2017 Internet Trends Report: Six Takeaways Impacting Localization

Mary Meeker’s 2017 Internet Trends Report is essential reading for anyone involved in global business. Mary Meeker is a partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and each year, this highly anticipated report gives insights into the digital world, aiming to influence global businesses and create new ideas. As global brands continue to capitalize on the digital industry to grow and generate new revenue streams, the importance of localization and publishing content in multiple languages will continue to grow too. The 2017 report was first released at The Code Convention held in Silicon Valley in May 2017. It looks at the latest technology trends including global internet penetration, voice data, smartphone sales, advertising spend and email usage.

Here are six of the key takeaways from the report that will impact localization and translation in global markets:

ONE. User generated content (UGC). UGC can generate nearly seven times more engagement than brands generating their own brand content on social media websites. UGC appears more natural to other consumers.

Ensuring UGC is understood by all target markets is crucial as many consumers embark on extensive online research before purchasing. If someone has said something good about your product or service, you want as many people as possible to know about it. The same applies for bad reviews – companies must embark on social media listening to fully understand all customer feedback, wherever it is posted. The business model for many leading brands are based on UGC, such as eBay, TripAdvisor and Facebook. Localization and translation plays an important role in the publishing of UGC to a global audience. For more information, read Welocalize Guide to UGC Localization.

TWO: Voice Recognition. Consumers are now speaking into their devices, rather than physically typing online queries. Google can now detect and understand human voices with up to 95% accuracy. From 2013, the accuracy has improved by 20%. 70% of requests are made in natural conversation, to which the devices can understand and answer the queries from voice recognition.

If consumers are typing less, global businesses should use localized voices and dialects to provide the best customer experience.

THREE: Growth of the Chinese Market. China remains one of the largest leading and growing markets for global businesses. People in China spend 55% of their media time on the Internet, surpassing TV consumption in 2016. With the rapidly growing mobile internet usage, it is no wonder that China’s e-commerce and mobile payment volume has seen massive growth in the recent years.

Many companies are keen to enter China but often fail because the message and brand attributes have not been culturally adapted for the unique and diverse Chinese market. It is important to use a language service provider (LSP) who has a strong presence and experience working with APAC economies.

FOUR: Growth of the Indian Economy. India represents the fastest growing large economy, with a 6.8% GDP growth rate in 2016, with online users and online penetration increasing each year since 2009. The number of internet users in India grew more than 28% in 2016 with online penetration of 27%.

This means there is growth opportunity for internet usage. In India, 45% of time spent on a mobile device is for entertainment purposes. Global businesses wishing to penetrate Indian markets must ensure that their entertainment content and apps are available for the right smartphone devices and mobile platforms, with culturally adapted content that meets local needs. Further reading: Understanding Future Gaps in Language Skills.

FIVE: A Booming Gaming Industry. The gaming industry has evolved rapidly since the 90’s. It is no longer about individual play, but global collaborative play. Global gaming is a large, broad, and growing business, with an estimated revenue of about $100 billion in 2016.

China is the leading market for interactive gaming. Given the massive increase in number of gamers from 100 million in 1995 to 2.6 billion in 2017, there is still growth potential from the global gaming industry. The growth in the global gaming industry is a good example of how demand for digital products can escalate rapidly. Localization and translation must be a part of the overall strategy to ensure new gamers are reached on the right platforms.

 SIX: Increased Adoption of Healthcare wearables. With an increasing global population, the healthcare industry is forever adapting and developing new innovations to keep us healthy and extend our life span. Fitness apps are a favorite, with the USA taking up 18% of the fitness app downloads.  Millennials represent 40% of consumers who purchase digital wearable technology, so a proportion of marketing should target this generation for businesses to increase sales.

Leading technology brands must ensure they are delivering the right online health and fitness experience to the right markets. How society and culture view health and fitness varies across the globe. This must be reflected in the app – not just publishing multilingual content, but adapting the online experience. Welocalize Life Sciences work with many leading healthcare and pharmaceutical organizations. Click here for more information.

Click to see slides and analysis: Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report 2017