Services | 03.02.2014

Different Pricing Models for Different Content Types

Buyers of translation services have often attempted to balance the need for high quality translations against the demand for competitive pricing. If you throw urgent deadlines into the mix, then this creates an interesting conundrum for all involved, with the consensus being that quality or deadline (or both) has to be sacrificed if a lower price is to be achieved. Some would argue that it’s not possible to deliver on all three fronts, unless the translation agency concerned is prepared to make a strategic pricing decision, although this approach is difficult to maintain in the long term.

The advent of the internet and smart phones has led to an explosion in the amount of content generated by companies:  blogs, news items, feedback, knowledge bases and social media content are all key elements in a company’s online presence. Considering this huge increase, an even greater strain between the three aforementioned variables has arisen.

So what does this mean for the translation industry? It is becoming increasingly clear that Language Service Providers (LSP) that adopt the same pricing model to respond to all content translation requests are failing to understand the challenges of this new content driven landscape.  It is evident that there are clear benefits to producing more content for overseas markets, however it is equally true that companies must ensure that they are getting an appropriate return on investment before they decide whether to make that translation investment. It is this key point that the translation industry must accept and embrace.

The majority of companies who are serious about maintaining a professional brand image overseas are still prepared to pay appropriate rates for high quality, professional translation for business critical information, such as key marketing material and safety critical user information. However there are increasing amounts of information that companies consider less critical, where perhaps a first draft translation or even a post edited Machine Translation may suffice. Both these options usually require a lower level of investment than the highest quality translation and can generate results that are in line with the desired result, especially where the LSP has successfully ‘trained’ its Machine Translation solution. Moreover, with increasing volumes of content required in timeframes that do not allow the same process to be followed as for high quality translations, LSPs must adjust their approach accordingly.

In short, LSPs must work with companies to assess the impact of the foreign language content they are creating and propose a suitable, tailored solution so that companies looking to expand overseas can truly make the most of their translation budgets.

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