Nearly 70 Percent of U.S. Content Marketers Are Attempting to Engage with Global Consumers Using Only English-Language Content

December 4th, 2014


NEW YORK – December 4, 2014 – Smartling today announced the results of a new survey that polled 160 U.S.-based, senior-level content marketers working for emerging brands to determine how they are marketing to multilingual audiences around the world. Nearly 63 percent of respondents acknowledge that between six and 50 percent of their customer base is located outside the U.S. Yet, survey data shows that translation budgets are nonexistent, forcing marketers to reach multilingual audiences using only English-language content.

Key survey findings include:

65 percent of respondents admit that less than five percent of their budget – if anything – is dedicated to reaching non-English-speaking customers in and outside the U.S. Nearly 70 percent of respondents reveal that their companies market to other countries using only English-language content. Nearly half (49 percent) of respondents admit they never translate English-language marketing content into Spanish. Only 10 percent say they frequently translate marketing content into Spanish, and 41 percent say they sometimes do, when time and budget allow. 65 percent of the marketing professionals surveyed do not know the number of native Spanish-language speakers in the U.S., incorrectly guessing 21 or 37 million. Only 35 percent selected the correct answer, 53 million. By failing to make multilingual content a top priority, emerging brands are missing out on potential revenue opportunities and greatly impacting their ability to attract and retain customers around the world. They may even be driving consumers to competing brands who are making translation and localization a key component of their global marketing campaigns.

“The most alarming finding from the survey data is the admission by marketers that they are using English-language content exclusively to engage with customers in other countries,” said Nataly Kelly, VP of marketing at Smartling. “Meanwhile, local competitors in those same countries are putting out messages directly in the preferred languages of the customer. Marketers who do not prioritize the translation of their valuable content are at a great disadvantage when trying to do business globally. Translation and localization provide marketers with a cost-effective way to yield even greater ROI from the content they have already paid to develop in English. Study after study shows that consumers are significantly more likely to engage with and make purchases from companies that deliver content in their preferred language.”

Smartling’s new report, “Translate or Pay the Price: Overlooked Marketing Opportunities for Global Businesses,” details the survey findings, provides analysis on what they mean for content marketers today and includes insight on why translation and localization are critical tools in global marketing. To download a copy of the report, go to: To learn more about Smartling, please visit: