Understanding evolving trends in global languages and how they are used online can give your business a vital insight into trends in your target markets and demographics.
Recent research has highlighted some of the most significant recent developments in the top 100 online languages, providing key findings that could help you plan future investment and expansion into promising destinations around the world.
Getting Language Right
Given the importance of relevant, personalised communications in the modern marketing landscape, it’s vital that businesses are able to use language in the right way to engage with their target audience. This is particularly relevant in the digital environments where so many of today’s consumers spend so much of their time.
The challenges inherent in planning digital language strategies were highlighted in the Digital Opportunity: 2019 report from CSA Research, which noted that ever-expanding internet penetration and GDP growth in certain regions are driving up levels of online economic activity. More than four billion people are expected to contribute to the digital economy this year through page views, clicks, transactions, and opinions.
As far as language is concerned, businesses are faced with the challenge of deriving useful conclusions from data that is often “raw, scattered, shallow, or otherwise incomplete,” according to CSA Research.
“The lack of actionable data leads to situations in which executives decide on market entry based on gut feel, web analytics, or a combination of other factors that may deliver poor results,” the firm added.
If you are making critical business decisions – related to your level of investment in a new international market, or localising your marketing content to connect with new audiences, for instance – it certainly helps to acquire as much information as possible about how certain groups of customers are behaving and communicating online.
Trends in Tier-One Languages
Some of the most interesting findings in the CSA Research study relate to recent trends in the use of tier-one and tier-two languages online.
Tier-one languages – the likes of English, German, Chinese, Japanese and Arabic – account for 90 per cent of online GDP (eGDP), but many of the individual languages in this group have been steadily losing market share.
In 2015, only 11 languages accounted for 90 per cent of eGDP, but in 2019, 15 languages make up this proportion of the online economy. The expectation is that this number will increase as “languages with many speakers start to reach their potential”, meaning “the bar is constantly rising for global enterprises”.
Tier one will be the primary focus for many businesses using global communications to support their expansion into new markets. The countries where these languages are most widely spoken have key benefits such as well-established IT infrastructure and digital support.
According to CSA Research, “these should be your first choice as you hunt for global revenue”.
“They offer solid returns and human and technical resources are easy to find,” the firm said. “They also represent markets accustomed to localisation – ones you cannot compete in without a solid strategy.”
The Growth of Tier Two
While tier-one languages are still very much the dominant force online, there has been notable growth in tier two, which includes several languages spoken in Eastern Europe and Asia, such as Polish, Romanian, Czech, Indonesian, Hindi and Thai.
One of the most significant current trends in tier two is the rise of Hindi and Tamil, which have grown at a more rapid rate than the category as a whole. This is representative of the economic and technological progress underway in countries such as India and Bangladesh, both of which have been listed among the Asian nations set to sustain growth rates of around seven per cent in the 2020s.
India’s smartphone market continued to show strong growth at the start of 2019, highlighting the rising potential for mobile engagement between businesses and customers in the country.
Bangladesh, meanwhile, is expected to make an increasingly significant contribution to global GDP in the coming years.
Exploring the recent trends in tier-two languages, CSA Research said they offer “solid expansion opportunities that can deliver strong return on investment for companies that demonstrate robust translation processes”.
“They represent the next wave for truly global organisations,” the report added.
With the right strategy, planning and research, your firm can position itself for success in international markets that are set to see further exciting growth in the years to come.
Locaria’s services can help you achieve your international ambitions. Give us a call on +44 (0)20 3948 6800 to find out more.