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Smart and Fast: Translation for Market Research

Smart and Fast: Translation for Market Research

Promotion of your product in a foreign country can feel like a daunting challenge. In fact, when you don’t know where to begin and you don’t have the assistance of language and cultural experts, it can seem impossible.

However, as you do smart market research into your potential new audiences you will start to see precisely what steps are needed to move forward. The fuzzy picture of how a product can meet the needs of people halfway around the world will begin to come clear.

Smart market research is about discovering the current, genuine preferences of the demographic to which you want to sell your product, whether at home or abroad. Depending on the type of information you want, you’ll construct surveys for “qualitative analysis” or “quantitative analysis.” Designing your marketing research tools around easy, engaging questions is key.

The open-ended questions used in “qualitative analysis” may be best for some products and markets, and this type of research can also be less expensive. Small groups are basically asked “how” they feel about a product and “why,” so you get a sense of regional opinions. This information is compiled into clear reports that tell a story of a people’s general range of thoughts about your product or industry.

“Quantitative analysis” gathers more objective information. Numbers are collected from quantitative surveys and questionnaires that present “descriptive,” “comparative,” or “relational” ways of responding about products. They tell the story of what people like and don’t like, what they need and want, and how much they value different features. This data is easier to set out in the form of numbers that tell a more detailed consumer story than qualitative questions do, from a different angle.

Once you’ve developed these tools based on what you want to know, you need culturally nuanced translation into your target countries’ languages. You want high survey response rates, and the way to obtain that is through market research questions translated by linguists who know your target market well. High response rates mean more data and that means more reliable metrics to base your marketing choices on.

Technology plays large role at every phase in market research. This means that foreign market research translation involves more than just straight language translation:

  • Web-enabled formats for questionnaires and surveys must be translated.
  • Web-enabled tools must then be tested by multilingual professionals to ensure optimal user experience.
  • Online or in-person interpreting may be required for focus groups and interviews.

market research translation blog post

The ideal Language Service Provider for market research translation is able to provide a team of linguists, interpreters, tech experts, and subject matter experts with market research experience.

Another aspect of market research translation that we stress with our clients is that speed is vital to success. This hard-won data from your questions is only useful for a short time because of the ever-changing nature of consumer markets. Translation of everything – your surveys, questionnaires, and also the responses and final data reports – must be fast.

Smart market research into new international markets is a very exciting step. When it’s done well, the information you gain puts you in charge of your own success – even on the streets of countries you have never had the opportunity to visit.


J. V. McShulskis



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