Don’t Be Guilty of Complacent Advertising! The Importance of Multilingual Marketing

Did you know that the U.S. has the second largest population of Spanish-speaking residents in the world? One would think that a statistic like this implies thoughtful, proactive multilingual marketing. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. High-profile brands have found themselves in hot water when the message of their marketing campaign becomes lost in translation. In fact, one company had to spend $10 million to change its tagline after failing to consider international translation.

Successful multilingual marketing is possible–and the pay-off is more than worth it. Take Burger King for example. Instead of copying and pasting their U.S. approach to drive-thru management in Mexico City, the brand developed a campaign strategy specific to the City’s geography. The brand’s efforts increased delivery orders by 63% in the first week of the campaign test. 

So what are the best practices of multilingual marketing and media buying?

Don't Be Guilty of Complacent Adverting! The Importance of Multilingual markeing

Multilingual Marketing Best Practices

Each audience–regardless of spoken language–has unique media consumption habits and preferences. In other words, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. That said, there are best practices to prevent multilingual marketing missteps.

1. Don’t Make Assumptions → Do Market Research 

Market research is essential to understand the multifaceted preferences and media consumption habits of your target audience. When it comes to multilingual campaign planning, strategic agencies smash stereotypes and look beyond language affiliation to choose the most effective media channels.

Successful ad delivery requires a strong understanding of your target audience–no matter spoken language. Insights into multilingual demographic groups and their respective preferences come from experience, connections, and research tools that analyze: language settings, interests, habits, groups, messaging formats, influencers, and more. 

Being intentional and deliberate about multilingual marketing matters. Agencies that thrive on research and data should provide a turnkey solution for clients who want to run campaigns in several languages. Augmenting translation services with contextual research and preparation takes multilingual marketing campaigns to the next level and ensures the equitable dissemination of campaign messaging.

2. Don’t Forget About Trust → Invest in Diverse-Owned Media Outlets 

Successful marketing campaigns aren’t just about cutting-edge media strategies and measurement–trust is a “must” for impactful multilingual marketing campaigns. So how can you increase trust in campaign messaging? Consider the media vendors you’re using. Your media buyers should collaborate with diverse-owned media partners who understand the target audience and have long-established relationships with that audience. Make sure you choose media buying agencies who demonstrate a history of prioritizing diverse-owned media as well as proper multilingual campaign strategies.

For example, while working on COVID-19 awareness campaigns, Marketing Doctor’s media buyers placed 17% of the media budget with diverse-owned media, effectively and equitably communicating essential public health information. That’s 750% above the national initiative for diverse-owned media spending. As a result, we secured stronger audience insights, built meaningful partnerships, and provided crucial messaging across more platforms for broader reach.

Applying Multilingual Marketing Best Practices

Transcend translation, understand data and attribution, and impressive campaign results will follow. 

Marketing Doctor’s recent campaign experiences includes paid digital media content in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian, Gujarati, Korean, and many more languages. Testimonials from multiple clients reflect satisfaction in finding an agency who can provide multilingual media planning and buying so seamlessly.

Case Study: Merging Media with Cultural Connection

Marketing Doctor partnered with a Department of Emergency Management for a statewide $5M+ Hurricane Preparedness Campaign. The campaign objective was to ensure community members, especially Spanish-speaking residents, knew their hurricane risk levels. It was essential to equitably increase traffic to the Department’s website and campaign-specific landing page. 

The Marketing Doctor team developed and implemented multilingual marketing strategies using our own market research and reports from credible sources specific to Spanish-speaking and Latinx consumers. 

The research-backed media strategy aligned with Spanish-speaking consumers’ media consumption habits and preferences. To foster an authentic, trusting relationship with Latinx communities, we partnered with a local influencer and trusted community voice. Connecting to the community with authenticity and accuracy was imperative for a successful public safety campaign. 

Data and attribution methodologies played a part in maximizing campaign performance. Not only did the multilingual campaign perform exceptionally well–the Click-Through Rate (CTR) outperformed industry benchmarks by an average of 90% throughout. The campaign received positive, meaningful feedback from Spanish-speaking residents. One resident commented on a social ad saying, “Thank you for making this message in Spanish. I am proud of my state for promoting diversity.” 

Want Better Multilingual Marketing?

Marketing Doctor makes multilingual advertising easy and accessible for all audiences and clients. If you have an audience in mind, we have the media strategies to reach them. Let’s talk. 

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