Marketing a product is a challenge in any field, but marketing medical products in other countries is riddled with even more obstacles. In addition to simply trying to provide a product that people find useful and want to buy, you also have the additional layers of culture and language to contend with.
You don’t want to move far away from your brand’s core purpose, but you also want to be flexible to better connect with people in different cultures. There are a lot of moving parts that need to be considered in your global marketing strategy.
1. Factor in culture
While it might seem intuitive that translation would be your first step in marketing your product, it actually comes a bit later after you’ve ensured that your marketing message is tweaked to adapt to local culture. This not only affects your word choice, but also video and images you use in your marketing, as culture is just as much about what you do as it is what you say.
If, for example, you want to enter a conservative country like one in the Middle East, you want to ensure you don’t use female models in your marketing imagery that would seem unchaste to a male audience in this region.
2. Nail the messaging
Your brand messaging might focus on optimizing health here in the US, but it might need to be tweaked for other markets. Your focus might be on utilizing technology or bringing happy families closer together. Work with someone who deeply understands the new market to find out what motivates people there, and work your messaging around that.
Use wording that appeals to your audience, be it commanding, submissive, formal, or casual.
3. Now for translation
Simply providing your product packaging and website content in the local language will spur many to buy from you, but for truly successful marketing, you’ll need to go deeper. Create versions of your site for each language market you want to target. That way, every audience feels like you’re speaking directly to them.
The source documents you provide your language service provider may be quite different from the English counterparts, and that’s okay. Remember that you’re not only translating language but also cultural preferences. So you may have a set of content for each market you plan to enter, specifically written for that audience, rather than a single file that needs translating into five different languages.
4. Use social media locally, not globally
The more micro you get with your marketing efforts, the better the results. Rather than trying to appeal to all social media followers worldwide with a single account (and in English, at that), consider separating the account into one for each market. That way, the account manager can better target that culture and audience rather than lumping them all together.
5. Get local in your SEO
One of the biggest challenges for any marketer is getting a brand found online. Because you’ll have a presence in multiple countries, you may as well consider your brand to be found on different Internets! Make sure your multi-language website is SEO-targeted to each language.
For example, if someone searches for your type of medical device in the Ukraine, you should appear in search results. You won’t, though, if your website title, description, and keywords are all in English.
6. Be willing to adapt
Marketing a global project involves many micro efforts and plenty of people who know your target countries well. What works in one may not work in another, so it’s important to be agile in your efforts and ready to adapt as necessary.