More on Millennials Speak the Right Language
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More on Millennials: Speak the Right Language

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Tom Murphy avatar

Ever feel like something gets lost in translation whenever you market tomillennials? There's a good chance you're right.

A new study of 1,800 millennials (ages 18-36) found 32 percent of those inEnglish-speaking countries prefer a language other than English. And 46 percentsaid they're more likely to make a purchase if the information is presented intheir chosen language.

The study, released Monday by SDL, is the fourth report of the “Five Truths for Future Marketers” series is titled “There is Only One Language”, and features results from SDL’s global survey of more than 1,800 millennials (ages 18-36). We shared another report from the series earlier this week. You can read the full study here.

Speaking in Tongues

Half of the millennials in Germany, the Netherlands and Norwayspeak something other than the local tongue at home. One-third of millennials inAustralia and the UK speak a language other than English at home. And one infour American millennials are more comfortable with a language other thanEnglish.

Learning Opportunities

"All too often, language is an afterthought in an organization's customerexperience strategy," SDL CMO Paige O'Neill said in a statement releasedwith the findings. "Marketers now need to address the demands ofglobalization and ensure that their business speaks only one language -- thelanguage of its customers."

That means localized marketing strategies should include personaldemographics of the target audience. In return, O'Neill said the marketers gainan advantage because consumers "will be compelled" to share contentand advocate for brands in their own language.

Three-step Plan

To get a better sense of whether a localized program measures up, SDL's report provided three guidelines:

  1. Local language websites and other ad-hoc fixes aren't enough.Companies must "be wherever your customers are" and engage with themin a culturally relevant way.
  2. Consumers want to be addressed in the language that's the mostrelevant to them. "Marketers must have localization strategies grounded incustomer engagement preferences for a successful customer experience,"according to SDL's report.
  3. Once the language, channel and device  are established, therelationship should expand beyond sales and support. Seventy-fourpercent of consumers are more likely to buy from the same brand again ifafter-sales care is in their chosen language, according to the Common SenseAuthority's report "Can'tRead, Won't Buy."