Market research creates a solid foundation for a business to build upon and leads to well-informed decisions. This is true for companies venturing into Africa and its diverse market landscape. In Africa, companies looking to scale less mature markets often must adopt a multi-country approach. So, multilingual market research is what companies often turn to when exploring their options to expand their reach in the continent. But transferring a product or service from one country to another is easier said than done. Crossing borders introduces a different culture and, at times, a different language. Multilingual market research attempts to collect the same information and data from multiple countries at once. Companies can then use this to develop a strategy that will allow them to branch out quickly into the African marketplace.
The importance of multilingual Market Research for businesses venturing into Africa
Knowing your audience is crucial to any business. Market research is key to understand the markets within Africa. We have seen successful companies from the USA & Europe, trying to enter the African markets, using the methodologies, and experience gained in these territories, and fail to gain the foothold they needed, as they did not understand the market dynamics here, as quite different to what they are used to. Although Africa is evolving quickly, and especially because of this, one needs to understand the market within each country, and a blanket approach cannot be assumed. What works within francophone African countries, will not necessarily work within Lusophone African countries or English-speaking countries in Africa. The diversity within Africa is what makes it appealing, but this needs to be understood, in order to succeed.
Methodology of multilingual market research and data in Africa
If you’re going to conduct multilingual market research in multiple countries in Africa, start by developing a questionnaire or survey that will be the primary data collection tool. From this virtual base camp, you can build out your research to include any language, getting multiple translators to work from the same original information. Then, although your surveys will be delivered in different languages, they will be consistent. This is critical when the time comes to analyze the data.
This approach ensures that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you want to research another language. It also keeps all your team members from a translation agency on the same page and generates team spirit for the project.
Importantly, this method makes it much easier to build in flexibility from the very beginning of the multilingual market research. Bear in mind that, though your end goal will be the same, the methods you employ to collect data from each region may vary. Your translation experts will likely modify the wording and delivery of research questions to ensure they are culturally appropriate and localized for each part of the African continent.
Frenchside your partner for multilingual market research translation in Africa
Frenchside helps South African market research agencies and practitioners provide a global service to their customers by supplying multilingual translations of research questionnaires and findings. Translating questionnaires and their results for your overseas clients located in French, Portuguese, or English-speaking countries, is one of our specialist subjects. We’ll get your questions pitch-perfect and bias-free, translate verbatims into text that’s as fluent and expressive as the original.
Specific services include:
- Translation & Overlay of Web-enabled Surveys – translation services for every stage of the research process for both qualitative and quantitative projects working with web‑enabled formats.
- Proofreading & Editing – verifying/back-checking of locally‑completed translations in relevant software formats
- Text Translation & Localisation – translation and localisation of screeners, questionnaires, discussion guides, brand or product concepts, research presentations, and a lot more
- Transcriptions & Content Analysis – producing transcripts of recorded or telephone in-depth interviews and focus groups in the target languages, or translated directly into English in one step. We offer Content Analysis in a multitude of languages in client‑specific formats
- Interpreting – simultaneous, consecutive, whispering, F2F or telephone interpreting and interpreting equipment
- Voice-over – recording/checking/editing of pre-recorded telephone interviews
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