What is Localization?
Localization, also known as “l10n,” refers to the process of adapting a product or service to the language and culture preference of the targeted local segment where it will be advertised and sold.
Localization comes in different formats, such as iGaming localization, website localization, social media content localization and so on, but they all fall under the three main categories; Language Localization, Marketing Localization, and IT Localization.
The main purpose of localization is to familiarize your product and build a connection with your customers, and it takes more than translation to penetrate a foreign market. One also has to consider several factors, such as language usage, ethnicity, local customs, and socioeconomic status to achieve a successful marketing localization project.
However, in this article, we are going to focus mainly on marketing localization for the iGaming industry.
How did it all begin?
There have been several international marketing campaigns in the past, but they weren’t localized much – at least not at a scale that would be recognized by consumers from around the world.
Coca-Cola is said to be the first real international company to have started the global expansion in the early 1900s. Despite their early operation in foreign countries, not much effort was put into localization for their ads or products.
However, the brand started to take off as more and more people from all over the world began falling in love with both the product and the voice of the brand. After 133 years, it is now the world’s largest beverage company, well-known for its spot-on localized marketing strategies.
Why do we need localization for marketing strategies?
Localization, along with translation, internationalization, globalization, and standardization are all essential components of global marketing strategies.
As a company planning to break into a foreign market, you need to know how to speak their language and let them know what you are selling.
Before we say anything, here is a real McDonald’s anime ad aired in Japan:
The company not only adapt their marketing strategies to the local culture but also twist their menus to suit their customers’ taste buds. To give you a sneak-peek of some of their menu items, they are – Halal Bubur Ayam (congee) in Malaysia, Masala Scrambled Egg in India, Filet o’ shrimp in Japan. Crazy indeed!
According to a research conducted by Common Sense Advisory in 2006, 72.4% of consumers surveyed were more likely to buy products in their native language. It is in human nature to try out things that they can more easily understand than the ones they don’t.
What’s more is that, according to a study by Appia, 86% of the localized ad campaigns outperformed the English campaigns in both click-through rates and conversions. Feel the power of localization yet?
The first step towards marketing localization
For iGaming-related businesses, how do you know when to start a localized marketing strategy? The answer is pretty simple – Monitor your website traffic. Yes, and this applies to iGaming blogs, affiliate websites and even online casinos!
In the online gambling industry, Europe currently holds the biggest market in the world with the UK being the largest one in the region. Therefore, It is not surprising that almost all online gambling websites are all written in English. It also has to do with English being the most popular language in the world of course.
Apart from English-speaking players, Germany is the second largest iGaming market, so isn’t it smart to target the Deutsch market in their language?
This might be true in general but what if your website/blog is receiving significantly high traffic from other countries? You will never know unless you start tracking your website traffic data.
Once you have narrowed down your target market, you will be able to strategically plan out your localized marketing campaigns, be it online or offline, in a more cost-effective way.
Also, don’t forget to read up on the rules and regulations for online gambling in your target countries!
What is included in localized marketing?
If you have your target set already, then the next step is to figure out what kind of online content you can personalize to attract these people.
With a little bit of digging the internet, you should be able to find out about popular local sports, betting games, and even their betting habits. Keep in mind that fresh content is good content. So always follow the latest news and updates to be on top of your game.
Big online casino groups like Betsson, LeoVegas, and Bet365 go as far as sponsoring several local sports leagues and championship games to show that they are the top industry leaders in the region.
Sometimes it is more than delivering the right kind of message to the audience. It is also important to know which channels you want to promote your business.
If you plan to use social media for marketing, platforms like Facebook will not work for people in China. The same thing goes for Youtube and Twitter which are all blocked in China. In this case, you might want to switch to China’s top social media platforms like Weibo or WeChat.
If you can’t be bothered with social media, you can always opt for traditional email campaigns that are well-localized based on the local calendar.
Avoiding the same marketing localization mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes, but if you are a big multinational company who has screwed up your localized marketing campaigns, it will definitely become an ugly history. Just like KFC in China, and Ford in Brazil as mentioned in our article about the most famous translation failures. People tend to remember mistakes more than other things, don’t they?
One perfect example of failed marketing localization, in particular, is Carlsberg. Their localized ad campaign went terribly wrong when the company first introduced the locally-brewed beer, Tuborg, in Myanmar.
Tuborg, or as advertised – “Tu-Po,” is a term associated with the most famous song for the traditional water festival, Thingyan. Because beer is alcohol, locals consider it as a disrespect to the culture, and keyboard warriors bombarded social media with terrible criticism.
Carlsberg got some serious backlash for their marketing strategy and discontinued the use of this Burmese term for their future campaigns.
Moral of the story here is to research one’s culture, religion, and even pronunciation if needed! It is important that we can learn from other people’s mistakes to avoid them in the future.
To conclude, the most successful international businesses and brands are not those who have the most flawless products or who can apply the “best” marketing tactics, but the ones that can understand, adapt and connect to the culture, traditions, and habits of their target markets through trials and errors.
Marketing at a localized, or better put – a “personalized” level, is a form of showing respect to the local customers and in return, this will genuinely boost the conversion and sales of your business.
That’s why you should never be hesitant to put your localization projects into the hands of trusted professionals.
How did you like May Thawdar Oo’s blog post? Let us know in the comments if you have anything to add, have another content idea for iGaming blog posts, or just want to say “hello.” 🙂