Iron Man Offers Lessons for Device Makers in China

Iron Man China

It’s not often we get to point to a comic book character for marketing lessons, but the recent release of Iron Man 3 provides important food for thought for device manufacturers.

China’s movie market is big…and quickly getting bigger. With 10 new screens opening every day and box office revenues rising 30% in 2012, China recently edged out Japan to become the world’s #2 movie market. In fact, China could surpass the U.S. as the world’s largest market within 5 years. So, it’s not surprising that Hollywood took the unusual step of modifying (“localizing” in translation jargon) the content of the movie. What is surprising is the extent of the modification/localization: “Tony [Stark] doesn’t have to do this alone…China can help.” Specific content, filmed with Chinese actors in China, was added in a nod to the importance of local taste.

This narrative might sound familiar to device makers. According to PharmaLive, China is expected to pass Japan as the world’s #2 medical device market between 2018 and 2020 and represent 25% of the world market by 2050. And, just like in the movies, China is demanding more localized content – especially for device marketing.

Our Crimson division has been very active in dealing with the challenges of translating device marketing content – you can read an informative post here: http://crimsonlanguage.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/something-fishy-about-device-marketing-translation/

Sometimes, however, manufacturers may want to opt out of the traditional “translation” paradigm. Instead of the endless back-end-forth with reviewers, manufacturers might instead consider producing content in-country that is custom-developed for the local market. Not translated, but created locally. Call this the “Iron Man” strategy.

More costly than simple translation or localization, the Iron Man strategy requires a strong relationship with a local advertising agency. It also requires back-translation of the finished piece in order to assure requisite corporate control. This can be facilitated by technology tools like the GlobalLink Translation & Review Portal.

Whether you’re interested in translation, localization, or the go-local, Iron Man strategy, EnCompass has tools and strategies to get you to success.

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