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Importance of Understanding Changing Demographics for Businesses

Do you know who uses your products? Is it the middle-class African-Americans, senior citizens, or recent immigrants?
For quite some time, demographics have been the least of worries for entrepreneurs. However, this has changed due to the changing demographics of our nation. 


The changing demographics of the US and Canada have made it crucial for businesses to adapt new marketing research techniques to be able to learn more about the different categories of consumers, with each group having stark cultural differences and languages from another. No longer is it possible for companies to sweep the markets with the same form of research materials as was done previously. 

Care has to be taken to make sure that the questions being posed to the audience during market research are in no way offensive to them or to their cultural beliefs.

In addition to that, the language barrier between English-based companies and their non-English speaking audience also has to be eliminated. This has led to the translation of research material in the native languages of each of the audience groups.

As the demographic shift continues, there is no denying the fact that more and more companies will realize the importance of translation services and will turn to utilize them in order to win over a greater consumer base, comprising of individuals from all cultures and beliefs.

By asking each demographic segment questions in their own languages, you will be in a better position to understand their needs and wants and expectations, allowing you to develop products and services that actually solve their problems – and ultimately fuel your growth by increasing your bottom line.

While segmented market research is crucial for larger corporations whose operations are spread across the country, small businesses are not exempted from this. Small businesses and startups are normally geographically restricted in the sense that they serve communities over a specified geographical area. This makes it important for them to gain a clear understanding of who their target audience is, and what they want, so that the business can serve them accordingly.

Keeping these trends in mind, it can be accurately said that such changes are bound to disrupt many businesses while unlocking opportunities or a few others. An excellent lesson can be learned from Antonio Swad, who moved from Ohio to Dallas in 1986 to open up a traditional pizzeria. He soon realized that his business was located in an area that had a huge concentration of Hispanic consumers. As a result, he changed his restaurant’s name to Pizza Patron and began targeting and marketing to the Latino community.

The same changes await many of the businesses out there who want to remove the cap from the bottle that is hindering their growth by getting their market research materials adjusted and translated to target their respective communities.

The solution lies in utilizing the services of a top-notch translation firm, LionBridge, to help you scale new heights. To learn more about their services and how they can help you achieve your goals, visit www.lionbridge.com.
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Translation:Cost Or Opportunity – Lessons From The Journeys Of Others

Grow your business by translating your content

In todays post I try to address the question that some are always faced with, is translation a cost or an opportunity? How about we start to address the  answer by asking you to go to your favorite global website and what do you see? It allows you the option of translation. Moving into new markets, the decision to translate the content on a website is a tricky one. All the complexities can be simplified down to one question – is translation opportunity or a cost? The answer – it is both. In most cases though, companies tend to think about costs and end up losing the opportunities.

Imagine catching a big opportunity

The presentations at Localized World 2014 revealed to us how North American companies take a different approach to it than the South American or UK ones. They invest in translation as a way to succeed in an overseas market and not wait for success before investing. Companies should use techniques like ROI and the experience of others before making this decision, since waiting for success will limit your success.

Companies aiming to trot the globe accept the need for translation, but few companies recognize that being online is a type of going global. AccuWeather translates into 56 languages, why? It is because over 80% of its hits are outside the US. Even the new software distribution methods like clouds and direct downloads etc. call for an increased scope of translation.

A dilemma in today’s world is that companies are aware of the importance of translation but just not prepared to pay the bucks for it. They tend to rely on machine translations (MT), while MT can be used for user-generated content and listings. When it comes to organizational content, MT comes up short in complexity and quality. Human or computer aided translation is the answer for high quality translation but while most companies recognize the importance, they use MT to cut costs as much as possible.

MT though can botch up translations – software localization for example is a complex task requiring skills such as software engineering and project management among others. At the recent Localization World, a delegation announced a software capable of catching machine translated data passed by LSPs. Even Google shunned MT by revealing it doesn’t use its Google translate engine to translate software because it is insufficient to handle software complexities.

Does My Industry Translate? Which Industry is Likely To Use Translation?

Translation as a phenomenon is above the classifications of industries. Any industry with consumer contact is likely to require translation. A defense focused LSP had steep decline in translation revenues after the US forces withdrew from the Middle East. Such examples highlight the troubles of an industry based approach and an over reliance on a candidate.

Countries such as Spain and France require that the companies operating within them should translate their content for the local public. The Constitution of South Africa is an advocate of right of education in one’s home language. In practice, this is a cumbersome task. Translation of textbooks requires significant translation costs and complexity. Usually high quality content requires specialized language translators. Specialized language translation for African content isn’t seen as a lucrative investment.

Conclusion

Translation decisions should not be taken on costs but on ROI calculations. Translation is not only used as a means to fulfill a need but also as an outlet to create a newer market. To see translation as an opportunity, an upheaval in approach is needed. Whenever a company plans an international expansion, advertisement and infrastructure expenses are counted as necessities and it’s time translation is seen in the same category.

Until next time, if you have any suggestions, comments  or if you like to start a conversation with me, please don’t hesitate to email me directly: rayoub@lexitech.ca

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Why Companies Don’t Market to Existing Clients?

