2016 Translation and Localization Trends
As 2016 progresses, our team has taken time to consider what the year will hold for the translation and localization industry. While trends we predicted early in 2015, such as CMS integration, machine translation, and mergers and acquisitions are there for the long haul, we want to share our views on the major trends that will impact the localization industry this year.
1. Technology brings scale
The Google Translate app, now available in Arabic, free machine translation from Microsoft Translator, crowdsource post-editing... technology brings translation to millions of new users. For businesses, getting translations “done” needs to be simple and seamless. Technology enables just that. But today, a nice ordering portal is not enough - it's all about integrated, customisable platforms with strong automated processes, providing extremely fast response times and efficiency throughout the whole customer journey, from initiating translation requests all the way to in-country review and publishing.
2. Personalization and simplicity for a better customer journey
Customer loyalty results from building relationships and trust (to quote our partner, Sitecore, “trust is the new currency”). But how do you make this happen when would-be customers can get all the information they need online and it becomes tougher to stand out from the crowd? Not only by making sure that every interaction brings value and using technology to simplify a buyer’s journey (by remembering ordering preferences or enabling easy content approval, for example), but also by being quick to adapt to changes in demand. So start earning that trust with everything you do!
3. Service lines are evolving
Trends in marketing, cloud computing, content and consumer tech usage (think wearables and mobile) will ensure that publishers need an array of existing and new service lines to keep up with global content demand in 2016 and beyond. Much like with BPO, we see that customers are looking for a multi-tenancy approach that grows in line with their global needs. This trend is obvious, as the largest LSPs are in heavy M&A mode. They acquire companies to diversify their portfolio, gaining “instant” sector expertise, but also new services, such as legal e-discovery or interpreting, which would have been difficult to build up organically. In 2016, it's more important than ever to serve customers across their whole range, bolting on services and capabilities to support them seamlessly.
4. Business Intelligence is a must for smart decisions
Knowing the status of a project is no longer enough. While we mentioned last year how customers will rely more on the “impact of translation metrics” to assess the growth of the customer base, customer retention rate and customer satisfaction, business intelligence extrapolated across industry sectors and markets can be a powerful tool to help you understand trends and make the right investment decisions. We see predictive analytics becoming an important tool in the localization business in the future.
5. The rise of the marketer
Marketing has been completely transformed over the past ten years. Marketers are now driving engagement, customer experience and - more than ever - revenue. While love of a brand can still be strong, the marketer’s role is about engagement: engaged customers keep coming back. To make that happen, customer experience is crucial and is a competitive advantage in all industries. As a result, transcreation and multilingual SEO need to be a staple for any language service provider to ensure their message is on point wherever it is needed in the world. As time-to-publish gets shorter, technology-led solutions and agile processes will gain more ground. We believe marketing automation integration and online in-country review, fully integrated within the translation process, will be on marketers' must-have lists.
Will these predictions come true? We'll be there to revisit them in 2017!
The Economist Business Intelligence Unit, The Rise of the Marketer, July 2015.
Spredfast White Paper: At the Speed of Life
Hubspot: 8 Personalization Trends That Are Reinventing The Buyer’s Journey