Article | March 5, 2020
The advent of different types of technology has changed how businesses use marketing and the ways that consumers are engaging with businesses and their marketing. The development of new marketing capabilities and new information technology capacity intersect in MarTech, bringing together the potential of both areas to reveal new possibilities. But, MarTech is meant to work with marketing not to replace it. Recent developments have made MarTech possible. Cloud computing infrastructure has become accessible, software for businesses that want to use MarTech tools are more affordable and platforms have become more widely used resulting in more available data. This means that more businesses use tools previously available to a small group of companies.
Article | December 22, 2020
Most influential organizations need international market research as it helps formulate growth strategies and decision-making processes. Market research translation allows businesses to understand clients’ expectations, conduct competitive analysis, make educated business decisions, and much more.
Surveying multilingual consumers is challenging in multiple ways, requires language expertise, and has zero room for errors. A single mistake, miscommunication, or misunderstandings can adversely impact a company’s progress in local and international markets. Many organizations hire business translation services firms for their expertise in the sector.
Here are some do’s and don’ts of translating market research to understand the complexity of the task.
1. Native Speakers
When translating surveys, questions, and instructions, working with native speakers allows questionnaires to sound more natural and helps respondents feel comfortable when answering. Additionally, having native translators who have or are living in your target research area will help them understand the respondents better. Your translators will understand the local language and colloquialisms as well as make the questionnaire easily accessible.
2. Background Information
Your market research translation services firm should have all the necessary background information to understand your research scope and objective, along with ensuring its accuracy. Your translators should know what kind of information you need from respondents to ask the correct questions in the target language. In addition, the linguists who translate the answers would also require a complete discussion to comprehend the precise meaning of the statements made.
3. Avoid Leading Questions
Ensure that your survey has minimal leading questions, if any. Such questions decrease the accuracy of your research by guiding respondents toward specific answers. Typically, leading questions might confuse your respondents. They might answer in a different way than they would in normal circumstances. This may alter your research results and give you an erroneous image of the local market, which can impact your company’s positioning adversely in the long term.
4. Review of Target Participants
Depending on your survey region, you may need to adapt your research methods to include real-time conversations, phone interviews, besides online questionnaires. You may need to create new classes of participants for your study due to population structure variations. If required, you can reorganize your target audience categories, their number, and how you contact them.
5. Test Study Methods
Your business translation services team should test the questionnaire on a sample before you go live to ensure that all your respondents understand the instructions and questions. This also helps you avoid vague messages and poorly translated, indistinct questions. Invest some extra billing hours in testing to ensure the accuracy of your research.
1. Not Going Beyond Word-to-Word Translation
Market research documentation involves surveys, questions, videos, interactive content, and more. Along with terminology and grammatical rules, translators require details, like the respondents' voice pitch, body language, and idiomatic expressions for successful translations for the project.
2. Overlook Cultural Aspects
Researchers cannot ask the required questions or conduct a qualitative analysis of the answers without cultural insight. They simplify communication between the respondents and the translator and enable you to represent the local market accurately. Integrating cultural nuances into the research helps you create an emotional connection with the respondents and results in more accurate answers for your analysis.
3. Ignore Data Security
Adhering to data security protocols builds trust among your local audience and reduces the risk of problems with local authorities. If your questionnaires have sensitive data, avoid any data security breaches. This builds trust among your local audience and reduces the risk of issues with the law. If you take assistance from a language service provider, they should ensure that your research results and the respondents’ data are protected. Usually, your translation agency will have strong data security measures to keep your files safe and secure.
4. Forgetting to Proofread
Translating market research involves concepts that cannot always be compared in all languages, brand perceptions that differ with the region, varying local social norms for communication, and several other aspects that influence the translation and localization process. Get survey results checked and proofread by the research team before sharing them with your management and stakeholders. This ensures that analysts use accurate data to make their predictions and removes any mistakes from the document.
