Diversity is the language of commerce, and an increasing number of the world’s consumers are now located outside the United States. Marketing to a global customer base may prove challenging, but definitely rewarding. As a global marketing agency specializing in translation and other multilingual needs, LinguaLinx wants to make it a little easier for you, and shine a spotlight on international markets. After looking at two BRICS nations, we move onto another acronym – MINT, and take a look at Turkey.
Five Reasons Why You Should Focus Your Global Marketing Efforts in Turkey
- Turkey’s economy is growing. They rank seventh on Bloomberg’s list of Top 20 Emerging Markets.
- Turkey is also a great hub for global commerce, with a strategic location near the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.
- It is very easy to establish a business in Turkey, according to Invest in Turkey, especially in comparison to other countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
- Turkey is allied with the European Union under a free trade agreement.
- The population is young and well-educated, meaning they are very social and enjoy interacting with different brands on social media and the internet. This also makes for a very active consumer market.
Challenges (And Solutions) For Global Marketing in Turkey
Challenge #1 – Speaking the Language
The official language of Turkey is Turkish, and it is spoken by 85 percent of the population, with about 12 percent speaking Kurdish. There are many dialects of Turkish, but modern standard Turkish is derived from Istanbul. Translating your marketing materials, print, and web content will go a long way in building trust with a customer base and to also be competitive in the Turkish market. Working with in-country speakers on translation is a good place to start and also to establish partnerships with people familiar with the language and customs.
Challenge #2 – Understanding Muslim Culture
Turkey is an Islamic nation, though it is considered to be one of the more secular ones in the world. Therefore, you must be aware of Muslim traditions and holidays. These factors come into play when doing business around holiday times such as Ramadan, and also in matters of decency in advertising, which will be discussed next.
Challenge #3 – The Turkish Advertising Board
This relates to Muslim culture and values. Turkey has an Advertising Board which stresses decency in advertising. There are several basic legal requirements in Turkey with the overriding theme that the decency and protection of a consumer supersedes marketing and creative content. Decency principles include such things as religious matters, gender, stereotyping, sexual elements and obscenity, violence and derogatory themes on a specific public group. The best way to make sure your ads don’t go against these regulations is to have in-country cultural consultants work on your contact to make sure it is localized properly.
Challenge #4 – Getting Social
Turkey has one of the most engaged audiences in Europe, according to ComScore data. Facebook is the most popular social media site in Turkey, with over 40 million users. YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn are also very popular, and Turkish users are also very into Google+. Marketing to Turkish users means interacting with what they like. Sports are a popular topic in Turkey. In fact, Article 59 of the Turkish constitution states: “The state shall take measures to develop the physical and mental health of Turkish citizens of all ages, and encourage the spread of sports among the masses.” Top brands followed in Turkey are mostly Turkish brands, but international companies have also achieved success by creating localized Turkish brand pages. A good example is Volkswagen – their Turkish Facebook page has nearly 3 million “likes.”
Challenge #5 – Censorship
YouTube was banned from 2008-2010 in Turkey, until the site agreed to operate under a Turkish web domain. The reason for this was a video, which seemed to insult Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, which is prohibited. Certain key words might lead to your site being blocked in Turkey, and also anything which goes against cultural values. Turkey has recently been in the news regarding a new law that increases government regulation in internet activity. It is important to be aware of these potential regulations when looking to establish a web presence in Turkey. If you do not know if what you are putting on your site goes against these rules or not, it is definitely best to try linguistic and localization testing to not only check to see if your site is functional, but that your content is culturally appropriate.