S&P 1000 companies rush to launch Spanish-language websites
Spanish-language websites are springing up at an increasing rate. MotionPoint, one of a handful of IT solutions firms competing to help companies create Hispanic or Spanish versions of their English sites, has launched 100 Spanish-language websites so far. MotionPoint clients include retailers Puma, Maidenform, Crutchfield consumer electronics, Sears, BrandsMart USA, as well as the U.S. government and Transportation companies like Amtrak.
An indication of the increasing rate of growth when it comes to targeting the Hispanic market online is seen in the fact that 24 of MotionPoint’s (founded in 2000) clients were added in the past three months. CEO Will Fleming says he expects to have launched 200 Spanish sites by the end of 2006.
Still, most agree that there is a lot of room for improvement. As of 2004, only about 19% of websites had some Spanish component, according to a report by Forrester Research. Most were only partially translated and not easy to maneuver. Although, the exact figure hasn’t been recalculated, Internet solutions firms targeting the Hispanic market report more than doubling their business over the past year.
Lee Vann, President of Captura Group, a Hispanic interactive marketing consulting company, says an increasing number of Pharmaceuticals, Financial Services, CPG and Travel companies are beginning to target Hispanics by providing all or portions of their website offerings in Spanish. According to Vann, Captura Group’s business has doubled over the past year. “We are launching new Hispanic online initiatives every month.”
Vann says the complexity of some of the institutions and their websites can slow the process. “It would be difficult to recreate a financial institution’s entire website in Spanish, but they are beginning to target specific offerings at Hispanics.” MotionPoint’s Will Fleming disagrees. According to Fleming, MotionPoint software is capable of converting even the most complex English-language website.
Despite the growth, Vann says corporate America is still underinvesting in the Hispanic market online. “Until companies make an integrated investment in Hispanic marketing, the development of Spanish-language websites will lag behind,” explains Vann, who says operational considerations often keep companies from creating Hispanic sites. “We see this a lot with auto manufacturers. At the dealership level they don’t have the Spanish-speaking staff, translated forms and signage to deal with the business that would be generated by Spanish-language sites.”
A REVIEW OF NEW SPANISH LANGUAGE WEBSITES
Philip Morris USA’s Quit Assist and Youth Smoking Prevention
http://www.philipmorrisusa.com/es/quitassist/index_flash and http://www.philipmorrisusa.com/es/prc/index.asp .aspare new Spanish sites in addition to Philip Morris’ corporate site (http://www.philipmorrisusa.com/es/home.asp), which has been available in Spanish since April 2005. The sites are designed to raise awareness of the importance of youth smoking prevention in the Latino community and to encourage Latino parents to talk to their kids about not smoking. Online efforts are supported with Spanish brochures and promoted through Hispanic online and offline advertising efforts.
Eli Lilly In early 2005, Eli Lilly launched two Spanish websites for its Depression medication, Cymbalta. One is aimed at Hispanic consumers http://www.cymbalta.com/spanish/index.html while the other is aimed at Hispanic health care professionals http://www.insidecymbalta.com/spanish/index.html
In December 2005, Eli Lilly supplemented their Hispanic online efforts by launching a Spanish version of their Depression education site, DepressionHurts.com http://www.depressionhurts. com/spanish/index.jsp. Through these three Hispanic online programs, Eli Lilly provides Hispanic consumers and Spanish-speaking physicians with information on depression and available treatment options, including information on Eli Lilly medications. Eli Lilly’s interactive agency imc2 developed these sites in conjunction with Captura Group.
Reed Construction Data
Reed Construction Data announced that is has created a Spanish user interface for www.ReedBulletin.com, the online version of Reed Bulletin. “The Hispanic contractor community represents the fastest growing segment within the construction industry,” said Mike Catalonello, COO of Reed Construction Data.
Reed Construction Data provides construction industry information through a suite of print and online references, including Reed Connect, ACP, Reed Bulletin, First Source, and RSMeans, to architects, engineers, contractors, manufacturers, distributors and other professionals in the construction industry.
Casa Latino Real Estate and Mortgage Services, based in Connecticut, launched a new website (www.casalatino.com), available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. The website allows users to search for available properties, review home buyer and home seller information, or order a free credit report.
In February, Amtrak launched a complete Spanish language version of its English-language site, enabling thecompany to offer all of its online services to Spanish-speaking customers in the U.S. and abroad. Craig White, Director of e-commerce communications at Amtrak, says this has been in the works for a while. Amtrak already had Spanish-speaking customer service agents, but Spanishdominant passengers who prefer to do research or buy tickets online were at a loss. Amtrak hired MotionPoint to translate and maintain the Spanish site. White says Amtrak plans to increase print and radio advertising targeting Hispanics this year in order to drive traffic to the new site. Arnold Worldwide will design and manage their ad campaign. “We have field marketing personnel throughout the country who help will make decisions on which local and regional Spanish-language papers we'll buy ads in.”
White says Amtrak will also continue to do event marketing by sponsoring Cinco de Mayo festivals and is considering running internet banner ads on Spanish-language news sites. Amtrak also plans to advertise in Mexico. “Right now the percentage of our business coming from Mexico is negligible, but there has really been no easy way for people living in Mexico to book reservations,” explains White.
Continental recently re-launched its website with expanded Spanish-language offerings, including its online flight-booking tool and rewards system, along with billing, check-out and travel history features. Idiom Technologies - an independent provider of scalable software solutions - helped Continental translate key components of their online reservation system.
MotionPoint, a Boca Raton based firm, is an “application service provider,” or ASP, that offers a subscription software service over the Internet -- in this case software that translates English-language sites into Spanish.
MotionPoint charges a fee for the initial language conversion, then a monthly licensing, maintenance and support fee. Website costs can range from a few thousand dollars up to half a million dollars for multiple sites and multiple languages.
The company deploys human translators who use its proprietary Computer Aided Translation (CAT) tools to professionally translate the English site. The client activates the Spanish site by adding a link to the home page, which allows a customer to view the site in Spanish. Translated pages are delivered to online users by the TransMotion™ server software. The client continues to maintain and update the English language site, and Motion Point maintains and updates the Spanish via its proprietary TransMotion™ tools.
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