Translation market research: how it can help your company

The Estonian Association of Translation Companies launches a research program targeting language services market in the Baltics.
For translation companies in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania this is an opportunity to get market data simply by sharing their business information (take the survey). Here are a few ways how you can use the findings from the research:
 

Compare pricing and use this benchmark in customer negotiations

When you talk to customers about prices, “expensive” and “cheap” are relative to their previous experience. If your potential client called up 2-3 firms with low prices before contacting you, they will expect an even lower price regardless of quality. Once you put research data on the negotiations table and provide a new anchor point, the conversation instantly pivots towards tiers, such as “mid-market” or “upmarket” and added value.
 

Keep profitability in check and set KPIs

Profitability is essential for mid-sized companies that do not have outside investments. Knowing how your firm is doing compared to others provides insight on the market situation and can help with many crucial decisions, such as investments in infrastructure and marketing, new personnel.
 
Comparatively, low profitability might help you start a discussion with the staff and look for ways to optimise together.
 

Identify prospective technology

It is useful to know which management systems and translation memory tools are popular in your region. When investing in new technology, it is practical to choose brands that your potential freelance translators and future employees are familiar with.
 

Get featured on top list of leading providers

Being included into rankings is extremely beneficial. Recognition as one of the leading vendors in your peer group differentiates your company from 90% of the competition.
 
It helps that rankings are independent, that the information is based on actual data, and that it comes from a credible, neutral source. Rankings serve the same purpose as ISO certification and industry awards. They are a beacon that instantly convinces a potential customer, translator, or employee that your company can be trusted.
 
Extra visibility from being in the top list brings partnership opportunities. It can attract investors, technology firms looking to integrate, or even government bodies seeking an expert opinion.
 

Incorporate market data into employee training

When selling services, employee expertise is key to winning clients. Managers who are well-versed in the market trends and dynamics can better differentiate from the competition, pinpoint their company’s niche, and convince the potential buyer that he or she is dealing with professionals.
 
Understanding the market positions also provides a sport-like experience to employees. Striving for peer leadership and knowing you are on the right track is a powerful motivator both to sales and project managers.
 

Contribute to industry advocacy

Governments can help businesses or harm them; industry advocacy steers the officials’ hands in the right direction.
 
Advocacy is most effective when based on facts and figures. Therefore, associations seek to research the market. In the UK the ATC association advocated for better government procurement using market data: they argued that a decision taken upstairs would affect a whole industry with more than 12 000 full-time people employed and a billion pounds in annual revenues.
 
Together with conferences, associations and peer groups, research is a part of the infrastructure that makes the services market mature and transparent: a place where performance and best practices are rewarded and shared.
 
You can take part in the Baltic translation market research project by sharing your company data with the research organisation. Findings will be presented at the AETC Conference on 19 October in Tallinn.
 
 
  18 September 2017
Konstantin Dranch
Founder and localisation industry researcher at Translationrating.com


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Management Board members

  • Inge Rätsep

    Inge Rätsep

    Interlex OÜ, juhatuse liige / member of the board

    Inge has been active in the field of translation since 1999. She is the owner and management board member of Interlex Translations. Inge studied Estonian language and literature at the University of Tartu, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in media and public relations. She initiated the founding of the Association of Estonian Translation Companies. In addition to the management board of ETBL, Inge has also been a member of the management board of EUATC (European Union Association of Translation Companies) since 2015. Throughout her career in the area of translation she has stood for the development of the Estonian translation market, written articles on translation in the media and appeared at conferences in Estonia and abroad.

  • Kristiina Püttsepp

    Kristiina Püttsepp

    Luisa Tõlkebüroo OÜ, juhatuse liige / member of the board

    Kristiina joined Luisa Translation Agency 23 years ago and is one of its managers and shareholders. Luisa was one of the founders of the Association of Estonian Translation Companies. This is the third time Kristiina has been a member of the association’s management board. She has also been involved in the running of the four conferences organised by the association. Kristiina is a graduate of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Tartu. Since 2016 she has dedicated herself to coach and supervisor studies at the International Coaching and Supervision Institute in Tallinn in addition to her work at Luisa.

  • Kerli Visso

    Kerli Visso

    TILDE EESTI OÜ, VANEMPROJEKTIJUHT / SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER

    Kerli is an Estonian philologist, but she has also studied economics and IT. Kerli has been active in translation/localization world for more than 10 years since she joined Tilde in 2007. Here, in addition to being a long-time project manager, she has also been engaged in sales and worked as an editor. In the past few years, Kerli has been a senior project manager which includes also helping and coaching other project managers, recruiting, and advising the managing director on issues of importance to the company.