Organisations are being advised to listen to consumers now more than ever – that’s why market research translation is crucial.

In the November/December issue of Research World, Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter wrote at length about the importance of innovation and listening to the market in an increasingly competitive industry. However, how do market research companies listen to consumers if they aren’t speaking the same language?

Innovating innovation

Kanter, one of the world’s most respected educators and consultants from Harvard Business School, suggests that although businesses are always under pressure to deliver, the pressure is even greater in the current economic climate. Kanter identifies the global problem as the main contributor to increased pressure, as “the number of things that are unravelling, and the rise of emerging market countries that operate in different ways to developed markets”.

So what is the solution? Kanter suggests that “those who say we can cut ourselves out of decline as opposed to imagining new ways to shape institutions are making a mistake”. The answer, it seems, is innovation. But innovation means more than simply adaptation or acquisition, it means innovative individuals within the company operating innovative business models. Kanter belives that companies need to be completely immersed in innovation, in products and services, internal processes, new kinds of external collaboration and new business models.

More importantly, companies need to listen to modern consumers. Technology-enabled consumers now express their views and opinions across a variety of forums such as blogs and social networks, and Kanter argues that there needs to be more open channels to those at the top. “CEOs could spend all their time arguing with different complainers, and that isn’t the point. The point is to weight negative feedback to know how seriously to take it, and whether it’s part of a real force that’s going to disrupt the company or whether it’s a few disgruntled people”.

Speaking the same language?

Kanter offers wise advice, and we agree that businesses need to be continuously innovative if they are going to keep up with new technology and the rate at which consumers are using it to channel their feedback. However, how do businesses listen to consumers if they can’t overcome the language barrier? Market research translation is sometimes overlooked, but it is crucial for those companies who are serious about understanding global consumers as well as those in their own country.

Here at Language Insight we work with many companies who take advantage of our market research translation expertise to extend their research efforts abroad. We provide translation of interviews (one-to-ones and group interviews), focus groups, reports and summary documents into most world languages. We can even transcribe audio files from recordings of interviews and focus groups to offer your company an all in one solution.

If you would like to know more about market research translation services from Language Insight, please email [email protected] or phone 01772 252333 to speak to a dedicated member of our team.

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