5. Have Fixed Deadlines
Your market research results will determine your product launches, fresh marketing strategies, and development. Proper documentation for multilingual market research needs time and patience, as rushing through the entire process can be counterproductive. Rushed translations and skipping critical phases of research might result in the omission of essential data and altering the analysis results. This could lead to a false assurance that pushes you in the incorrect course.
Multilingual market research requires translating both the instructions and surveys that enable you to investigate local markets and local respondents' data.
Article | April 10, 2020
Artificial intelligence (AI) is currently one of the fastest evolving technologies in the world. In 2016, the AI market was valued at $4.06 billion. By 2025, this sector will have a market capitalization value of $164.41 billion, signaling a 55.6% rise in compound annual growth rates. Today AI is everywhere you turn. You will find it in the auto, healthcare, finance, manufacturing, education, legal, retail, and marketing industries. The technology now runs self-driving vehicles, crucial medical equipment, and various programs and platforms online. Businesses such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and IBM are heavily invested in AI development. These platforms are also continuously making this technology more accessible to users. You can, for instance, access Google’s AI via its RankBrain search engine algorithm. This AI interprets search queries to provide Google’s users with the most relevant results.
Article | October 16, 2020
Q.1. As more platforms become available, generating traffic and leads seem to get harder instead of easier. What should marketers do differently to increase leads and traffic?
A.1. Testing, tracking responses, and evaluating all lead generation methods is the best way to reduce your cost per sale. The increasing options for traffic and lead generation can do nothing but increase your opportunities for improving your effectiveness.
A marketers’ preference for using one tactic over another by eliminating the channels or not considering all available methods reduces your chances for making the most of your marketing spend. By deciding not to use email, direct mail, phone support, Google ads, social media, or any combination of these methods reduces your company’s effectiveness.
Above all, become channel agnostic. Even if it didn’t work before, continue to modify and test all channels during the height of your selling season. Do not prejudge any technique just because you and your team may be unfamiliar with it.
Channel and market fragmentation continue to challenge all marketers. This particularly aggravates the marketer’s ability to find a reliable attribution model by channel. That’s why the evaluation process has evolved to include campaign spend rather than channel spend.
Q. 2. For many businesses across various industries, there’s just not much room in the budget, and marketing is not a major priority. From your experience, what should marketers do to justify marketing spend, and where should they spend more money on?
A.2. Budget allocation has always been a challenge for marketers. Nothing new there.
Most companies budget according to the overall budget’s percentage increase. If a company spent $10,000,000 on advertising, then they might add 3% or $300,000 to the new year’s budget. There is often little to no correlation to the budget and net revenue growth plans. The whole thing becomes more of a political exercise than real financial planning.
In my opinion, marketing budgets should include all marketing activities. This includes
- inbound telemarketing
- sales, and
- customer support.
All such areas should integrate and become almost invisible to the customer.
All company marketing activities speak with one voice and exist to serve the company’s customer for maximum return on investment.
If this is done, then the company must determine an allowable marketing cost for each new customer, and possibly an allowable new customer acquisition cost by channel.
For example, if a company wants to add 10,000 new customers, and the allowable marketing cost per customer is $250, then the marketing budget becomes 10,000 X $250 = $2,500,000.
A similar approach should be applied to customer retention. Eventually, customer retention and growth are merged into a single budget.
This is all an oversimplification, but it shows the potential for taking the guesswork out of marketing budgets. Some client companies have used this approach for the last 40 years. I think this approach to budgeting leveraging today’s sophisticated big data should be used to reduce the politics and emotions driving budget decisions.
Q. 3. How effective are digital marketing campaigns in these times? Should marketers complement their digital strategy with SEO and social media?
A.3. Marketers should increase their budgets based on testing. Yet, evaluation relies on accurate sales attribution.
Social media, SEO, and mass general advertising, all require a long-term view when compared to direct response strategies using both digital and traditional advertising. Direct response is easily tested and evaluated in all channels. Social media, on the other hand, works like general advertising to support site visits, and leads from other marketing activities.
