Karolina Sarul
May 29, 2023

3 Mistakes in International Marketing Strategy That Will Cost You

translation mistakes that cost a lot concept

Remember the Nothing sucks like an Electrolux fail?


Mistakes like that have been made in marketing translation industry and are a great foundation for making a short list of mistakes that should and can be avoided. And the key expression here is how to avoid them. Here we go:


1. Word-For-Word Translation

International marketing strategy is precisely planned for specific personas, markets and products. It has to convey a consistent message and lay the ground for the products’ sale in the target market.






Related content: A Detailed Review of Professional Translation Services






And as some mistakes are even quite funny and make you remember the brand, would you trust such a brand if their content is translated in a messy, incorrect and literal way? Even though we are told not to, we judge books by their covers and the businesses by their website, products and marketing content quality.


And yes, it seems that these days the awareness should stop people from using  literal translation. In reality though, some marketing executives decide to use their own staff who happen to use the language in demand to translate the content.






Related content: Translation Agency vs. In-house Marketing Team: Who Should Translate Your Content?






The solution is to let your marketing content be translated by a carefully chosen marketing translation agency, equipped with the tools, processes and the right people, of course, that ensure your content's professional translation.


Marketing content translation often includes transcreation. This cannot be a literal translation. If you don’t use experts, you might end up just like Electrolux. It would suck, wouldn’t it?






Related content: 3 Differences in Costs of Translation vs. Transcreation






2. Ignoring Cultural Nuances 

You can avoid literal translation by using language translation services to do the job. The same goes for cultural nuances.


When you enter local markets, you need to know who you are speaking to, what they like, what rules they live by and what customs are close to their hearts. You don’t want to put a stork on a diapers bag like Pampers did in Japan, right?


This is also a part of the translation and localization process. Knowing what goes well in the market you target and how it has to be put together in order to work to your advantage and your customers’ best experience.






Related content: 10 Signs That Indicate Bad Marketing Translation Services






To ensure your customers' best experience, start cooperation with a marketing translation agency who will guard every step of the way using their knowledge, linguistic and cultural experience and expertise regarding the specific language and locale.


They have the tools and processes to support your drive for excellence. They have options to connect directly with your system to boost your content translation. When you set off on a journey in a completely unknown world, it’s best to have an experienced and professional guide by your side.






Related content: 5 Benefits Your Get From Working With a Translation Agency






The same goes for directing your marketing content at new markets. Use the professional and experienced partner to guide you and help you put your products on the map.






Related content: Marketing Translation Playbook






3. Cutting Corners

I just need a translation and I will let my engineers or sales people review the files at the end and that’s it – sounds familiar?


Your company engineers and product specialists spend long hours perfecting the product you want to introduce. You create the marketing content and translate it. And then the translated file goes to your sales, marketing or any other existing employee for a review, just because they speak the language.






Related content: 6 Reasons Why Your Team May Fail at Translation Quality Review






And it’s the Electrolux, HSBC or any other failed marketing translation story all over again. Why? Because you decided that translation is important, but not important enough to cover the whole process from A to Z.


The client review is a crucial stage of every translation process. And it has to be done according to specific rules, otherwise you might end up with content that contains errors introduced by the reviewers or a complete rewrite of the content.






Related content: 8 Translation Review Problems Making Your Translation Agency's Name a Cussword in the Office






Make sure you never cut any corners with the translation process and you will get yourself a perfect translation of your marketing content that sells your products.


When you choose the right language translation partner, you get their expertise and guidance also at the client review stage. Be ready to use it. Be ready to communicate and to listen to their advice, and use it again to your advantage. You will actually save the time you were so eager to save.


Not to mention the financial savings when you don’t have to spend money to put the failures right and repair the damaged reputation.


Your marketing content is what sells your products. It is worth the expertise of a professional marketing translation agency.


Recommended articles:

How to Really Save on Translation and Localization

10 Things That Will Make Your Multilingual Marketing Content Fail You