Today’s traveler is the digital traveler and he/she is looking for the best possible options. This traveler wants everything, from the ideal room to the ideal sightseeing tour. In other words, if you’re a travel services provider, you’re going to have to deal with extremely high expectations.
This can get even more complicated when you’re looking to target customers outside of your home territory. But, to be successful in business, you must be willing to face and overcome certain challenges. The challenge of having to make your travel business thrive in an international market is like any other challenge. It can be overcome.
Here’s what you need to do.
A huge part of localization involves understanding the market you’re entering into. A major fault that businesses make is that they never really invest in the right kind of research. A failure to research the new market and gain insights is a sure way to fail.
So, take the time to understand the market. Speak to the locals, conduct interviews, gather data etc. Leverage your research to craft and design marketing strategies that appeal to the new market base.
Maintain Brand Image and Identity
A major part of localization involves ensuring that your brand remains consistent. In other words, don’t try to present yourself as something else when you enter a new market. Of course, you might have to make a few alterations.
However, make sure you stay faithful to your core identity. When you’re consistent with your brand, it allows your customers to perceive you as being trustworthy. More importantly, a consistent brand image is in line with a consistent customer experience.
Publish Relevant Content
A consistent brand image is one thing. However, that’s not necessarily true for content. Your content must adapt to the new market while still keeping your core identity in place. To ensure that you have the right kind of content, there are a few things you need to do.
For starters, talk to local sales and marketing teams. Get their feedback on what’s really happening in the field. Again, the important thing here is to speak to your local teams; not the ones back home. Seeing things from the perspective of local teams can genuinely help you understand what the local market expects from you.
For example, it could be that a lot of your content is just too British or too American, which is obviously not relatable to, let’s say, a Japanese customer.
However, discussions with your team in Japan can expose you to the finer nuances of their culture or language that can be leveraged by your content team.
Also, content has to be simple. Just focus on getting the message through. Don’t try and include cultural references unless you’re 100% sure the audience can relate to it. For instance, saying something like “Happy Holidays” may sound like nonsense in certain markets. It’s a term that’s mostly used in the US and certain parts of Europe.
Try looking for terms that are apt or avoid using them completely.
Cut down on the time spent and effort spent on rework, provide your translation provider with access to your web apps and staging server. This can help them see things in context and also test out textual elements on the apps.
Be proactive with your localization plans. Make sure you know how you want your content to be presented with respect to each region. This is the only way to make sure that your strategy doesn’t need to be reworked time and again.
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