If you own or manage a business and are planning on expanding into the global marketplace, one of the first steps in that process should be to conduct multilingual market research surveys. This type of tool can help you explore the opportunities that exist and develop a marketing plan that will make the most of those opportunities. Surveys, in one form or another, have been around for centuries. This age-old tool is an effective way for management to determine what kind of market exists for their product or service. Back in the day, surveys were printed on paper and delivered to customers via “snail mail,” while business owners sat back and hoped to receive a decent number of responses. Unfortunately, most people didn’t take the time to fill out the answers to survey questions and go to the trouble of mailing them back. As a result, business managers often had to base their marketing strategies on a meager number of survey responses, all the while hoping that those were representative of the larger marketplace. But today, thanks to the digital world in which we live, all that has changed.

Modern-day market surveys are conducted online. As a result, it’s much easier for potential clients and customers to respond, which increases the number of survey responses received by business managers. That means that today’s surveys are, by in large, a much more accurate representation of the existing market for a product or service.

If you own or manage a business within the US, it’s easy to imagine that the whole world speaks English. But the truth is that the vast majority of the world’s population speaks some other language, and in order to expand your business into the global marketplace, you’ll need to begin by creating a multilingual market research survey. Here are the basic steps involved in creating such a survey for your business:

  1. Identify your target audience. The best way to do this is to develop a customer profile that includes demographic information, the customer’s likes and dislikes, purchasing history, etc. You can simplify this process by using any one of the many customer profile templates available online.
  2. Using your customer profile template, create a set of questions that will enable you to determine whether or not your product or service will be of interest to the customer. Be sure to include questions that focus on the respondents’ habits, buying history, etc. – all of which should relate to the product or service you’ll be selling.
  3. Review your survey questions, taking into account the cultural differences of your target audience. Remember that your new global marketplace includes people from a wide variety of cultures and religious backgrounds. Make sure your questions are appropriate and do not offend your potential customers.
  4. Have your survey translated by experienced, professional translators. You probably already know which countries you plan to do business in, so find experienced translators that are fluent in those languages – preferably native speakers. The easiest way to do that is to contact a reputable translation company; one that can match your needs with talented linguists.

Multilingual market research surveys offer an excellent way to assess the global marketplace potential for your product or service. But remember that the “multilingual” aspect of your business doesn’t stop with those initial surveys; in fact, it’s just the beginning. To successfully compete with other companies in your industry, you’ll need to ensure that every aspect of your product or service is available in the languages of the customers who’ll be buying those products. That includes packaging, instructions, warranties, customer support, online help, etc. The same considerations you made in relation to cultural differences for your survey will need to be made with regard to every aspect of your product or service from this point forward. This will most definitely require some effort, but the end result for your business will be success in the global marketplace.