By Nick Strozza, Account Manager, Interpro Translation Solutions
Translation should be one of the first steps in taking your business international. Translating your materials (such as your website, corporate materials, product information, documentation, etc.) into one or more foreign languages opens the door to a market that you may have never been able to penetrate. Proper on-line marketing is key to being successful in today’s competitive environment. Companies that sell on-line can especially benefit from localizing their web-based materials into several languages, and then optimizing their SEO for those languages.
Every organization should have a standout website and on-line presence. You can make your on-line presence more effective by translating it into multiple languages in order to better connect to your global audience. If you haven’t yet done so, you may discover that your competition may have beaten you to the punch and now has a leg up to better capture a global audience of potential buyers.
Below, I have outlined some of the many reasons organizations are going international with their products and services:
Increase opportunities for revenue growth
- Focusing solely on the domestic market severely limits the range of potential customers your organization can reach. It has been estimated that 95% of the world's consumers live outside the US. If your company is selling to US businesses only, it reaches a minute share of the market.
- Expanding internationally increases the new customers and markets that your company can sell to. This will allow your firm to rely less on current customers, opening new doors for expansive strategies.
Market demand for your product overseas
- Researching overseas markets determines whether there is a demand for your products and services beyond the domestic marketplace.
- Are your competitors selling internationally? If so, it is likely that there is a need for your product as well. If not, your company may be able to strategically position itself to tap that market.
Establish a 'Global Brand'
- Establishing a global brand will ensure that potential customers will recognize your company when it comes time to buy. Ultimately, creating a strong global brand will help increase opportunities for sales, recognition and goodwill.
- Accurately localizing your product and services to the locales you are targeting increases the opportunity for creating a strong relationship with potential clients.
Extend the product life cycle
- Your company may be forced to offer new and different types of products and services domestically because they have passed their maturity stage and sales are in decline. Do those established, domestic products have potential overseas?
- Companies can extend their product life cycle by looking at new markets for their mature products. Just because a product has plateaued or sales of it has fallen in the US doesn’t mean that international audiences won’t still need it and want to buy it!
There is much more that goes into translation then originally meets the eye. A lot of organizations are surprised when they first find out about translation and what goes into getting it done the right way. Translation many times is an afterthought in some organizations. Some may ask: why not just use a free machine translation tool (i.e. Google Translate)? Why should I pay to have these languages translated when I can do it for "no cost"?
My answer is to ask yourself whether you would risk your organization's brand and reputation on a bad translation. The absolute worst thing you could do as a company is to offend a potential foreign language-speaking client base with an improper translation of your message. As the old adage goes, and it certainly applies to language translation, you get what you pay for. My advice would be to find a professional localization company, one who uses in-country professional translators that can listen to your needs and walk you through the process that will provide value and benefit to you. If you are thinking of machine translation (à la Google Translate) as a solution, you may want to consider not translating at all rather than ruining your organization's good name, solid reputation, and established brand.
Linguistically adapting your product or service is one of the first steps towards creating a global offering, and underscores the importance your organization places on reaching out to them as valued customers. Over time, this will result in an expanded customer base, increased revenues, and worldwide brand recognition.
Spending the right amount of time determining the best long-term translation strategy will help your organization meet and even exceed its international sales objectives!
For additional information on product translation and localization, reach out to Nick Strozza by phone on 630.245.7169