Here are Explaining the Types of Faced Challenges in Global Advertising!
What Are Some Challenges Faced by International Advertising? Global Marketing can be a tricky business. With the increase in global trade, international companies cannot afford to make costly advertising mistakes if they want to be competitive and profitable. Understanding the language and culture of target markets in foreign countries is one of the keys to successful international advertising. Too many companies, however, have jumped into foreign markets with embarrassing results. Out of their blunders, a whole new industry of translation services has emerged. Also Learn, What do you understand about International Advertising? the Types of Faced Challenges in Global Advertising!
American companies have identified huge markets internationally for their products and services. The markets are huge in terms of population, in countries such as China and India. The purchasing power of consumers and businesses in many countries is also significant enough for American firms to want to compete in these markets. However, international marketing is not without pitfalls, and U.S. companies have made costly mistakes by not adequately researching international markets before they commit resources there. How to Explain The Concept of International Advertising?
Identifying a True Market Need!
A key to success in business is offering products and services for which customers have a compelling need. The customer has a problem that needs to be solved, and the product or service provides the solution in such an effective way that its benefits are not difficult to communicate. Identifying the true needs of large numbers of people in a foreign country is not easy. Not having lived in their culture experiencing their day-to-day lives, American marketing executives can err by assuming that what people in other countries want or need exactly matches the wants and needs of American consumers.
Dilution of Brand-Name Power!
Due to the Internet, movies and other forms of entertainment, American culture and the corporate symbols of that culture–brand names–are well known across the globe. This does not mean the American companies & rs quo; products will be popular when introduced in other countries. Being aware of a brand name isn’t the same as preferring it. It can be a long and expensive process to gain the trust of consumers who have used their own local companies’ products for years or even generations. The American companies can be perceived as attempting to take over the position long held by local companies, causing resentment.
Consumers are influenced to purchase products by marketing messages delivered through the media, including print media such as magazines. Humor is often used in commercial messages to get the consumer to pay attention. But what is considered extremely funny in one culture can be perceived as confusing or insulting in another. To produce effective advertising requires more than an accurate translation of the message from one language to another. It requires a deep understanding of the culture, customs, morals and even religious views that predominate in that country. What motivates consumers to buy products varies from country to country.
Business executives from different countries can encounter several barriers to effective communication besides obvious language differences. The traditional pace of business negotiations can be different. Americans sometimes want to hurry negotiations along, whereas in some other countries emphasis is placed on building relationships before a business deal is seriously considered. Executives from other countries may place a higher value on things such as facial expression instead of just the words that are being said.
Distance and Time!
Even with technologies such as video conferencing, executives in other countries may prefer to establish relationships on a personal level. For a smaller American company, this can mean a significant investment in travel costs and having key executives out of the office for extended periods. Time zone differences can make it difficult to coordinate projects where collaboration is required. Executives on the West Coast of the U.S. are just getting to work in the morning when their European counterparts are winding down for the day.
Finding Reliable Partners!
American firms often establish relationships with distributors located in the countries whose markets they are seeking to enter. They hire sales reps based in those countries. They may engage local marketing and public relations firms to assist them. Because the American firm might have no prior experience in that country, finding people who are trustworthy and competent can be a challenge.
The faulty Translations!
The value of understanding the language of a country cannot be overestimated. Translation mistakes are at the heart of many blunders in Global advertising. Since a language is more than the sum of its words, a literal, word-by-word dictionary translation seldom works. The following examples prove this point. Otis Engineering Company once displayed a poster at a trade show in Moscow that turned heads. Due to a poor translation of its message, the sign boasted that the firm’s equipment was great for improving a person’s sex life. The Parker Pen Company suffered an embarrassing moment when it realized that a faulty translation of one of its ads into Spanish resulted in a promise to “help prevent unwanted pregnancies”.
Automobile manufacturers in the United States have made several notorious advertising mistakes that have been well publicized. General Motors learned a costly lesson when it introduced its Chevrolet Nova to the Puerto Rican market. Although “nova” means “star” in Spanish, when it is spoken, it sounds like “no va” which means it doesn’t go. Few people wanted to buy a car with that meaning. When GM changed the name to Carrie, sales picked up dramatically.
Ford also ran into trouble with the name of one of its products. When it introduced a low-cost truck called the “Fiera” into Spanish-speaking countries, Ford didn’t realize until too late that the name meant “ugly old woman” in Spanish. Another American auto manufacturer made a mistake when it translated its Venezuelan ad for a car battery. It was no surprise when Venezuelan customers didn’t want to buy a battery that was advertised as being “highly overrated.”
