Localization Tips to target the MENA region

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The southeast Asian market is the largest one in the world, but gradually it is saturating which has led smart businesses to open a new front in a previously not so popular choice, the MENA region. MENA is the acronym for the Middle East & North Africa region. According to google MENA region spans over 16 countries with a population of over 400 million with a common culture and language, i.e., Arabic. Now this region can majorly be divided into two groups - the affluent and high-value market like the United Arab Emirates or UAE and Saudi Arabia and large population-based markets like Egypt and Iraq. In this region, the major population (about 60%) is about the age of 25, which presents a great opportunity for businesses like Games, E-commerce, E-learning, etc.

As localization is more of a holistic approach than translation, it includes a complete adaptation of everything that s business offers to meet the expectations of the market. Texts, images, other visuals, and even the format of writing and presenting things are changed to fit the new market. Devising a robust localization strategy for the MENA region and its tactful execution ensures that everything works for the growth of the business and helps to eliminate any element that might become the cause of any miscommunication hurting the image and credibility of the brand. Therefore, it is best to go with an expert, professional, and experienced localization services agency to be on the safe and prosperous side.

MENA region is a huge untapped market and therefore, irrespective of your company size it would be wise to make an early move. However, when planning to move or to target a new market it is prudent that you understand the market and localize your business according to its needs, and communicate with your target audience or population more effectively or say locally. When planning about exporting or moving to the Middle East, it’s vital to research your target market and come up with a strong localization strategy before you think of taking a step into the market. With sound knowledge and a clear understanding of your target audience or people and culture, your business can go a long way in succeeding in the region. Understanding the culture is particularly a prerequisite for the Middle East, as the lifestyle and culture vary greatly as compared to other parts of the world. For instance, the Middle East lifestyle culture is greatly influenced by its religious foundations, therefore, being sensitive towards them would be only the wise thing to do. Let’s have a look at how localization for the MENA region demands more involvement –

More than just Researching the Target People – When targeting the people in the MENA region just normal research about the likes-dislikes, habits, or anything else will not work. The Middle East North Africa region covers a vast geographical area, encompassing multiple countries and diversified cultures. Although, it is more or less similar to each other, but mark it – it's similar not the same, hence thorough research about area-specific deviations in the cultural belief systems must be done. Also, in terms of lifestyle things vary a lot, for instance, what works for Dubai middle-class people is most probably not going work for the working-class people of Egypt. Hence, getting expert native translators for the job would be a smart move.

Thorough Website Translations – The website is going to be people’s first point of actual contact. They will interact with your business on your website, therefore, adjusting your website to meet their expectations and comfortability is your responsibility. As per a survey conducted by Common Sense Advisory or CSA, about 56.2% of the total MENA population prefers to buy or spend time on websites that have information in their native language. Hence, getting a really good and seasoned website translation services agency should be on your localization checklist.

Tone, Image & Visual Adaptations – Ensure that your brand messages follow a set tone guideline. In the Middle East, the tone in which you communicate with the people is very crucial. With correct tone and consistency, your brand messages will never be lost in the noise. Also, the inclusion of some native slang will help you cut through the clutter. While translating your website the images, videos, any other form of visuals or audios on display must also be adapted to suit the cultural norms of the region. As mentioned earlier this region is highly sensitive about its cultural and religious beliefs and if you don’t want to end up issuing an apology or explanatory letters about a particular image or a video or audio it's better to remove or localize them according to the region.

Culturalization is the Key to Make an Impact: The most vital and pressing point in your localization strategy must be the culturalization of your business and how you communicate with the market. The region is highly conservative and extremely sensitive over many things like – gender, religion, politics, etc. to excel in the market you need to be exceedingly immaculate with your means of communication. From your website, images, ads, commercials, etc., to your logistical and customer support all must be in accordance with the norms of the region and the people. Sometimes you might even need to localize your sale campaigns to fit the market. Culturalization for the MENA region includes extensive localization ranging from expressions, colors, symbols, to dates, calendars, currencies, measuring units, etc.

The market is booming in the MENA region and there is no time better than now to tap into it and reap the benefits of this exponentially growing market. Industries like eCommerce and Video Games have seen quite significant growth in the demand for their localized products and have developed a huge consumer base. With the increasing penetration of the internet, both industries have developed a huge market in the region. There are a lot of internet users from the MENA region with very little content available in their native language. If your business plans involve expanding to this region localization and translation of your content should be your first step. For this, you will require an experienced translation services company that is well-versed with the norms of the region and familiar with the local laws and regulations. LanguageNoBar offers you its years of experience and expertise in the translation and localization for the MENA region, with which you can exponentiate your business's growth and excel in the market.

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