The Middle East is one of the fastest growing markets in the world. With up to 22 countries and a population of about 420 million people, the region is fast becoming one of the largest markets on the globe. What’s driving the market? In the region, about 50% of the population is under 25. Many of these young people spend higher amounts of time on social media and mobile devices, compared to the global average.
The region is perfect for marketers who depend on content and social media, with these market sectors seeing the largest growth:
· Consumer products
· Foods & beverage
· Fashion and beauty
What does this mean for foreign marketers wanting to tap into this burgeoning market? Their advertising and marketing materials must be localized to reach the target audience. This process is called marketing localization. But what does marketing localization mean?
Marketing Localization—What is it?
Marketing localization is the process of customizing content to a specific country or region, with the goal of reaching local people in their own language, while incorporating their culture and customs.
In other words, a foreign business would like people in another region or country to buy their products. For this to work, the company’s advertising materials need to be personalized to the people (the target audience) in a specific region or country.
The goal of marketing localization is to make the company’s products and services seem as if they’re provided by a local company, which makes the target audience more comfortable buying the products and services.
Is Marketing Localization Necessary?
The short answer is yes, if your company wants to reach a Middle Eastern audience, then marketing localization is necessary. Localization is key to reaching a larger audience. Why?
· Customer behavior: when compared to other countries, Middle Eastern customers is different. For example, brand value is more important than some other aspects of the product.
· Customer satisfaction: localization of content shows customers they’re important to the company. Not only that, but the company gains trust and increases engagement with the target audience. People prefer to communicate with brands in their local language.
· Decreases risk: localization decreases the risk of offense by avoiding the use of incorrect or inappropriate words, etc. Avoiding these issues can increase sales in the targeted market. For instance, Middle Eastern cultures tend to be more conservative. There are certain images that may work in a Western culture, but which may be found offensive in the Arabic world. For instance, certain body parts in images are not acceptable. Content needs to be culturally appropriate if it is to be accepted by the target audience.
· Sales growth: by tailoring content and the shopping experience to the target audience, a company will see their sales grow in the new region or country.
If you’d like to take your products and services to a Middle Eastern audience, then you’ll need to ensure all content and media are localized to the targeted audience. Otherwise, you run the risk of creating inappropriate content, resulting in lost sales and a bad name for the company.
Tips for Marketing Localization
Here are some tips to keep in mind when localizing your marketing materials for a specific audience. Be aware of:
· Local consumer habits & social tendencies
· Cultural differences
· Use culturally appropriate elements, symbols and colors
· Hire a professional translation agency that also includes localization services
· Remember to optimize for a mobile audience
Marketing localization may seem like an expensive process; however, it is cost effective when done correctly. Not only will your targeted customers feel like you know them, but you’ll see greater sales and success for your products and services overall.