A couple of years ago, we published a white paper on the ROI of translation that addressed the various ways that translation can have a positive impact on a company’s bottom line. It has been one of our most downloaded white papers, so we decided to bring it back with up-to-date information and a new look.
And, to give you yet another way to learn about the possible financial benefits of translation, we’ve created this 3-minute video.
When you’re weighing the costs of translation against anticipated returns, make sure that you take into account all of the ways that translation can pay dividends.
You see opportunities for your company in foreign markets and you are thinking of translating your website, marketing collateral or other materials. How can you tell if translation would be a good investment for your business? Well, in order to do that, you first have to understand the many ways in which translation can provide returns for you: both direct returns and more intangible advantages that can be just as important to the bottom line.
- Reaching New Customers
Increasing sales by reaching new potential customers is the first thing that most people think about when they start considering translation, and this is certainly an important consideration. There is evidence that people are more likely to buy a product if the information is in their native language. Also potential customers probably won’t find you if they do a web search in their language and your website has no content in that language. But direct sales are only part of the equation when you consider the potential ROI of translation.
- Generating Good Will
Businesses regularly spend money on things like PR and charitable activities to build up good will in their community, because they know the value of good will in attracting customers. Translation can also generate good will by showing potential and existing customers in a foreign market that you are serious about establishing a presence in that market and that you respect the local culture.
- Protecting Your Brand
You put a lot of thought into presenting your goods and services to potential customers, but if you don’t translate those materials you’ll have no control over how your offerings are presented in foreign markets. Translation will take place, whether by word of mouth or through translations by local distributors, and bad or misleading information may spread, harming your company’s reputation and its sales prospects.
- Supporting Business Partners
If you use foreign distributors or marketing reps, translation can make their job easier by providing them with the tools they need to make sales. Being able to direct prospects to a website in their own language, and to give prospects professional looking marketing materials in that language, makes your business partners look good and increases the morale and loyalty of those partners.
- Supporting Customers
Providing translated customer support materials, like manuals, online help and FAQs, can facilitate initial sales and increase customer loyalty since customers know that it will be easier for them to find solutions to any problems they encounter. It can also cut down on your own costs by eliminating a lot of the need for more expensive one-on-one customer support.
- Motivating Employees
If your company has a significant number of employees whose first language is not English, providing them with translated handbooks, training and safety materials can lower your administrative and production costs and increase productivity by avoiding miscommunications and boosting morale.
More information on how translation can benefit your business, and on best practices for translation and localization, is contained in our Localization Quick Guides, available on our website, and in articles on our blog