a marketing localization strategy hits the mark, here’s a practical and step-by-step guide.

1. Market Research

A robust marketing localization strategy kicks off with thorough research into the target market. This step is crucial for gaining a comprehensive understanding of the market you’re entering – consider aspects like market potential, competition, characteristics of your target customers, local consumer language, and more.

Armed with these insights, businesses can craft a specific profile of their target customers, delving into demographics, psychology, and behavior. This forms the bedrock for tailoring marketing activities to resonate most effectively with the target audience. 

2. Localizing digital channels

To effectively engage the target audience, businesses need to implement a content localization strategy for specific communication channels used by the brand, such as websites, software, social mediaemail marketing, and more.

Audiences in different regions have unique demographic, psychological, and behavioral traits. Hence, localizing communication channels is vital for enhancing compatibility with the local audience, ultimately boosting the brand’s reach and communication impact. For example, adjusting the language on these platforms to align with the local language prevalent in the region is a fundamental part of this localization process.

3. SEO optimization

SEO is a vital technique for boosting content visibility on search engines in the target market. So, multilingual SEO optimization becomes a must-have strategy when delving into marketing localization initiatives.

In the process of localizing media content, it’s crucial for businesses to seamlessly incorporate SEO practices. This not only saves time but also ensures the smooth and consistent nature of translations. Hence, when choosing a content localization service, businesses should opt for a provider that offers SEO translation services.

At Thao & Co., in addition to providing translation services, we take it a step further by offering SEO Keyword Glossary. This ensures that translations use languages tailored to the target audience, thereby boosting content visibility on search engines.

SEO Keywords Glossary - Thao & Co.

4. Understanding local legal regulations

Each region and specific market may have its own distinct legal landscape. For instance, in Vietnam, ads featuring comparisons between a brand’s products or services to those of another brand are deemed unhealthy competition and are prohibited. On the other hand, in the United States, such comparative advertising is not restricted.

Therefore, to ensure a business’s marketing efforts stay on the right side of the law, it’s essential for the brand to thoroughly grasp these local regulations.

5. Testing your localized content

Localization testing is a crucial aspect in ensuring that marketing content aligns both linguistically and technically with the local audience. It serves to minimize potential risks during implementation such as the use of sensitive language, legal violations, or cultural oversights.

6. Ongoing monitoring and updates

To boost the effectiveness of a localized marketing strategy, the translation team and marketing personnel need to consistently stay updated and monitor market trends. This allows for the application of these insights into specific marketing activities.

Given the ongoing shifts in market demands, the ability to adapt and stay attuned to these changes profoundly influences the success of a marketing strategy or broader market expansion efforts for a business.

Localization marketing examples

Let’s explore two real-world examples that showcase how brands have succeeded or failed in implementing marketing localization

Successful marketing localization strategy by Grab

When entering the Vietnamese market, Grab strategically highlighted its motorbike ride-hailing service.

In 2019, Grab and Heineken seamlessly executed the “Have a Drink – Don’t Drive” campaign, achieving success through the localization of their marketing efforts. The campaign aimed to educate the target audience that after consuming alcohol, it’s safer to choose Grab instead of driving.

This success resulted from in-depth research into the habits of the Vietnamese population, especially after social gatherings. Within just three days of sharing the “Solution For Brothers” video, it garnered over 1 million views, along with tens of thousands of positive comments and shares across various social media platforms.

Marketing Localization example resized - Thao & Co.

Burger King, McDonald’s, and the challenges in the Vietnamese market

The reason behind this stems from these brands not fully understanding the cultural intricacies in Vietnam, especially the widespread practice of indulging in street food. Even before customers get a chance to step into McDonald’s or Burger King, they’ve likely already satisfied their hunger with a variety of options from local sandwich stalls or roadside pho vendors, all available at a fraction of the cost.

The challenge emerges from the local perception of street food quality and the brands’ difficulty in fully tailoring their products to align with the preferences of the target customers, including taste preferences, budget considerations, and more. These factors have presented significant obstacles for both brands as they navigate the Vietnamese market.

Marketing Localization at Thao & Co.

Translation Services - Thao & Co.

If you’re on the lookout for a partner to elevate your Marketing localization strategy, Thao & Co. is here to offer valuable support.

  1. ● Thao & Co. stands out as one of the few translation companies providing a wide array of content localization services, including Consumer Language ResearchSEO Keyword GlossaryCustomized Integration and Linguistic Review, etc. This not only helps businesses save time and costs during project implementation but also enhances the consistency of translations and marketing localization efforts.
  2. ● Translation and proofreading process is executed with precision by seasoned linguists, ensuring the optimization of the quality of localized content.
  3. ● With a well-structured workflow, transparent security policies, and rigorous implementation, collaboration becomes more seamless and efficient. Moreover, our proprietary platform empowers clients to effortlessly track project progress and engage directly with linguists.

These are insights into marketing localization that Thao & Co. has gathered from our extensive experience in handling localization projects. We hope that this article has provided you with valuable information on this intriguing topic.

For any further inquiries or guidance on marketing localization activities, feel free to reach out through the  Get a Quote page for prompt assistance.

Source: Thao & Company
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