May 2012

Fortune 500 Companies that invest in translation report higher revenue

In spite of economic uncertainty, most Fortune 500 companies surveyed by research firm Common Sense Advisory increased their investment in translation in 2011. Did their investment pay off in terms of revenue growth? The answer is a resounding “yes”. Businesses that augmented their translation budget were 1.5 times more likely than their Fortune 500 peers to report an increase in total revenue.

Common Sense Advisory analyzed why Fortune 500 companies translate, their rate of market expansion, the number of languages they deliver, content volumes, and translation budget fluctuation. The results are compiled and analyzed in Common Sense Advisory’s new report “Translation at Fortune 500 Companies.” The study also reveals that increased revenue is not the top driver for translation. Instead, customer service, branding, and market share outrank revenue growth as the top three reasons for translation among the Fortune 500.

Comments Rebecca Ray, senior analyst at Common Sense Advisory: “Our previous research has confirmed that people won’t buy on the web if they can’t understand a company’s website. It has also demonstrated that the incremental investment in translation is minuscule when compared to the revenue that it generates.” She adds, “However, until now, there has been no hard data to demonstrate whether an increase in funding for language services can actually drive additional revenue. Our current findings show that companies that invest in translation do indeed report higher revenues.”

Key findings detailed in “Translation at Fortune 500 Companies” include:

  • Businesses that expanded their translation budgets were 1.5 times more likely than their Fortune 500 peers to report an increase in total revenue.
  • Roughly three-quarters of Fortune 500 firms added new markets - either international or domestic multicultural - over the past year.
  • The businesses registering an increase in content volume were 2.5 times more apt to experience a growth in profits from one year to the next. They were also 1.8 times more likely to report revenue growth.
  • The companies that translated information in order to communicate with and retain their partners were 2.67 times more likely to experience revenue increases. They were also 2.6 times more likely to generate improved profits.
  • Fortune 500 companies that translated to keep up with or to gain an edge over their competitors were 2.04 times more likely to have an increase in profits and 1.27 times more likely to generate augmented earnings per share (EPS). 

“Translation at Fortune 500 Companies” explores and identifies the link between translation wealth and financial health.

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