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

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