The Comtec Blog
Follow the latest trends in international business, learn more about the managing your brand abroad and the technology available to help companies communicate globally via our blog.
As more and more UK businesses branch out overseas, Comtec continues to expand to keep up with the growing demand for translation services.
Exporting has never been higher on the UK business agenda, and all the signs are that 2013 will be an even more successful year for the UK export economy.
Thirty-nine per cent of UK exporters reported increased sales in the third quarter of 2012 according to figures recently released by the British Chamber of Commerce, and underlying exports in the UK grew 4.1% in the same period. Furthermore, countries such as Russia and Poland are expecting UK imports to grow 7% a year during 2013-2015, meaning now is the time to consider exporting.
We have witnessed this growth in exporting first-hand through working alongside one of our clients, UKIP Media & Events, a leading publishing and exhibitions business. Working closely with the company, Comtec provides marketing translation services to support promotion of UKIP’s trade shows and exhibitions worldwide.
“We produce, promote, and host highly successful, first-class conferences and exhibitions with a clear focus on expanding knowledge, sharing opinions, ideas and visions, while maximising networking opportunities and creating strategic business relationships. It’s absolutely vital that our global audience receives the correct information in a language they understand. Comtec is fully entrusted as our sole translation service provider, and continues to provide us with a second-to-none service,” said Lewis Hopkins, Deputy Production Manager, UKIP Media and Events.
In order to keep up with growing demand, we have expanded our team with the addition of a new Business Development Executive, Laurence Rickards. His appointment followed that of two new account managers, Marzena Kubiak and James Brown, who joined our team earlier in 2012. Marzena and James now manage a wide variety of projects for our UK client base, including translation of technical manuals and localisation of websites into a variety of languages.
To ensure the highest quality service, Comtec also continues to invest in the latest technology, including further investment in translation memory software. The software enables Comtec to store all previously translated content securely and confidentially for their clients to be accessed for further projects, thereby reducing costs and ensuring faster turnaround times. We have also recently launched a new review tool to allow local market teams to view translated content on-line and provide feedback quickly and easily.
To find out more about our translation services and discover the various ways we can help you achieve exporting success, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01926 335 681.
Are you considering the Russian market as an opportunity for expansion? Are you making the most of your website to drive sales in the market?
With 40% of Russia’s population using the Internet, 500% growth in imports of consumer goods into the country over the last decade and the popularity of on-line shopping increasing every year, discover how you can reach Russian audiences online and increase your export potential. Read more…
Are you considering the Russian market as an opportunity for expansion? Are you making the most of your website to drive sales in the market? Find out about trends around social media, e-commerce and general on-line buying behaviour in the Russian market to help make the most of your website to drive sales.
Growth sectors in the Russian market
The Russian economy is the ninth largest in the world and still developing with an economy valued at about £1.1 trillion. The country's main imports include machinery, plastics, medicines, iron and steel, foods, and consumer goods. In fact imports of consumer goods have risen by nearly 500% since 2000 and account for around 49% of consumer goods sold in Russia.
More Russian consumers going on-line
With around 70 million internet users in the country, these users are spending on average around 22 hours online per month, with roughly 65% of users logging on once a day or more. Internet usage is growing fast – it is predicted that 80 million Russians will be online by the end of this year. This is supported by the staggering growth of Russian as a language on the internet. According to recent research from the Common Sense Advisory, Russian is the fastest growing language on-line alongside Arabic (Common Sense Advisory, ROI Lifts the Long Tail of Languages in 2012 by Benjamin B. Sargent, 2012).
The former Soviet Union is now the largest online community in Europe, after an incredible 14% growth in unique users during 2011 took it above Germany. What is particularly interesting about the surge in new users is that 90% of them are located outside of the country’s major cities, indicating plenty more potential for growth.
On-line shopping on the up
In Russia, the internet is still very much in its early stages and as such e-commerce has not penetrated the market as much as in other major countries. Nevertheless, the online shopping market is growing by 16% yearly, and will continue to increase as more businesses and individuals become comfortable with online buying.
It is predicted that Russia’s share of the online advertising market will increase by at least 28% in the next three years and e-commerce rates are expected to double. These figures are an excellent indication of a country on the verge of significant technological advancements with numerous opportunities for companies to establish early competitive advantage in a fast growing market.
Yandex - a local search engine dominates Internet Use
In Russia, Google is dwarfed by a local search engine, Yandex. Yandex is actually a major player in the internet industry and is the only comprehensive, global search engine other than Google and Microsoft’s Bing. Yandex has a 60% market share in Russia and is used by 19 million Russians every day. Yandex has 47.1 million unique visitors per month and is the homepage of 44% of Russian internet users. It is Russia’s largest internet business, with $622 million revenues reported in 2011.
Of particular interest to businesses is the fact that Yandex is Russia’s leading online advertising platform, with a 51% share of the online advertising market – and more than 270,000 advertisers in 2011. By adapting your website SEO to suit the languages and phrases of the Russian popularity, you can build an online presence for your brand within the country.
Make the most of Social Media to engage with Russian consumers
According to statistics, Russians are ‘the most avid social media junkies in the world’. Around 82% of online users have their own social network account, and on average they spend nearly 10 hours a month on social media.
Facebook does not quite have the impact that it holds elsewhere, but it is growing rapidly, with well over one million new signups between October 2011 and April 2012. Facebook’s main competitor is the locally based giant vKontakte which has over 23 million active users and is the second most frequently visited website in Russia.
