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Speeding up international market research with translation

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in Market Research

It is undeniable that in the 21st century, the speed at which innovation is taking place throughout the world is breathtaking. We now have smartphones that can perform multiple functions, such as shooting pictures, monitoring health and buying groceries. Advances in stem cell research are leading to new, more powerful treatments. Driverless cars are at their most sophisticated level yet. And we have even had time to land a probe on a moving comet!

As the law of accelerating change suggests, what was made possible over a period of 100 years in the past, is now achievable in a markedly shorter timeframe today. The implications of this in all areas of life are profound. Rapid progress is not only challenging long-established principles, but also our expectations. With regards to the latter, personally and professionally, we want to see and do things in a much quicker way.

Within market research, which is subject to its own radical transformation, this is a growing trend. Indicative of the fast-paced world we live in, organisations commissioning projects to gain insight into existing and new audiences are keener than ever to see results in an expeditious manner. In a competitive and global age, speed is essential to perceptivity and being one step ahead of the curve.

In this article we take a look at how translation, from an international perspective, is an indispensable asset for making this happen. When effectively employed, it can help achieve quick turnarounds without compromising the reliability and validity of the information at every stage of the process.

The old way of working

Historically, approaches to international market research have been overly complicated, time-consuming and labour-intensive. With a significant number of stakeholders involved around the world, numerous sets of data to capture and translate, and high levels of engagement required, it has been difficult to coordinate this in a resourceful way.

While end goals have always been achieved, the process has been unnecessarily convoluted and protracted. As such, old methodologies have been less than productive, creating more and avoidable work for everyone. This is anomalous to clients who expect ‘better results faster’.

As ESOMAR outlined last year ahead of a workshop into new methods: “In market research, we often say, ‘How do you want your market research? Fast, cheap or good … pick any two.’ Due to changing client needs, new methods and current technologies, that old dogma no longer applies. Market research needs to be fast, great and cost-effective.”

Translation’s offer of a better alternative

Enter translation, which, optimised by knowledge, experience and technology, can transform the entire production process. In turn, this saves everyone time, money and effort. Moreover, quality is maintained, if not improved. As a whole, the approach is decidedly better than before.

At the heart of the process is automation, centralisation and the streamlining of all workflow, whereby all project partners are visible and accessible. Previously, project managers, for example, have had to manually take translation data in/out of systems, convert into suitable formats, email reviewers and so on. This has caused delays, duplications and, again, extra work.

In partnership with a leading language service provider however, project managers can eliminate superfluous activity in a myriad of ways. Firstly, production wise, an automation platform consolidates activities, allowing for real-time collaboration and immediate notifications when a specific part of a project is complete.

Secondly, because platforms can be integrated with survey software, as soon as the surveys are translated they can be immediately transferred, reviewed and launched without the need for uploading. This can save hours of time, days even.

Thirdly, where projects are repeated, a language service provider can set about putting to use productivity tools, such as “translation memory”. By leveraging previously translated sentences, paragraphs and phrases, not only is the translation process sped up, it also lowers the cost of production. This is an especially useful tool when carrying out research in multiple markets.

Quality, quick insight

As you can perhaps gauge, the advantages afforded by modern-day translation techniques to international market research projects is substantial and entirely in-tune with the speedy spirit of the digital era.

It embraces the idea that it is possible to do more with less, and for maximum, high-quality results to be achieved swiftly. However, technology alone cannot deliver excellence – the way in which it is implemented matters just as much.

Therefore, it’s also about the people behind translation that enable organisations to get the most out of international market research projects and to do so in a way that is faster than the competition.

Because, let’s face it, in an age increasingly characterised by a breakneck way of living and working, you don’t really want to be hobbling along a path littered with obstacles. No, you want to be in one those supersonic jets, cutting through an empty sky. Translation is its fuel.

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