Irish exporters forecast demand for SEM, website translation

28 Nov 2011

Irish organisations operating overseas will be demanding multilingual website translation and search engine marketing (SEM) more and more, research released by global communications provider Cipherion Translations suggests.

The research of Cipherion’s client base in technology, life sciences, tourism, hospitality, exporting and multinational sectors, reveals that 58pc of companies will require website translation services in the next year and 35pc will be rolling out international SEM and search engine optimisation campaigns.

French, German, Spanish and Italian will remain the focus for exporters and multinationals, with more than 70pc of respondents indicating a future requirement for these languages, the research also shows. This finding is in line with that from the UK’s Centre for Retail Research, which indicates more than 85pc of European online retailing spend of €202.9bn will be made by non-English speaking consumers in 2011.

The growth of online spend

Mark Rodgers, founder and CEO of Cipherion, said despite the current economic turbulence, online spend in these markets is growing by double digits, with French and German consumers already spending about €80bn online.

“There is plenty of room for new market entrants,” Rodgers said. “In the press, there is some hype about the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries. However, in reality, the four largest European markets (France, German, Spain and Italy) still represent the greatest opportunity for most Irish exporters.”

Rodgers, who also heads up the Irish Internet Association’s (IIA) International Strategy Working Group, believes many Irish organisations are missing out on lucrative, international business opportunities by failing to have their websites and critical marketing collateral available in different languages.

“Many Irish business owners have yet to fully grasp the concept that their websites are the gateway to a vast global market and provide one of the most powerful tools to help them communicate and sell to this non English-speaking marketplace,” he said.

Joan Mulvihill, CEO of the Irish Internet Association, agrees.

“We see a great appetite for internationalisation amongst our members,” Mulvihill said.