Emmanuel Margetic, director of marketing and sales for MultiLing Corporation recently wrote an article that was published in Sales and Marketing Magazine treating the important topic of finding the right words in international business communications. His key thesis: “Just as knowing how to say ‘I love you’ can be more complicated in relationships where barriers of culture and language exist, companies expanding into international markets need to carefully consider the way they communicate their appreciation and interest to customers and potential customers.”
Margetic points out that without considering the traditions and culture of the foreign country they are targeting and how their message will be understood and perceived, companies may be wasting their money, or worse, creating misunderstandings and misperceptions.
Therefore, before entering a new market, Margetic advises companies to consider questions such as: How can I appeal to their self interests? What do they already know, if anything, about our product? Who in this culture will be making the purchasing decision for a product like ours? The answers to these and other questions will help companies send the right message to potential foreign customers.
“Ultimately, in appealing to potential customers, a company must choose words that will come across clearly. To do this, a company’s marketing materials need to go through two steps: globalization and localization”, says Margetic, who has been working in the translation industry for more than 12 years.