Performance Linguistics. We help convey your message in any target market, language or platform, just the way you intended.

How to write persuasively while also communicating the proposition of a product or service and furthering the perception of the brand’s identity is a unique challenge. Online advertisers in particular are faced with marketing channels that impose distinct rules on the length of copy, the use of particular terms and other regulations depending on the location in question.


Whether you are writing short, effective copy for customers (as with paid search) or as part of a wider content strategy, your specific choice of words can dramatically alter the effectiveness of the message.


Even the best marketing copy in English can become convoluted, take on a different tone and prove ineffective when translated into another language. And yet this is the simplistic approach that many businesses still adopt for expanding their English language activity.


Fully localising written content – so that it is not only translated, but also checked for tone and is then continually reviewed for performance – is a more time-intensive investment, but also produces far greater results in terms of return.


Even the best marketing copy in English can prove ineffective when translated into another language.


What is Performance Linguistics?


Performance linguistics is a distinct subset of the digital marketing industry that is set to grow exponentially as the barriers to international e-commerce become even fewer and less significant. We have coined the phrase to describe our approach to international digital marketing, combining native linguistic skills with online marketing expertise to ensure that our work delivers.


Understanding – at the level of a native speaker – the subtleties of how different combinations of words come across in the context of a specific online platform, and also how they are likely to perform from a marketing perspective, can make or break your international expansion.


Performance linguistics allows brands to negotiate the balance between marketing performance and brand perception. At present, it’s unusual for the same person to have the linguistic skills to fully localise copy into another language, the required knowledge surrounding platform regulations and also have the data analysis skills to continually optimise campaigns. Our analysts are trained especially to think laterally across all possible factors that could influence campaign performance. 

Examples of Performance Linguistics


The Problem of Trademark Restrictions: 


Many online fashion retailers face the challenge of trademark restrictions in PPC for the brands they sell on their website. This effectively means that while they are allowed to bid on brand keywords, they can't actually use the brand names in the ad copy, resulting in lower relevance in the eyes of potential customers and less engagement.


Potential Solutions:


One way of circumventing this issue is to use abbreviated versions of the name, but this often leaves a negative impression on the user, who may think that the site does not sell authentic products. The only other solution would be to use a generic description of the brand, but this too mostly leads to a lower CTR than were you able to use the brand name. 


Languages with non-Latin alphabets such as Hebrew, Arabic and Japanese have the advantage of writing the brand in the transliterated form, which in most cases helps you to get around the kind of trademark restrictions discussed above. Our tests have also shown that these transliterated versions often result in higher CTRs than abbreviated Latin versions.