When catering to the needs of the global consumer, marketers face a culturally diverse population, and it is important to measure a variety of concepts which are culturally and linguistically apt when conducting research with these different cultural groups.
How do you choose your translation company?
You need a professional translation company, who have native translators located in the target countries and regions. A good translation company should be able to cover for at least 50 plus languages making it simpler for you to pass everything over to them in one go, for all of the languages you need. Be sure to give your chosen agency a thorough brief of your message and the research campaign, ensuring that they comprehend the message and the jargons of the campaign fully. This intial extra effort will be invaluable in the long term of your project, ensuring that the meaning of your original questions will be properly and accurately conveyed in each translated language.
Are you culturally aware?
International projects can raise issues not seen in domestic research. If you have a good relationship with the company you use for translations, you shoud also be able to go to them for advice about your questionnaire at design stage and point out any potential problems specific to the target audience which might not have been considered previously. Doing a “negative check” is helpful in ensuring that the product names and other terminology used in the research are appropriate for your target audience and can be translated accurately to convey the original meaning. Your translation company should also be able to provide valuable guidance as to whether the questions asked in the initial English copy of the Research paper are apt for the target market; as certain questions can be offensive for different cultures – especially in the Middle East, for example. You can see then that your Translation Service Partner can be really useful in doubling up as an International business partner and cultural adviser, not just a provider of straight forward translations.
What should you avoid doing in International Market Research?
Don’t assume that because some people in your company have the ability to speak foreign languages, that they can communicate appropriately, and efficiently in the target language. Free online transaiton tools may also offer an attractive instant solution, and they do have their place, but you need to keep in mind that these tools are for ‘assistance’ of human work only, and are mostly literal translations that do not flow naturally in the target language. Although assigning a professional translation company can stretch budgets, the inconveniences that can be caused by mistranslated or badly translated campaigns will not only be expensive mistakes, but can be extremely detrimental for a company’s image in the long run.