Developing Marketing Strategies For Entering Foreign Markets

Businesses that decided to enter foreign markets often discover that their products and strategies require a certain degree of customization. Changes to the products and promotional strategies are often needed to address a wide variety of issues that that are present in foreign markets and that might not be present in domestic markets. Therefore, a winning strategy requires careful research and planning to ensure that the needs of the market will be addressed from the offset. Upfront planning can help ensure success and avert costly cross cultural, political, legal and regulatory, and competitive mishaps.

Sociocultural Forces

Certified translators frequently hear stories about companies that made the mistake of ignoring cultural, social and linguistic differences when entering foreign markets. An essential requirement of an effective global marketing strategy is the ability to accurately define and identify significant sociocultural and sociolinguistic deviations. In Hong Kong, for example, McDonald’s offers a number of items that appeal to local tastes such as the Green Tea & Red Bean Ice Cream Sundae. In Thailand, McDonald’s offers the Samurai Pork Burger, which happens to be marketed as the Shogun Burger in China. In India, McDonald’s caters to local tastes with a menu that is spicier and includes chicken instead of beef.

Cultural and linguistic difference and preferences can be difficult to identify and integrate into strategies. As many Portuguese translators are aware, while Portuguese is spoken in Portugal, Brazil and Angola, there are significant differences and advertising and other promotional content must be translated into other languages. Therefore, a proper localization strategy requires the use of translators who are fluent in the local dialect. Localization must also account for any logos, symbols or trademarks that could have a cultural meaning. Gerber made the mistake of selling its baby food in low literacy countries. In the countries, products packaging includes a picture of the food item. However, Gerber products include a picture of a baby which confused illiterate consumers. It was widely reported that some shoppers thought that Gerber was selling baby meat.

Conveying Good News About Products and Operations

It is usually a smart idea to transmit information regarding good changes, major breakthroughs and opportunistic trends such as the groundbreaking of new offices, the hiring of an executive, the launch of new merchandise or client solutions, and the donation to a major charity. To illustrate, Houston Translation Services workers shared a story with us about Tasty Meals, a company that has skillfully launched a new line of organic snacks to the retailers it serves. To preserve its placement in stores, Tasty Meals chooses to provide an innovative discount program to retailers that place large orders of its organic snacks. It reinforces personalized appointments from its sales force with a good-news message explaining the innovative program to buyers and planners. The message starts by announcing the news, explains the details of the promotional program in the center section, and ends with a little bit concerning resale data and a favorable forecast regarding a lucrative business relationship.

When the audience for a good-news message is large and scattered, however, it is usually easier to communicate through publications, television, and radio. If McDonald’s were to begin selling pizza, for example, the burger giant would probably want to let the media spread the word. What better way to get reactions from across the country than to publicize the testing.
Press releases are the specialized documents that convey news to the media. As explained by experts providing Spanish Translation in Washington D.C., they are written to match the style of the medium they are intended for. Press releases should be typewritten on plain 8.5-by-11-inch paper or special letterhead-not on regular letterhead-and should be double-spaced for print media, triple-spaced for electronic media. Clean photocopies may be sent by first-class mail to radio and television news directors and to editors of magazines and weekly newspapers. But individually typed, copies are more impressive hand delivered to city editors of the daily newspapers.

As professionals providing Chicago translation services suggest, the content of the press release should follow the customary pattern for a good-news letter; however, it avoids explicit references to any reader. Instead, it displays the “you” attitude by presenting information presumed to be of interest to readers. Furthermore, because no honest will run a press release that sounds like an advertisement, the “plug” for the company’s products has been relegated to the final section.