There are hordes of studies that reveal that the cost of acquiring a new customer is twice that of retaining an old one. With so many of such studies backing up this statement, why is it that many organizations fail to retain customers?

How is it possible that when metrics show an organization’s capability of generating around $400 million revenue, then why does it fail to capitalize on this advantage?

There are various inconsistencies across different departments of a typical firm, and if these are addressed appropriately and in a timely manner, then they can significantly increase their bottom line.

Data Governance Plan – Rather the lack of it

Most companies do not understand their customer. Their data accumulates throughout the organization, while their CRM systems become chock-full of duplicates. The finance department, with its databases of procurement contracts provides them no overview of the customer.

It is important to understand what the customer does – particularly when the client itself is a company. An ignorance regarding the customer reveals the organization’s lack of interest in its customers.

A lot of information and systems exist in today’s modern enterprise, and things can get quite messed up when it comes to the mounting quantities of data.

This is precisely why an organization needs to clearly define its data standards to clarify:

  • Which individuals can access data, and to what extent they can control it
  • Which systems need integration to reveal complete information regarding the customer
  • What their data hygiene process is

The above few points are just the tip of the iceberg that an organization needs to consider to maximize usefulness of data. Without having proper data governance, a company would not be able to benefit from the data.

Reduced Focus on Demand Generation

When the topic of ‘demand generation’ is mentioned, a lot of marketers think that it refers to drawing in new business. There is no denying the fact that getting new business should be the primary focus of demand generation, it shouldn’t be the only focus.

Similar principles of demand generation are applicable in any sales situation: engagement, nurturing, and converting the customer. When selling something to an existing client, a company simply aims to expand their relationship with them. This is easy as compared to trying to get a first time customer to buy.

The potential revenue that can be generated from current clients is huge; and companies should create programs that aim at strengthening the current relationship further. This will lead to a significant increase in customer retention rates and a major enhancement of the customer lifetime value.

Insufficient Analytics

While companies have data spread out throughout its various departments, making it almost impossible for them to market to their target audience effectively. However, even those organizations have some semblance of control over their data lack the analytics required to market in an effectual manner.

The only way to solve this is by employing powerful analytics tools that are widely available. The use of these tools will bridge the gap between marketing and sales that is often found in many companies, resulting in reduced productivity and losses.

With that said, data analysis should be the top priority of organizations wishing to take their bottom line to new heights.

If this topic of interest to you, please contact me to start the conversation with me on how to help you harvest more leads/revenue from your existing clients

Until next time, of course feel free to share and distribute this post as you wish

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Strategic Accounts Management

5 STEPS TO SUCCESSFULLY MANAGE STRATEGIC ACCOUNTS

It is a well-known fact that almost 80 percent of all the profit of most organizations comes from only a twenty-percent of their customer base. Managers and decision makers within these organizations do not have a clear understanding of who these customers really are. Without knowing this, they cannot properly apportion the resources to such customers nor can they have their sales team to track such profitable accounts.
If a particular organization gains an understanding of how to properly manage such lucrative accounts, they can have their profits rise significantly. Read on to find out the five steps to accomplish this.

STEP 1: CREATE A STANDARDIZED SELECTION CRITERIA

A lack of having an objective way of selecting accounts is among one of the leading causes that limit the profitability of a company. The sales teams do not know which accounts to include and which ones to leave out.
Creating a certain selection criteria is an ideal way of weighing the importance of a certain account. A minimum of 5 to 7 criteria should be established and reviewed for each account. This method will prevent any unwanted political pressure or influence to provide ‘special treatment’ to accounts that don’t really deserve it.

STEP 2: OUTLINE AN ACCOUNT PLAN

After an account has been selected based on the established criteria, a well-laid out strategy is necessary to encourage mutual growth. Instead of reviewing the account on the basis of the transaction flow (for the next 3 to 12 months), a strategic account plan focuses on the client’s growth over an extended period – for the next 2 to 3 years.
This will enable your organization to become a true strategic partner and will provide real value for your customers.

STEP 3: ALLOT DUE RESOURCES

Those accounts that provide the most provide deserve to have a lot of attention and sufficient resources. A well-crafted account plan will prevent any conflicts in terms of resource allocation and will enable your company to be upbeat in the way it assigns limited resources to competitive accounts.

STEP 4: IMPLEMENT THE PLAN

A plan is developed to be implemented, and not to be shelved. Shelving a plan is no less than a huge blunder. Account plans are normally developed in Excel, Word, or Microsoft PowerPoint format; even though they may look visually appealing, they typically do not allow for accountability.
Success is directly proportional to the accountability of your sales people. To review the impact of the plan once it is implemented, cadence reporting must be set up to analyze the progress.

STEP 5: OBSERVE THE PERFORMANCE

Even though it is crucial to make sure that your company is performing its job properly regarding the key account; it is equally important to make sure that the key account is meeting your company’s needs. Even though special treatment of an account is no less than a privilege, in some cases some accounts simply do not perform on par with the level that is acceptable. If this happens, you will have to apply corrective action or even an exit review.
Until next time, if you like to chat with me please feel free to contact me.
Robin
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