Odnoklassniki is another popular social network, and also has more Russian users than Facebook. Twitter’s popularity in the country is minimal, but YouTube is fairly popular, with the top five most popular channels amassing over 2 billion views between them. In order to engage with Russian markets, you need to be seen using these channels and doing a lot more activity than just using Facebook and Twitter.
Using Russian Website Localisation Services to Target Internet Users
However, in order to reach prospective Russian buyers, you need to be speaking their language – quite literally. Research has shown that the majority of customers will only buy from websites that have information presented in their own language. The higher the value of the product or service, the more important this becomes.
Website translation, also referred to as website localisation involves adapting your existing website to suit the local language and culture of a new market. More than just translation of the content, it also takes into account specific terminology used in the market together with the relevant style. The project may also involve changing images, dates, addresses and currencies to suit the target audience.
Don’t forget about the keywords. Carrying out research into the keywords is also important before starting translation, in order to come up with suitable Russian search terms. These terms can then be incorporated into the content. Even if your website has been localised, it won’t be very effective if customers can’t find it!
Of course, it is not just through appropriate web content that you can engage with Russian markets but through social media too. Russia has a heavy social media presence and the population will be using much more than the main platforms we use in the UK. This means you also need to understand the social networking websites used by potential Russian customers.
You may find our guides helpful in thinking about translation requirements. Click here to download one of our guides.
If you have any questions about how to approach communication requirements for new markets or would like information on our Russian translation services, please contact a member of our team on + 44 (0) 1926 335 681 or email email@example.com.
What can UK businesses learn from German Mittelstand companies?
- A cautious but steady approach to business
- A strong emphasis on long-term profitability and steady growth from retained profits
- A close working relationship with universities
- Substantial investment in research and development
- Close attention paid to supply chains
- A focus on developing sophisticated, innovative goods that cannot by easily replicated
- A determination to open up new markets
Making The Most of Your Website to Drive Sales Overseas: Social Media, E-Commerce and Online Buying Behaviour in the German Market
Germany has the second highest internet penetration rate in the world
A booming German e-commerce market
Search engines of choice in Germany
Social media usage in Germany
Business based social networking in Germany
Setting up a German website
Why expanding into the German market could boost your business
Germany has long been recognised as one of the world's economic powerhouses, and, despite the global recession, the country's economy is still incredibly strong. Germany currently has an annual economic value of over £2 trillion, making it the largest national economy in Europe today and the fourth-largest in the world.
As a driver, innovator, and beneficiary of an ever-more globalised economy, Germany is the third largest exporter in the world and is firmly open for business with overseas companies. In 2011, Germany's imports had a value of around £750 billion, with around 5%, or £37.5 billion's worth, coming from the UK. Some of the country's main imports include machinery, computers, foodstuffs and textiles.
With a wealth of potential new customers in one of the strongest economies in the world, what are the best ways to engage with prospective German buyers and why might you consider setting up a German website to help you communicate more effectively with them?
As the leading European producer of cars since the 1960s, Germany currently ranks as the fourth biggest car manufacturing nation in the world, with over five million German cars produced in 2009 alone. Other strong manufacturing sectors include construction, electronics, chemicals and machinery production.
The services sector is also one of the country's most valuable. Accounting for around 70% of GDP in 2008, services such as banking, transport and entertainment employ a huge share of the German labour force. These services are driven partially by Germany's excellent tourism industry – the country is currently the eighth most popular for international tourists, with over 28 million people visiting in 2011.
Key potential sectors for UK exporters to Germany include: (Source: UK Trade & Investment)
- Consumer goods
- Construction vehicles and automotive components
- Petroleum and gas
- Creative industries
Germany – the word leader in green technologies and still growing
Germany has been the world leader of green technologies for some time, but plenty of further growth is still predicted. New laws and mandates are frequently being introduced, calling for increased use of renewable energies and eco-friendly products. The country is set to double its sources of renewable energy to 30% over the next 20 years, and by 2020 it is predicted that Germany’s green technologies industry will be more valuable than its automotive sector! For green companies in the UK looking for an international presence, Germany could be the most promising market to enter.
Thriving Business Regions
Many different cities and areas within Germany have a large impact on its economy. In fact, over the last 50 years a number of German cities have become some of the wealthiest and most economically viable places in Europe. Not only does Germany have a large number of well-known cities within its borders but its overall economic outlook and work ethic has led to a fairly even distribution of industry and economy between areas. While, unsurprisingly, major cities such as Berlin, Munich and Hamburg have thriving business sectors, so do smaller settlements such as Leipzig and Bremen. And with the nickname, ‘Mainhattan’, Frankfurt is the country’s obvious financial epicentre, playing home to both the German Federal and European Central Banks, and XETRA, one of Europe’s largest stock markets.
Government support for UK exporters to Germany
If Germany is a potential target market for your business, there is a wide range of support available to get started, including government funding to undertake research and meet potential customers. Go to www.ukti.gov.uk for more information.
Communicating effectively with your German customers
You will of course need to think about how to communicate effectively with your potential customers, which may mean translating technical content such as manuals and catalogues or marketing material, including websites and print material.
Consider a few facts:
- Business research shows people are four times more likely to purchase from a website that communicates in their own language
- Customers who buy online will pay more for a product if they can buy it in their own language
You may find our guides helpful in thinking about translation requirements. Click here to download one of our guides.
If you have any questions about how to approach communication requirements for new markets or would like information on our German translation services, please contact a member of our team on + 44 (0) 1926 335 681 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.