Will 2019 be the year of translation services?
For the last decade, translation services have been a rapidly, yet steadily, growing part of the business world. Today, due to globalisation, translation agencies are considered not only language and culture experts, which are able to convey messages and documents, but in many cases also business partners, who are consulted prior to any international expansion.
Translation services have infiltrated a number of different business fields – from marketing to law and retail, allowing brands of all sizes and sectors to successfully launch campaigns aimed at international markets and multilingual customers.
Although international expansion is the main reason companies decide to translate their materials and approach translation providers, within multilingual environments such as London, businesses also choose to convey their message into other languages as this allows them to create a more personalised message, aimed directly at a particular group of customers. This consequently allows them to cut through the clutter.
Nowadays, business owners seem to begin to truly appreciate the expertise and proficiency of translation companies and are able to see the direct impact translations can have on their sales and revenue, as well as appreciate the assistance translation agencies are able to provide in creating a positive brand image and understanding chosen target audience in more detail.
As the world gets smaller and cross broader trading happens on daily basis, companies and organisations are now able to see how a localised and targeted campaign can positively affect their business. As a result, in the recent years, we have seen a growth in the number of marketing campaigns, which although in different markets communicate the same message in principle, are different according to the specific market they target.
Language is an essential and key part of any targeted campaign, it isn’t however the only aspect to consider. Cultural or socio-economic factors are also extremely important during an international expansion. In many cases, getting these aspects wrong when creating a marketing or business campaign can not only affect sales, but also damage your company’s image and reputation, within both – the target and home markets.
A truly great example of a localised marketing campaign which took into consideration all the above factors could be Coca-Cola’s ‘Share a coke’. This campaign focused on involving the public by printing styled names on the bottles instead of the company’s logo. Coca-Cola understood that names may differ from country to country and so, for example, the Irish version of the drink included local Irish names such as ‘Aoife’ or ‘Oisín’. Such approach was taken for a number of markets around the world.
This campaign was however particularly difficult to successfully implement in China. As in this Asian market calling someone by their first name is considered to be bad-mannered, the brand had to localise the message so that it is culturally appropriate, but at the same time doesn’t lose its personal connection.
To solve the issue, the company decided to print terms such as ‘close-friend’ or ‘classmate’ instead, which was a truly great way of meeting cultural standards, without abandoning the campaign’s core message.
Such local nuances can often go unnoticed even by larger brands, and as a result damage their company’s image, which can be especially devastating when approaching new, foreign markets.
As a result of the changes we see in the way businesses conduct their marketing efforts, providers of translation services are today the go-to experts during internationalisation and approaching international or multilingual clients.
It’s important however to understand how translation agencies can help businesses in recognising these market nuances exactly.
When working with an expert agency specialing in translation services, your content and material will be reviewed by native speakers of your chosen market’s main language. As a result, such agency will be able to advise you directly regarding your campaigns at a number of different levels – from the language itself to the colours, images used as well as any cultural aspects that you might need to adjust in order to ensure that your campaign will be perceived positively abroad.
Additionally, due to the fact that the linguists, translators and interpreters working on your materials are native speakers of the language, in most cases, they will also be a great example of a typical, potential customer within the targeted market. This can indeed be extremely beneficial not only in terms of language and cultural accuracy, but also from the product/service point of view as they will be able to tell you any specific adjustments you may wish to consider in order to fully appear to the foreign audience.
In 2018, the translation industry was worth just over £35Billion worldwide – by the year 2021, so just within the next 2 years, it is estimated to grow to an astonishing £45Billion. These numbers clearly show just how important translation services really are within the business environment today, and that their importance will continue to grow in the nearest future.