Majority of Marketers Aren't Targeting Multilingual Audiences

Nov 05, 2015

Smartling, a translation management software company, polled more than 150 marketers at INBOUND 2015 to learn where their organizations stand in terms of targeting prospects and customers who don't speak English as their native language - both in and outside of the U.S.

Every savvy marketer knows that personalized content and messaging are crucial to engaging prospects and customers, yet a low percentage of the marketers surveyed are dedicating any dollars to campaigns tailored for multilingual audiences. Slightly less than half (48%) of the marketers surveyed have no budget at all for translation outside of the U.S. Additionally, 59% of respondents - nearly three out of five - do not have any money allocated to reach multilingual audiences within the U.S.

Smartling's research revealed that few organizations surveyed are conducting business outside of U.S. borders today, despite the fact that 13 languages together cover 90% of today's online spending power. Those who do serve overseas markets are not focused on creating native brand experiences for prospects and customers.

Almost half of respondents (49.34%) report that five percent or less of their customer base is located outside of the U.S. Of the 105 respondents who are marketing to multilingual audiences in some way, only 15% are very confident that their messages are resonating with them.

Over half of all respondents (52.6%) are either not translating at all or are only translating into one language. The majority of marketers (86%) admit that they generate U.S.-centric content and then translate it for a particular market. Only 14% of organizations create original content, and employ local/native marketers in the countries where they are seeking to expand their business.

Among the companies that are translating, a few still rely on machine translation (8.6%); many rely on human translators (42.1%); 14.5% use both; and others are beginning to use translation management software (4.6%).