Smartling’s Bryan Murphy on How Translation Creates Growth as Budgets Become Tight

Smartling Bryan Murphy on How Translation Creates Growth

When Bryan Murphy became CEO of Smartling, the language industry was new to him. However, he took on the challenge using his extensive experience running operations at multiple global companies.

Delivering the keynote at SlatorCon Remote, Murphy shared his ideas for coping with a likely recession in 2023.

The Smartling CEO began with the premise that translation creates growth: “Translation and localization increase conversion rates significantly by up to 70%. And we know that 40% of people won’t buy in another language.”

To demonstrate the value of translation in creating growth, Murphy used the example of a product sold in multiple countries. While content exists only in English, the product in this example sells well in Germany. Once content is translated, the increase in traffic would result in an increase in revenue; ROI realized after subtracting the cost of goods sold and the cost of translation.

Murphy also spoke about getting organizational buy-in when there is pressure to cut costs. As a first step to accomplish this, he recommended aligning ideas with the company’s strategic goals, presenting “a demonstrable effect on revenue, gross margin, OPEX, and ROI.”

The next step consists in demonstrating that buy-in. Specifically, Murphy spoke about engaging stakeholders in separate conversations before having a group presentation. That way, the support is already there before everyone gathers together.

Additionally, Murphy said the presentation should have “a clear project plan with deliverables, responsibilities, and due dates.” It should anticipate and answer all the questions that decision-makers consider important, including timelines, action items, and the parties responsible for executing them.

Automate to Gain Efficiencies, Reduce Costs

Murphy highlighted two ways to significantly reduce cost: AI and automation. He said a number of Smartling customers have been able to achieve a very low cost-per-word by implementing either or both.

An important part of his analysis included determining which parts of the workflow to automate to create more efficiencies and cost savings. To Murphy, the list starts with automating content ingestion and delivery via integration.

A second priority consists in automating workflows based on content type using AI. Then using AI to perform real-time quality assessments.

Machine-translation autoselect follows (i.e., selecting the highest quality results out of multiple MT outputs, greatly reducing postediting). Finally, AI can be used to detect and manage private data and security content.

Murphy’s parting remark for the SlatorCon delegates: “Stop rationing content and move to exploiting content.” He urged the audience to translate for growth, optimize using tools, automate workflows, and focus on shifting the translation mix.

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