Growth of the market research industry

The market research industry has managed to grow tremendously over just these past five years alone thanks to rapid innovation. According to a report published by Fish Research Inc., the international market research industry is worth over $45 billion in revenue annually. Though Europe and the US currently lead the industry other countries like Russia, India, China and Brazil are experiencing a boom of their own for mainly market research related services. According to the American industry for business intelligence, the market research and polling industry in America will be worth $31 billion by the year 2020.

Companies like Kantar, Ipsos, GfK, and Nielsen are four of the market search services that are still on the top of the food chain. The Kantar Group is headquartered in London and has 30,000 employees working across 100 countries. Similarly, Nielsen is ranked no. 1 amongst 50 market research firms and generates in excess of $6.2 billion in revenue each year. The Germany based GfK, is ranked no. 4 globally, in 2014 the company earned €1.5 Billion. Ipsos is a French company publicly traded on the Paris Stock exchange ever since 1999. It has offices in 88 countries and employs 16,530 people.

How market research is conducted across dozens of countries?

Market Research Firms are without a doubt one of the largest employers of in-house translators as well as outsourcing translations. Surveys, studies, statics, and questionnaires all need to be translated into the local language for which they are studying. Not to mention the fact that a lot of the material has to be localized keeping local sensitivities in mind.

One of the tools that translators working for market research firms use is technical glossaries in multiple languages. These large glossaries are available electronically and can help a translator quickly get information about technical terms so that a document can be translated accurately. Technical glossaries will include industry-specific terms, language slang, acronyms, etc.

The translation process

Generally speaking, market research firms use a multi-step translation process. So, each document that needs to be for instance translated from English to Spanish will go through multiple stages. The first stage is almost always a rough translation done by a native English speaker with Spanish as their second language.

The second pass is handed over to a Spanish speaker who has local knowledge and sometimes knowledge of the industry for which the document is intended for like the automotive industry. Once the native Spanish speaker is done with the document it is finally edited by a senior editor. At this point the document has been localized, technically changed to reflect the industry and only requires a final approval.

Many market research companies maintain a database of translated questionnaires and other market research documents which were previously translated. This database allows for quicker translations and enables a new translator to get a feel for how these documents are translated. It also makes it easier to develop new localized polls without having it translated from a source language multiple times.