Airline companies have also experienced problems of poor translation. A word-by-word translation ruined a whole advertising campaign for Braniff Airlines. Hoping to promote its plush leather seats, Braniff ad urged passengers to “fly on leather.” However, when the slogan was translated into Spanish, it told customers to “fly naked.” Another airline company, Eastern Airlines, made a similar mistake when it translated its motto, “We earn our wings daily” into Spanish. The poor translation suggested that its passengers often ended up dead.
Marketing blunders have also been made by food and beverage companies. When translated into German, Pepsi’s popular slogan, “Come Alive with Pepsi” came out implying “Come Alive from the Grave.” No wonder customers in Germany didn’t rush out to buy Pepsi. Even a company with an excellent international track record like Kentucky Fried Chicken also suffered from the faulty translation. A lot of sales were lost when the catchphrase “finger lickip good” became “eat your fingers off” in the Chinese translation.
A manufacturer of one laundry detergent made an expensive mistake in a promotional campaign in the Middle East. The advertisements showed a picture of a pile of dirty clothes on the left, a box of the company’s detergent in the middle, and clean clothes on the right. Unfortunately, the message was incorrectly interpreted because most people in the Middle East read from right to left. It seemed to them that the detergent turned clean clothes into dirty ones.
Cultural oversights can be Disastrous!
Successful international marketing doesn’t stop with good translations—other aspects of culture must be researched and understood if marketers are to avoid blunders. When marketers do not understand and appreciate the values, tastes, geography, climate, superstitions, the level of literacy, religion, or economic development of a culture, they fail to capture their target market. For example, when a popular American designer tried to introduce a new perfume in the Latin American market, the product aroused little interest and the company lost a lot of money. Ads for the new fragrance highlighted its fresh camellia scent. What marketers had failed to realize was that camellias are traditionally used for funerals in many South American countries.
Procter and Gamble have been successful in marketing its products internationally for many years. Today, overseas markets account for over one-third of its sales. However, the company’s success in this area didn’t happen overnight. Procter and Gamble initially experienced huge losses because marketing managers did not recognize important cultural differences. For instance, when P&G first entered the Japanese market with its popular Cheer laundry detergent, most Japanese housewives weren’t interested. The promotional campaign that emphasized Cheer as an effective “all temperature” detergent was lost on the Japanese who usually wash clothes in cold water. Although the ad had been quite successful in the United States where clothes are washed in all temperatures, it fell flat in Japan. All of this could have been avoided if P&G marketers had done more preliminary research before launching the campaign. Once P&G changed its strategy and promised superior cleaning in cold water, sales of Cheer picked up dramatically.
The use of numbers can also be a source of problems for Global Marketers. Since every culture has its own set of lucky and unlucky numbers, companies need to do their homework if they want to avoid marketing blunders. A US manufacturer of golf balls learned this lesson the hard way when it packaged its product in groups of four for export to Japan. The company couldn’t figure out why the golf balls weren’t selling well until it realized that in Japanese the word for the number four also means death. In Japan four and nine are very unlucky numbers which should be avoided by marketers.
Even illustrations need to be carefully examined. A picture that is culturally offensive can ruin an advertisement even if the written message is properly translated. McDonnell Douglas Corporation made an unfortunate error in an aircraft brochure for potential customers in India. It included a picture of men wearing turbans, which was not appreciated by the Indians. A company spokesman reported, “It was politely pointed out to us that turbans were distinctly Pakistani Moslem.” The artist for the ad had used an old National Geographic magazine to copy the picture.
Having awakened to the special nature of international advertising, companies are becoming much more conscientious in securing accurate translations. They are also becoming much more sensitive to the cultural distinctions and variables that play such an important role in any international business venture. Above all, the best way to guard against errors is to hire trained professional translators who thoroughly understand the target language and its idiomatic usage. These translators should be very familiar with the culture and people of the country and have a grasp of the technical aspects of the industry.
Many Global companies are using a technique called “back translation,” which greatly reduces the possibility of advertising blunders. The process of “back translation” requires one person to translate the message into the target language and another person to translate the new version back into the original language. The purpose is to determine whether the original material and the re-translated material are the same. In this way, companies can ensure that their intended message is really being conveyed.
Effective translators aim to capture the overall message of an advertisement because a word-for-word duplication of the original rarely conveys the intended meaning and often causes misunderstandings. In designing advertisements to be used in other countries, marketers are recognizing the need to keep messages as short arid simple as possible and to avoid idioms, jargon, and slang that are difficult to translate. Similarly, they avoid jokes, since humor does not translate well from one culture to another. What is considered funny in one part of the world may not be so humorous in another? The bottom line is that consumers interpret advertising in terms of their own cultures. As the global marketplace opens up, there is no room for linguistic or cultural blunders.