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Market research localization: leveraging a collaborative approach

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The value of market research is directly tied to the quality of its data. Great data leads to better business decisions and, ultimately, business outcomes. By contrast, poor market research data is like building a house on a bad foundation. Eventually, the cracks will show—and the costs will be significant.

Translation can prep your market research surveys to be delivered to a target audience, but the key to relevant survey questions—and reliable, useful data—depends on a streamlined approach to market research localization.

When localizing, specialists review the questions and content of your surveys to make sure they align with the needs, interests, customs, and culture of your target audience. By localizing survey questions with this specific international audience in mind, market research firms can make sure they’re gathering the right kinds of data in response to deliver to their client companies.

The best version of market research localization requires collaboration between the language service provider (LSP) and the market research company. Here’s what that relationship should look like through all stages of localization.

Evaluating content before translation

When market research surveys are planned for launch among a new target audience, language experts should review the survey to identify instances where content needs to account for a different type of audience, cultural context, or consideration based on the audience’s locality.

For example, questions related to demographic information such as ethnicity, educational background, or other data points may not be relevant from one market research audience to the next. Similarly, brand references and associations among one consumer group may not apply to a new audience where those brands aren’t present, or where the same brand associations don’t translate from one audience to the next.

Language experts can then flag this content for consultation with the client. This should be done before the start of translation, expediting, and streamlining the localization process.

Keeping market research goals in context

As language experts identify localization needs for any market research content, they also need to remain aware of the clients’ market research goals. Analysis of customers—and foreign competitive markets—must keep in mind the clients’ goals, and look for opportunities to localize market research as a tool for identifying and understanding business opportunities.

Locality experts can aid this process by consulting with clients on how different market factors, demographic trends, and local competition might shape the audience targeted through surveys, as well as the survey content itself.

Achieving efficiency and accuracy through collaboration

Effective localization can only occur when LSPs and market research companies engage in a two-way conversation to ensure that survey questions are serving the clients’ goals. 

Language experts should be going back to the client to ask how they want to handle certain types of questions. This consultative approach starts before the translation process and continues until both the LSP and the market research company are confident in the quality and relevance of surveys.

When this consultative process is saved until after translation has occurred, it leads to additional translation costs, a higher rate of translation and localization errors, and project delivery delays that can frustrate market research clients. Ongoing communication supports better localization, better translation value, and a better customer experience for end-user clients.

Find out how workflow management can support better market research localization—contact us today.

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