3 Ways to Build the Case for Native Language Content in Your Global Marketing Plans
In my previous post, I addressed the importance of budgeting for localized content. In this follow-up post, you will find three important data points that will help you better build your case for native language content as part of your global marketing plans.
The question I get asked every day from European marketers is “Can you help me prove to my central worldwide team why we need in-language content?” In order to help your international colleagues and provide you – the central global marketer – material to make the case is to provide some much needed data points to help you quickly get after that much sought out additional budget.
Let’s start with content consumption. 96% of the France and 92% of the DACH TechTarget audience, given the choice, prefer French and German over English content [even though the English content is 10x greater in quantity with more in-depth material].
Michael Bernau, Director of Business Development at Netpress GmbH recently did a great blog on this topic. In it he states, “The way a German and American read texts related to buying a service or product is neither slightly nor significantly different from each other – the difference is fundamental.” This is 100% true of what TechTarget sees from promotion of vendor content in addition to audience editorial consumption. Promotional email response to our DACH and France membership is 4x and 10x higher in German and French than in English, respectively.
Response is better, one might say, but is it necessary to build ROI in the region? Lack of in-language content can affect your overall engagement and your ability to make a the shortlist and ultimately, close a deal. In a recent survey of 320 IT professionals in France and DACH from TechTarget, users stated that they, on average, download 5 pieces of content from a vendor before shortlisting them. 54% of these same users stated that they would shortlist one vendor over another for a purchase based solely on the fact that they have written materials in native language versus English-only content.
Translation or Localization – or both?
Recently TechTarget transitioned its new .com site into French and German. The mirroring of our corporate signature to other languages was quite challenging. While the fundamental signature translated it didn’t exactly localize without changing the context of the text presented. For instance the corporate understanding of our high level positioning “Fuel Your Pipeline Faster” doesn’t directly translate into other languages 1-for-1. The literal translation in French and German has a lot more to do with gas and oil consumption than it does marketing. Another example is translating the word “highlights” in Google translate can get you the word for “bleaching” in German. You can see where the issues start to occur when we tried to translate “highlights to complete your pipeline”.
Translation can be a start for the process to keep the message consistent but localization must always take place in order to adapt your message appropriately. If we take it even further, the development of content in region must appropriately take on slang or provincial idioms of the language, and must possess its own local variety in order get the best response. Mr. Bernau does a great job of covering adaptation versus creation from this angle in his presentation from our recent London ROI Summit.
The final piece of the puzzle is the concept and understanding of how in-language content can help with your nurturing process. A lot of marketers ask the question, “Can we nurture in English language if we’re using in-language content to bring them in the sales funnel?”
Beyond the obvious user experience problem this presents for you to solve, we also see a 300% higher re-engagement rate in campaigns in France and DACH when using in-language content than we see versus using English content within English-speaking markets.
Summing it up
It is often difficult to justify creating multiple versions of content for different regions, but according to the data presented within this post, it is certainly worth the effort when it comes to getting on the shortlist and moving the needle for your in-region business. Hopefully these three quick points will help you make a strong case to budget accordingly for the production of in-language content.