What is Transcreation and Why Marketers Need It

what is transcreationIn a world that is becoming more global everyday, especially for business, the ability to communicate has become stronger than ever. For a business to compete and stay relevant, they have to become effectively multicultural in their marketing. This means having a website and marketing materials that are available in two or more languages. A simple translation may seem like enough, but it often falls short. That’s where transcreation has become the hot trend of the marketing world when it comes to global marketing. What is transcreation? Transcreation will address the nuances of language or the eccentricities of culture that can make a pitch to potential clients or your marketing audience work. Messaging and images are all evaluated by a native linguist with a subject matter expertise in marketing.

Transcreation’s Effectiveness

The places where transcreation can be most effectively applied to your company are varied and they can be tailored to marketing campaigns when it comes to on-page content for a website using transcreation in content marketing and your taglines, and messaging can make you more accessible online. When it comes to direct marketing and outreach, transcreation is essential, as marketing through email and newsletters are only effective if they are to digest, and the same goes for advertising. Furthermore, when you are targeting a new country or region, transcreation is essential, and for campaigns that are effective thanks to the use of cultural references and humor, context needs to be applied to the tone and cultural content.

The Homepage

homepage transcreationWhen launching a website into new countries, it may be tempting to translate the copy and call it a day.  While you may be able to get away with this for FAQ pages or more technically written pages, it is not recommended for any landing pages, and especially the homepage.  

The homepage is the first thing a visitor sees when visiting your website.  It sets the tone of how your prospective customer will associate your brand. It is important to have a strong cultural understanding of the buyer persona of that respective region in which you are launching a translated website. Many companies opt to transcreate their homepage.  This may involve meeting with cultural consultants and finding out what elements within a brand will resonate the most and highlight those on the homepage.  Also, researching what imagery and messaging will create that emotional response that is desired.

Whatever the industry, retail, software, professional services etc., all have a common thread of wanting to create a lasting first impression that will ultimately increase revenue. Many first interactions begin at the homepage, and without a well thought out and transcreated homepage, it may very well be the last interaction for many prospective leads.

When You Need Transcreation

Determining whether or not transcreation should be applied is as easy as looking at the audience. Marketing means appealing to a different cultural context and knowing the culture and, in these cases, translation falls short. Transcreation allows creative marketing content to be internationally relevant. You need to consider who will be reached by your social media, infographics, blogs and other content. Then, you need to double check whether they are filled with challenging language or if any images might be confusing in a different cultural context. This is important because, in some situations, certain images and colors might have another meaning. Having the ability to reach out with resources familiar to your target culture is invaluable and will make your advertising much more efficient.

The Barriers of Language

The nature of language itself is what stops people from understanding directly translated materials. Language is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Some words do not have English analogs, so modifying content can work against you. Furthermore, the region you are targeting matters as well; specific towns and areas have entirely different dialects, such that the meaning of an ad can be entirely different depending on where the target audience is located. Culture has to be pared down to a granular level for transcreation to be done effectively. You need to make sure that you present the problem that your product addresses clearly and explain your solution in a fashion they can understand through your content.



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