If you put “bookmarks” in Google Translate it will give you “الإشارات التعريفية” which literally reads in English “marking signs”, while the right translation is “صفحاتك المفضلة”. and that what is “chrome” using in his Arabic browser.
When it comes to expanding your business to another market, a localization expert’s opinion goes a long way. They don’t just translate words, but also pick the right colors, names, and other attributes to fit the target market.
English is indeed the universal language that is commonly used all around the world. But when it comes to marketing and branding to a specific target audience of non-native English speakers, you need more than a common language. Here comes the concept of localization. Localization experts enable you to take your brand to a local market, they adapt your marketing content in terms of linguistics requirements, cultural requirements as well as technical requirements of the new market which is to be approached by you. That’s why investing in a localization service enables you to get the maximum return on your marketing and distribution costs.
The MENA region is vast, it encompasses many dissimilar cultures, languages, and also traditions. Arabic speaking market is well known as one of the rapidly growing markets in the world. The GCC area is Huge if you want to franchise your brand, which can also mean speaking the language of the market aka, localize!
The cultural landscape of each GCC countries is rich and complex. Arabic is a complicated language, whether in how words are being translated or in finding the right way on how to address the audience. If you hire the wrong person, you’ll end up losing time and money and your localization won’t make any sense, and in some cases, you might offend them.
If you want to hit the jackpot, it’s time to hire a localization expert for your Arabic website/product to get your message through.
If you need more convincing, here are 5 reasons why:
1- Establish an Emotional Connection
Marketing is all about persuading your target audience to purchase your product or service. But to make potential customers and to generate leads, you should be able to persuade them with emotional appeal. To do this, marketers should be able to recognize what triggers the target audience of MENA towards purchasing and what keeps their engagement inactive. To position your brand in the minds of the right customers, it is vital to approach them by understanding their norms, behaviors, preferences, etc. Who else can help you to do this better than a native localization expert? A localization expert can help you craft the ideal wordings to approach the minds of your target customers without killing any piece of original content, with the help of their expertise on the language and the traditions. So your target audience can relate to you as opposed to feeling like a foreigner who doesn’t understand them.
FACT: putting a photo of a white family on your website makes the audience get emotionally detached from your products.
2- Clear and Effective Communication
Professional English to Arabic translation always ensures a good flow of language including all the essential key points in your original message. To convey your message with the right impression, the right wording and tone must be used with the target audience.
Your content may have certain words and phrases that can’t be directly translated to Arabic; in such cases, the localization expert should be able to obtain the meaning of your phrase and use the correct wording in Arabic.
The main reason for this is the different cultural references and abundant vocabulary in Arabic which can add a solid foundation to your brand.
FACT: Some companies would hire agencies who would just use Google Translate in translating Arabic. But here is how bad it can get in Arabic.
Example: “bookmarks” is translated as “الإشارات التعريفية” which literally reads in English as “marking signs” while the right translation should be “صفحاتك المفضلة”. and that what is “chrome” using in his Arabic browser.
Furthermore, people in MENA prefer to buy products when the instructions and product descriptions are given in Arabic. Greater brand exposure creates a wider audience, to boost ROI.
3- Leave an Impression with Your Brand
When penetrating a new market, many businesses tend to do the mistake of not customizing their campaigns aligned with the nature of the intended market. This often happens due to the lack of knowledge on how to generate the ideal impression for the audience, which is a common occurrence in the Arabic market. Arabs take their culture seriously. Humor generated for positive impression in English countries may not be an ideal match for the audience in the MENA region. Professional English to Arabic translator who understands the values of local people in the Arabic world is needed. Seeking their services is always safe not to commit any cultural offenses, and to maintain your brand reputation.
4- Show That you Care
When a foreign product or brand enters a local market, people always tend to take a step back until you create a firm reassurance in their minds. This reassurance contributes to market growth. If you can send the message that you care about them, would create a positive impact on your marketing efforts. The ideal way to do this is that you speak in their native language. When your target audience sees that you care enough about them, they would not hesitate to accept your brand with authenticity. The feedback of the customers is a must to direct your marketing campaign towards success.
5- Cut Down the Risk
Any brand that is doing their due diligence when it comes to localization make mistakes, and we have tons of examples below. Doing that waste a lot of money and resources, it makes your brand looks negligent and makes no efforts in ensuring the quality of the content perceived by the public. In most cases, it’s just not finding the right experts to work with. However, hiring a localization expert who knows what they are doing, will not only save you from such embarrassments but also help keep your costs under control by cutting down the risks.
Localization Epic Fails Done By Well-known Brands
Ashley Furniture International is one of the most prominent home decor brands in KSA. With a simple google search for furniture in KSA Ashley will come up on the first page, which is great, right? Not so much!
Ashely.sa is having major problems with their Arabic e-commerce website.
- Arabic words on the homepage are not even readable.
- The photos are not of good quality
- The website looks generally cheap
Imagine the amount of money Ashely e-commerce could make during this pandemic if it wasn’t for this no brainer mistake!
When it comes to a big institution like Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt, it’s sad to see that they fall behind when it comes to their Arabic website — the Arabic language is essential to their demographics.
- The website is so frustrating even for a tech-savvy.
- There is no way to convert the language to English after logging in. you’ll have to logout then login again.
- The wording of the (call to action)s is weird, it’s obvious that it is google translated.
- When logging in, the website is everything but user friendly.
Faisal bank is losing clients just because they’re not up to speed with the trends, their customers are expecting a better service when it comes to online banking!
While many marketing professionals are aware of the importance of addressing their target market in a local language, how far would they go to it right?
Localization experts can help you in different means to optimize your marketing content for the best outcome. As you can establish an emotional connection with your target Arab audience, communicate your brand’s message clearly and effectively, leave an ideal impression on your brand, demonstrate that you care about them, and cut down the risks of doing it wrong or offending anyone.
Our localization experts are always focused not only on the translation but also on assisting you to optimize your marketing efforts to align with the preferences, culture, norms, and traditions of the Arab audience. The ultimate goal is to create a product that screams “I care”.
We at DigiUTM are well aware of what local people of the MENA countries including GCC and Egypt expect and know what it takes to help stand out from the competition, and how to make your content more compelling in the eyes of the local audience.