LOST IN TRANSLATION…. THE ART OF BUSINESSES GETTING THEIR MARKETING WRONG ABROAD
EMBARGO 00:01 24/10/12
Alchemy Viral*, one of Europe’s leading experts in international search reputation management, is coming across a large number of failed international marketing campaigns. As a result www.alchemyviral.com is launching its own online campaign: “Lost in Translation!” from the 24th October until the end of the month, encouraging businesses to do their research, employ native experts and writers, and not make a fool of their business and country overseas. The campaign will be orchestrated through Twitter, Facebook & international blogs.
“Tackling a market abroad presents a whole series of challenges and if you don’t get it right from the start, you will suffer a bitter defeat
Andreas Voniatis, Managing Director of Alchemy Viral:
“Every international company has a marketing budget that they use to pay the best and brightest in the industry to create overseas marketing campaigns. The goal, naturally, being to increase worldwide sales. But beware, while it often works out, sometimes businesses destroy their reputations. Some setbacks are easy to recover from, whilst others can lead to the downfall of an entire brand. A badly thought out campaign can leave a lasting impression that’s hard to forget… even years after it has been unleashed on the public”
Alchemy Viral has already proven that its unique approach to online marketing and raising brand recognition works. The formula to success lies within creating compelling content that surfers will want to read, and taking full advantage of social media to reach potential consumers in a non-intrusive way.
One of Alchemy Viral’s areas of expertise is in helping companies to promote themselves overseas. They take great pains to understand the local culture and ensure that campaigns deliver. The company drives target audiences from search engines and social media across many different continents, including Australia, North America and the UK. In house writers come from a pedigree of backgrounds, including Bloomberg, The Economist, Reuters. They drive target audiences in different languages across the world including in Russian, German, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, and other languages as and when required.
Andreas cites a campaign for Cybersports as an example, where Alchemy Viral increased views of their Football Superstars promotional video from 13,000 to 1.8 million in just 2 years.
“Tackling a market abroad presents a whole series of challenges and if you don’t get it right from the start, you will suffer a bitter defeat. The obvious hurdle to get over immediately is the language barrier. It’s easy to assume that globalisation automatically means that people will understand English, especially in the European Union, but this is far from the truth”.
Andreas advises that initial research should be focused on how to best overcome potential language barriers, with it usually being wiser to allow for messages to be broadcasted or printed in the local language rather than English. Colloquialisms are often lost in translation or worse still, misinterpreted.
“An example of how things can go very wrong was the Honda Fitta campaign at the beginning of the millennia. The car aimed for the European market had to be renamed to Fit when it was discovered that the word “fitta” in Swedish translates to a particular part of the female anatomy! By the time the Japanese realised their blunder, ads had already been printed and commercials were already shot. There were already slogans signed off on such as: “Honda Fitta, small on the outside but big once inside” and “Honda Fitta, a daily pleasure.” Honda didn’t ever reveal how much they had to spend to rename the car and redo the launch campaign, but it’s been speculated that it was several million euros, and most likely a case or two of joining the Madogiwa zoku in Honda’s Japanese headquarters (where employees are paid to come to work, have no responsibility, but sit looking out of the window all day!)”.
Next Andreas recommends investigating the angle of attack carefully:
“Research the culture of your target country first. Be wary, for example, around the use of colours. In China white is for funerals and red is for weddings while green is often associated with infidelity and exorcisms”.
Finally Andreas does recommend using humour as an excellent way to connect with people, but encourages research into what locals find amusing. Slavic languages, for example, base many of their jokes on wordplay, which are impossible to translate.
*Alchemy Viral is a young company fast becoming Europe’s leading search reputation management business operating internationally. The company was founded in 2010 and is growing 300% year on year. It started out servicing small enterprises and now works with major digital agencies in the UK, Germany and Australia, working for major brands and publicly quoted companies. Alchemy Viral is fast becoming one of Europe’s leading multilingual web search media publishing firms providing safe and ethical web search optimisation for their clients. It is one of the few firms in the UK that gears its practices and measures of success beyond the search engines such as Google and Bing. It uses other unique methods to find potential customers and drive them to the target website, bringing more visitors and hence business to clients. Clients are delighted with the results. The team also has the advantage of speaking a number of languages including, French, German, Spanish and Russian, to name but a few.
CLIENT ENDORSEMENTS FOR ALCHEMY VIRAL:
“Alchemy Viral delivered a strong SEO campaign getting us to the top of the search engines including Google UK for “football games” and other revenue generating searches. This was repeated in our other overseas territories in their respective languages including Germany, France, Poland, Italy and Spain. Thanks to their efforts we were able to move away from Google Adwords and for this reason reduced our marketing spend whilst increasing organic growth over the longer term. Having worked with Alchemy Viral personally and having seen the results first hand I have no hesitation in recommending their services to anyone looking to significantly improve their SEO. Andreas himself loves what he does, he’s creative, and always goes the extra mile…”
Andy Law – General Manager, CyberSports Ltd
“Our share of voice in Google and Bing UK have increased thanks to Alchemy Viral’s SEO service. Their team certainly know their craft!”
James Roth – Director, Amstore Group