There are very old marketing concepts like adaptation and standardization, which are well-grounded and referenced when there is a need. We say that they are well-grounded. It means we know the specific situations and frameworks for appealing to adaptation or standardization concepts in company with powerful reasons. The shifts taking place in consumer habits and the technologic environment in the course of time may make some difference in these frameworks. However, these two marketing concepts absolutely should be considered important because of the intercultural differences, even firstly digital and then mobile revolution were taken place globally.
Yes, the world has become an amorphous place. We mention a global village! You can think that “Well, intercultural differences still affect the marketing in this situation? Especially mobile marketing?”. The answer is YES. Because, regardless of all the changes in habits and technology, marketing grounds on “human” factor; we mean “customer”, and cultures comprise people. Therefore, you can not ignore the cultural differences, especially in this purely customer-oriented marketing age.
Think that there are many regions in the App Store and each country has its own App Store. All these countries have their languages, metaphors and color meanings. That’s why to overcome cultural differences, the golden rule is to have a localization strategy in mobile as well. Now we have a new and more tangible word after adaptation; “Localization”.
Localization is something more than language translation. By doing localization, you translate all the assets of your app and adapt all the features such requirements as currency and date formats to the specific country. Thereby, language translation is just one of the tasks of app localization. Localization requires an understanding of local customers, trends and culture-specific content. As we mentioned, localization is not only about translation. There are many aspects to consider like cultural norms, habits, lifestyles of course, but we can separate the localization fields for mobile apps into the two main subsections and all other aspects will already settle into these subsections.
Localize Your Keywords
Keywords are what you consider when first creating a minimum viable product for localization. You can translate your main keywords to the languages you have chosen. If you have doubts about the necessity of localizing keywords, here is an amazing result for you. David Janner shows us the incredible result of localizing just the keywords of an app. Below you can find the language distribution of his non-localized app.
Localize Your Title
To be visible and discoverable in app stores, you can consider localizing your app title. It might be ridiculous to translate your app name if it is something unique and hard to give it the intended meaning in a different language. However, you can translate the keywords in your title to benefit from the keywords’ popularity in different languages.
Localize Your Description
The description is also an important part of your localization process. The frequent mistake is doing one-to-one translation to other languages after writing a standard description. App developers think they can use the same keywords which are using in their language for other target languages after translating them. However, each language has its own structure and more importantly speaking language can not be ignored. Because people search the apps with their speaking language. When keywords are translated from one language into another, the target meaning may be missed, unfortunately.
Localize Your Videos and Screenshots
People like to see visuals more than text, so your screenshots and videos may be your weapon for mobile app visibility. Especially, the text areas you should use on your screenshots and videos may draw your native audiences’ attention. They should create an idea about your app in customers’ minds.
Marketing text is localized while the content within the app is English.
According to Kissmetrics research, 92.6% of people say the visual dimension is the 1st influencing factor affecting their purchase decision rather than taste, smell, etc. By using visual cues properly, you can connect with different cultures. For example, you can follow the regional seasons or holidays to revise your visual design according to the different cultures. When you localize your mobile design, there are a few elements that must be considered.
Color: Two out of three consumers won’t buy a large appliance unless it comes in their preferred color. When you take advantage of colors for your app, you should not skip the process, as colors may have different meanings in different cultures. Check out our Color Psychology For Mobile Apps post to gather more detailed knowledge about it.
Symbols: Follow the symbols and gestures in the right cultural context when designing your app. We mentioned above the text localization part of screenshots and video. However, take into consideration the symbols which you use in them. You can revise the symbols culture or region-specific like using the Great Wall of China as a picture when localizing your app for the Chinese market. Another example again from Chinese app market is the usage of red circles in the user interface. The red circles may display the unread messages, latest news, contents, updates, etc.
Typefaces: Regions’ and cultures’ preferences about may change about typography. Because it is not only a text; it also conveys the feeling to the customers.