Measuring Return on Translation Investment
By United Language Group
Working with quality translators is important, but how do you measure return on investment (ROI)? It sounds simple, but it's often more complicated than it seems. There's not one set of metrics that will work for every business. To determine the ROI of translation for your company, first ask yourself this: How does translation help your organization meet its goals? Once you know that, you'll know what to measure.
With that in mind, here are 3 ways to measure return on translation investment for different types of organizations.
Translation makes marketing more effective, protects your brand and increases sales.
There's no doubt about it- if your customer base is multilingual, translation can make your marketing more effective. When you're trying to persuade people to part with their money, it helps if you speak their language. Research shows that even people who speak English fluently as a second language prefer to shop in their native tongue. For example, even in English-friendly Europe, 9 out of 10 users prefer to visit a website in their own language.
This is one of the most straightforward ways to measure the ROI of translation. Businesses can track metrics like new customers, increased revenue, increased traffic and market share.
Localizing your website can also increase conversions. According to Gillian Muessig of Moz, "3 times as many website readers will convert to customers if you give them information in their native language."
An effective translation process also allows your organization to control how it's presented in non-English speaking markets. Reaching out to customers in their own language creates goodwill, so translation has public relations benefits as well.
Translation can reduce other business costs.
Yes, good translation costs money. But it can also reduce other business costs. To accurately measure the ROI of translation for your business, consider how it can help you save money in the following areas.
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For many businesses, customer support is a major cost, but providing inadequate support is even more costly in the long run. Translation can reduce customer support costs from non-English speaking customers by ensuring they understand how your business works, answering common questions and allowing them to effectively take advantage of self-service options.
There's no doubt about it. Compliance mistakes can be costly. If you do business in another country, there are likely to be a multitude of translation regulations you need to comply with.
In some industries, like healthcare, translation is required by law for U.S.-based businesses, too.
Employee Support and Training
Does your organization have teams in locations around the world? Do you employ significant numbers of employees who speak English as a second language? Translation can be an investment in your employees, too. Localizing your training materials and eLearning courses can improve employee morale, productivity, and avoid extra costs due to accidents or compliance issues.
At ULG, our team of translators and instructional designers can help you create courses that are easily understood across different languages and cultures. Read more about our learning services here.
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United Language Group
Andrew is a staff writer at United Language Group. He is especially interested in digital marketing, translation technology, as well as cultural and linguistic studies.
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