What is it?
The market segment that a company considers to be the most important to their objectives and, therefore, their main focus.
Why is it important?
Companies segment their markets to help them devise the most effective go-to-market strategy for each segment. Content and localization strategies will be different for primary, secondary, and tertiary markets.
Why does a technical communicator need to know this?
Primary markets (which typically, although not always, translate as Tier-1 languages in localization) benefit from higher budgets, the ability to localize more content, and in-country staff that localization teams ideally can collaborate with to discuss terminology, develop style guides, and fine-tune the messaging for higher impact with the target audience.
Target market segmentation requires a very good understanding of customer needs, pain points, and priorities[Ilan 2016]. Localizers armed with information on the customer personas that the content was created for, the needs that the content is trying to address, and the strategy that will be used to ensure it reaches its audience, are better placed to deliver quality localized content that will help the brand achieve its goals. If the content requires transcreation or when creating original content for different languages, customer and market information becomes even more important.
In addition, localization, marketing, and in-country teams can collaborate to decide how to address potential differences in the content required for each primary market, including:
- Customer personas: for example, differences in income level, age, or level of seniority[Kusinitz 2018].
- Culture: for example, differences in payment methods or the structure of online forms.
- Regulatory/legal: for example, differences in regulations for email marketing in Europe vs. the US (Europe requires active consent (opt in), the US doesn’t).
- Relevance: for example, it is better to re-create customer testimonials using customers from each target market, rather than translating from the primary market (unless the customer is well known in the target markets)[Bias 2011].
- [Kusinitz 2018] Definition of a Buyer Persona. Hubspot. Kusinitz, Sam (2018). Blog post explaining buyer (customer) personas.
- [Ilan 2016] Global Marketing: Contemporary Theory, Practice, and Cases. Ilan Alon, Ilan and Eugene Jaffe (2016). Chapter 9,
Segmenting, Targeting, and Positioning for Global Markets,focuses on global market segmentation and international market selection.
- [Bias 2011] A Five-Step Primer for Entering an International Market. Bias, Lauren Maillian (2011). Young Entrepreneur Council, Forbes.