Bullseye! How to ensure your marketing messages hit the spot

You make your aim. And it lands. Your marketing message has reached your target audience and prompted them to sit up, listen, and take action.


This level of success sounds easy to achieve, but it’s not. We know how much hard work and careful consideration went into it:


       Understanding your audience

       Ensuring your message stands out

       Offering the solution and / or benefit they’re looking for

       Motivating them to take action


If you’re looking to expand to other global markets, it can be easy to think that the hard work has already been done. But the same message directed towards a different audience will not always land the same way. The target might be further away, or an obstacle might be blocking it. It’s now harder to reach the target from where you’re standing. Hitting harder won’t work. You’ll need to change position before attempting a throw.


You may be targeting the same demographic, and trying to solve the same problem. They might even speak the same language as you. But if your messaging is not culturally relevant, it’s not for them.


There are many differences across cultures. These differences, such as humour, everyday routines, work and travel norms, language, and eating customs, affect the way brand messaging is written and received, and create obstacles or distance between you and your target audience. An expertly crafted dry joke could be perceived as sarcasm by a culture that prefers a more slapstick sense of humour. Family dynamics and traditions vary, and different cultures hold different values. The 9-5 grind might not make sense to countries that don’t have the same 5-day, 40-hour working week. Attitudes and expectations towards gender roles and identity vary. Perspectives are different: a long drive? Do you mean three hours or three days? It depends on where you’re from.


If you want your marketing message to resonate with your target audience in the same way that your local one did, you’ll need to adapt it to them. This process is called ‘localisation’. It differs from ‘translation’ – the written communication of words from one language to another – because it goes further. Localisation looks at everything: from idioms and puns to names, numbers, cultural references, colours and symbols, and different meanings. It leaves no stone unturned, taking the meaning behind your message and carefully adapting your original content for your new market.


Localisation shouldn’t just be a strategy for external marketing. It’s key in boosting productivity and driving international engagement across a global workforce by ensuring everyone feels connected. Adapting policies, internal communications and news, interfaces, and instructions can make things easier for local users and open up discussions and feedback with a wider range of people.


When you’re directing messages or information to a different culture, it can be hard to know where to start. With our cultural expertise and dedicated team of project managers and localisation experts,  we can help you embrace the unfamiliar and carve out a localisation strategy that’ll help you hit the mark, no matter where in the world your target audience is.

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