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  • Writer's pictureRick White - Director of Client Services

Reactive vs. Proactive Translation Strategy: Six ROI Factors

Moving Translation from Cost-Center to Profit-Center

Generally speaking, businesses typically take on a translation project because their customers demand it. This reactive approach makes sense, but it has the effect of limiting management’s view of translation as an unavoidable cost center. However, shifting this perspective to a proactive approach and actively seeking new languages for your content, can turn this cost center into a revenue driver. But that’s not the big picture.

Benefits to a Proactive Translation Strategy go Beyond Revenue

Revenue is not the only argument for considering a proactive translation and localization strategy. Other important effects include:

  1. Reputation Management. Providing translated and localized content shows respect for other cultures and helps build a loyal customer base in those cultures. This loyalty can make them less price-sensitive.

  2. Employee Satisfaction. Depending on the size of your organization, it is likely that you have employees who are native speakers of your target languages(s). They in turn have connections within their community and they can share your content.

  3. Job Site Safety. According to OSHA, 25% of job site injuries are language-related, with language barriers creating safety issues. Injuries are very costly to companies in multiple ways.

  4. Talent Recruitment. By signaling that you are entering new global markets, you also open up a much larger potential talent pool. Potential employees do discovery too.

  5. Wider Availability of Distribution Partners. By providing product information in multiple languages, you open up the door for wider distribution networks by giving regional distributors the tools they need to sell your products in their markets.

Translation and Localization: Quality and Accuracy Reflect on Your Business

When we talk about our translation business, we always talk about translation and localization. And this distinction is critical to effective language marketing. Entering a new language market involves much more than a word for word translation of your existing content. Localization expertise ensures that your messaging and content will resonate, in a positive way, with the potential buyers in each language market.

Content that translates well into German, may not translate effectively into Japanese because of significantly different cultural cues and preferences (watch a brief video example that shows this clearly). A proactive approach to managing and planning these processes tells your customers and your employees that you are committed to doing business in their languages, while respecting their culture.

Need advice on developing a translation and localization strategy? Pick our brains– we see strategies in action everyday!


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