Both Sides Now: Ya los Dos Lados

A Q&A with Transperfect’s CEO Liz Elting and Motionpoint’s VP of Sales Ben Field

From what sector are you seeing the most demand for Spanish-language website adaptation?

Liz Elting: We receive localization requests from virtually every industry as many companies are looking to expand their global outreach. Primarily, though, we see the greatest demand from global pharmaceutical companies, consumer goods retailers, financial services firms, and every sector of the travel and tourism industry.

Ben Field: Given the large, growing Hispanic market, were seen significant demand from a wide range of industries, from travel/hospitality, to retail and e-commerce, from health care to manufacturing and consumer products and even government.

What are companies doing in terms of SEO for their Spanish-language sites?

LE: SEO is common best-practice for a corporation's web presence regardless of language.  Making certain that meta tags or other search terms are localized appropriately is an important aspect of improving the visibility of your global website, and we’re seeing that proper language-specific glossary creation and key term research are being performed with increasing success.

BF: Most companies are currently doing very little in terms of as SEO for their Spanish-language sites.  Unlike SEO for English-language sites, which is a fairly well-developed market, as SEO for Spanish-language sites is still in its infancy.  This is an example of an area where early adopters of Spanish-language websites can generate higher ROI with their equivalent efforts on their English site.

How much would you estimate the website translation business to be worth annually—Spanish and other?

LE: With the convergence of various media types in recent years, it’s very hard to segment out what translations are performed specifically for the web versus other content. We’ve seen estimates that peg the size of the entire translation and localization industry at between $6 billion and $8 billion per year.  

BF: Several analysts firms have estimated website translation to be a market that will reach eight to $10 billion per year.

At what rate would you say this sector is growing?

LE: It’s very hard to say as there’s little independently verified research in this sector. But the industry is definitely growing faster than most other business services. Much of this can be accounted for by the fact that many localization clients are first time buyers of the service. The combination of an ever-shrinking global economy with innovations in best practice localization technology will only increase this number over time.

BF: It's clear the sector is growing rapidly, though it's difficult to pinpoint at precisely what rate.  I can share that MotionPoint is tripling year over year.

What % of Fortune 500 companies would you say have Spanish-language websites?
 
LE: While we haven't done the research to give you any precise statistics, I would estimate that less than 50% of Fortune 500 have invested in fully bilingual Spanish web presence.

BF: Less than 5% of Fortune 500 companies have Spanish-language websites.  The same figure applies for Fortune 100 companies.

What portion of Spanish anguage market share do you feel you have?

LE: Right now we are among the industry leaders in providing Spanish-language websites, especially in the area of travel and tourism, consumer banking, and consumer products. 

How much did you do in billing s in 2006-07? 

LE: We billed $113 million for the year and are projecting $150 million for 2007.

BF: As a privately held company, MotionPoint does not disclose its financial information.

Who are your major clients? 

LE: Our major accounts include Quintiles Transnational, Hilton Hotels, adidas, HP, and HSBC.

BF: MotionPoint has an installed base of 250 plus website translation clients.  These clients represent a broad range of industries and government.  Many are listed on MotionPoint website, available at www.MotionPoint.com.

Related Articles: March 05, 2007: New Website Launches


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