The ATA Chronicle - September/October 2020 - 26

AN INTRODUCTION TO TRANSLATION IN MARKET(ING) RESEARCH continued
removing certain additives. This means
that the new recipes need to be tested
to see if current users like the resulting
products as much as the old ones. The
testing could also examine how the new
products fare against the competition,
whether the positioning of the products
has changed, and whether new
marketing opportunities emerge.
For translators, this step could involve
translating a proposal. The client may
also request rough cost estimates for
different parts of the study to help the
end client make budget decisions.

A business cannot be successful
without obtaining accurate
and comprehensive information
before making any major
financial investments.
taste, etc.), every ad you see, and every
slogan you read may (or should) have
undergone market(ing) research.
Today's business environment is
a volatile one, resulting in a new
generation of companies that are unique
and innovative (e.g., Uber). There are
many reasons businesses fail but a
large number of them can be avoided
by implementing market(ing) research,
including ascertaining whether there
is an actual need for a product and
addressing such issues as competition,
bad or insufficient marketing, not
reacting to customers' needs or changes
in the industry, and overexpansion.

THE TWO TYPES OF
MARKET(ING) RESEARCH
Market(ing) research can be broken
down into two basic types: primary and
secondary research. Primary research is
information gathered through surveys,
interviews, and other direct contact with
people in the target group. Secondary
research, also called desk research, is
information gathered from sources that
have already been published, such as
company reports, trade association
materials, and articles in industry
26

The ATA Chronicle | September/October 2020

journals. Market research reports
are also available for purchase from
companies specializing in this area. For
example, if a German dog food company
wants to move into the U.S. market, a
first step might be to purchase a report
on the industry before investing in more
expensive customized research. This is
where a translator could be involved
if the company wants the purchased
report translated into German.
There's a large variety of work for
translators in the primary research
sector, so that's what I'll focus on here.

PRIMARY RESEARCH STAGES AND
WHAT THEY MEAN FOR TRANSLATORS
Purpose: Before anything can happen,
the research objective must be defined.
For example, is there a new concept
or product? Is the existing product
being changed (e.g., new logo, new
positioning, or new package)? Does
the product placement at the point of
sale need to be determined or changed?
Does brand recall need to be improved?
Do people remember the advertising?
Let's say a manufacturer of dip
mixes and chips decides to change
their existing products by successively

Instruments and Approach:
The next stage is deciding on the
research instruments and planning the
research approach. There are two major
kinds of primary research: qualitative
and quantitative.
■	

Qualitative research provides an
initial understanding (e.g., how
people respond to a new, innovative
concept) and requires subjective
interpretation. Methods used here
include focus groups, online journals,
and in-depth interviews.

■	

Quantitative research is typically
conclusive and intended for
recommending courses of action
such as a product launch. Computerassisted telephone/personal
interviews, mobile apps, and
questionnaires with primarily closed
questions are examples of quantitative
methods. The results of qualitative
research are often followed by
quantitative research analysis.

Several qualitative or quantitative
methods may be used jointly, and
many institutes/agencies develop
and use proprietary methods, apps,
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