fit for purpose marketing


Marketing is marketing, right?

When breaking into a new market, all you have to do is launch a translation of your website, and away you go.

If only it were that simple.

Unintentional offence

There is so much to take into consideration when entering a new market, regardless of whether they speak the same language as you or not.

You see, language may not be the only barrier to success; culture has a big part to play.

The metaphors and analogies you use may not have the same meaning elsewhere. Your product name may not translate well. Take Ford as an example. When they launched their Pinto model in Brazil, they hardly sold any. Then they discovered ‘Pinto’ Brazilian Portuguese was slang for men with tiny genitals – no wonder they barely sold any!

That’s why, rather than leaving it to chance, when you come to the UK market get a native English copywriter to work on your content for you.

Copywriting for your market

You could, of course, use a tool like Google Translate to convert your content. But there are enough dreadful websites out there to tell you that’s not a good idea. It’s an excellent tool for somethings (like translating a menu) but not when the success of your business (not to mention your reputation) is at stake.

Your freelance writer will not only be able to convert your message to resonate with your new audience; she will also be able to advise you on tone and nuances. Plus, she will ensure none of the emotion is lost.

Culturally aware content

Over and above your website content, you’ll also need a constant stream of articles appearing on your site. Again, translating the ones you use in your native country won’t work. They have been researched and written for your cultural market. There may well be different forces and emotions at work in the UK that affects how consumers interact with your brand. That’s why you should commission original articles that are targeted to your new audience.

The same goes for your social media interactions. Culture has a huge part to play there, so the content must be tailored for the likes and needs of your country-specific consumers.

Avoiding complications

Cultural sensitivities to content may not have been something you’d considered before now, but it should be near the top of your list.

Getting the right message out is critical for the success of your launch. As the above example shows, research the impact of your brand name within your new market to save any blushed or potential offence. And then turn your attention to your marketing collateral.

Straight translations don’t work. Show you care about your customers and give them tailored content that is relevant to them.


Sally Ormond is a copywriter who works with global companies, creating UK-specific content that’s relevant to their audiences.