Without a translation strategy, your company could be vulnerable in the ruthless global marketplace of the 21st century.
[Read the previous article about the role of culture in translation.]
More than a language strategy, a translation strategy drives the internationalization of a company’s strategic planning so its products and/or services can compete in the international market while sustaining its ability to monitor and maintain the expansion.
The following is a think piece for companies to re-evaluate their strategic goals by implementing simple measures to gain a competitive advantage in the world business arena.
Definition of a Translation Strategy
Perhaps your company already has a language strategy. Good start!
A step further is using the power of translation to not just speak a new language, but to exploit a language to create a differential advantage with competitors.
Make your firm’s products or services distinct from rivals by creating and maintaining a superior more than just a competitive offering.
A proactive approach to gaining sustainable market share is possible through the coin of the realm in the international economy – information.
Of course, not all of the valuable information in global business is in English.
When you operate in a Spanish-speaking or Portuguese speaking market, for example, your company needs business intelligence gleaned from information sources in these areas.
While researching, designing, delivering, and marketing your product or service, your translation strategy can operate alongside.
A systematic program (outlined below) can gather and convert data to fuel the business intelligence (BI) your company needs.
Internet research in Spanish or Portuguese, for example, can be conducted and translated into English.
Your translator is a business partner, a part of your team, to increase satisfaction and positively impact the bottom line.
Tell Professor Winn about your translation project.
Do a Translation Needs Analysis
A blueprint for a translation strategy begins with a consultation with a certified translator.
An initial discussion should center upon conducting a comprehensive translation needs analysis.
Eleven components would include at a minimum:
What are the company’s goals in the next few years?
Is management on board with implementing a company-wide translation strategy?
Is the company website in the target market language?
What markets does the company currently operate or plan to operate?
What are the languages spoken in these markets?
What type of information and possible sources in Spanish or Portuguese, for example, should be consulted?
How often will information be consulted and subsequently translated?
What other types of documents will you likely need translate?
What is the expected deadline for these translated documents?
Who or which department will be responsible for managing the translations in the company?
What is the expected budget to fund translations throughout the year?
Above all, the Pareto Principle – the so-called 80/20.
That is to say 20 percent of your activities will account for 80 percent of your results.
thus, think of the most important facts and details first.
A company could then quickly and effectively draw up a road map for using translation to gain an “unfair” competitive advantage over your peer rivals.
4 Benefits of a Translation Strategy
A company’s investment in a translation strategy yields three main results.
First, gain a competitive edge.
Yes, business literature is replete with trite with articles about “competitive advantages.”
However, with methodical preparation for managing translations, your company would be a step ahead of the competition.
If you have a report in Spanish or Portuguese, for example, you have a process in place.
Time is saved and fast information ahead of rivals helps your business to nimbly outwit peers in a market.
Any edge – especially linguistic when operating in international markets – is a definite advantage.
If your company submits bids for contracts, letter-perfect English translations from original Spanish or Portuguese texts could make the difference in the competition for business.
Second, learn more about your market (customer).
Internet marketing research in Spanish or Portuguese can help a company select the right media, such as TV, radio, newspaper or print to reach customers.
Product or service-driven companies may struggle to keep pace with changing or evolving marketplaces.
A corporate translation strategy allows collection of business intelligence in the language of international markets.
Third, discover new products or services for your company.
An enterprise that enters a new market can especially take advantage of translations to create products or services to meet customers’ needs.
Expansion of a product line or offer of services could result from more consumer information from business intelligence gained through translation.
Internet market research not only yields publicly-available information about competitors and customers alike.
A report about a new trend in an international market is likely to appear in a local newspaper or magazine.
An effective translation strategy allows a rapid response to ensure the customer has the product or service desired in a shorter production time and delivery to market.
Lastly, a company can save on translation costs.
Even the smallest enterprise, from time to time, needs translation.
Instead of ad hoc projects, a comprehensive language and translation blueprint for your business yields greater consistency and uniformity.
Thus a company can control costs better with good planning and a retainer fee for translation.
Your translator is always available to help you expand the reach of your products and/or services and acquire more customers which is good for the bottom line.
Tell Professor Winn about your translation project.
Companies are on a constant search for differentiation from their peers, even more so in the global economy today.
Because many corporations do not have a translation strategy, those who do have a distinct advantage to compete for greater market share.
As stated above, any company that seeks to truly be a leader in international markets needs a methodical approach to managing different languages.
As a Spanish and Portuguese translator to English, any enterprise entering or already in a market where those languages are spoken can benefit from a translation strategy.
Your company has a plan for its growth and service to customers.
Now, add a systematic approach to translation to the blueprint and gain an edge over your peers to maximize profits and customer satisfaction.