SEO is directly attributable to sales if the site is an ecommerce site. For other company websites, SEO is usually seen as necessary to support all other marketing activities similar to inbound sales support, customer support, and retail outlets.
Just like social media and general advertising, SEO budgets are not directly attributable to sales. Yet marketers know SEO drives considerable sales volume. SEO is not as easily evaluated as an ecommerce site, direct response mail, print, and broadcast. Yet SEO has become more important as overall web volumes increase the competition for customer views.
General advertising and social media do not work in a vacuum and should be supported with direct marketing strategies.
I think general advertising and social media should blend in with the overall marketing budgets and prove their worth by improving overall marketing performance.
Q. 4. What kind of content do modern consumers seek? Is there an ideal content mix you would suggest in terms of videos, infographics, and articles?
A.4. The content for all channels require what they have always required. The writer must answer these basic questions in clear and emotionally persuasive language (as appropriate).
1. What customer problem the product or service solves?
2. What are the customer benefits (not just features) from buying the product?
3. How is this product superior to competitors?
4. Prove that the benefits are real through customer testimonials and objective external evidence.
5. Make an offer as required to generate a sale or inquiry.
6. Use photos rather than drawings to support the product, or customers using the product.
7. Make minimal use of reverse type and only with short headlines.
8. Avoid small type and fancy font styles that are hard to read.
As for the mix, videos are hot right now. I think bloggers and social media should continue to test the length and impact of video, audio, and pure text.
Q. 5. How important is blogging in generating revenue for a company?
A.5. Blogging definitely builds website traffic if the content contains interesting information for the targeted market. As words continue to grow on the Internet the relevance is on the decline. This applies to many blogs.
Not everyone can write compelling copy or has sufficient subject matter knowledge to keep things interesting for the long term on a blog.
Blogs require a lot of time and consistency. Successful blogs may require more energy and company consistency than small companies can sustain.
I think that relevant blogs are almost impossible to assign to external bloggers without considerable customer input. The more complex the service, the more difficult it is to outsource successfully.
It always helps if the writer knows the subject intimately. Otherwise, the reader doesn’t gain much from reading the post.
Another challenge is the proliferation of posts, podcasts, videos, computer games, and the whole environment that competes with blogs for attention.
I question the long-term viability of blogs’ ability to warrant the writer’s efforts. But I continue the effort knowing that consultants generally get good response to their writings.
Q.6. What are the trends influencing the direct marketing industry?
A.6. I don’t really view direct marketing as an industry. Just like positioning advertising and public relations, direct marketing is a strategy. Direct response/direct marketing have always used all available channels well beyond direct mail. There is direct response TV, direct response radio, outbound telemarketing, ecommerce, mail order catalogs, direct mail fundraising, and direct response email. In fact, the Internet as a whole is probably 95% direct response driven.
The direct marketing strategy budgets have easily overtaken general or awareness advertising spending.
The trends that made this a reality is that companies are demanding accountability from their advertising dollars. This puts downward pressure on marketing activities that cannot be tracked such as general advertising and social media. In fact, sales for these strategies may never be attributable. The same applies to SEO even though the reality is that all of these activities are essential.
Marketers must discover more accurate ways to attribute actual sales by strategy, if not by channel. Showing accurate sales accountability for marketing activities has become essential in today’s highly competitive environment.
Q.7. What factors are used to test and optimize email marketing campaigns?
A.7.The greatest response predictors for email are the same as they are for direct mail. Here they are listed by priority.
1. The list source
2. The product’s ability to solve the customer’s problem
3. The offer
4. The creative execution such as benefit copy, promise support, format, and design
5. Ongoing testing of all of these elements singly, or in combination as A/B/C… splits
Once these basics are understood, implemented and tested, then the marketer is well into email optimization.
Beyond this, optimize email campaigns by overlaying support channels such as landing pages, outbound telemarketing to existing/high value customers, print, and direct mail.