Actually, there are more than three, but we have picked the critical ones:
Increase business reach with each language: Translation is a (comparatively) easy way of multiplying your customer base without having to come up with new products or marketing strategies. Basically, you take an existing asset – your content and website/app – and translate and localize it into other languages. So, you don’t have to start from scratch (except in cases where you need transcreation. More on that in the next section.) For instance, if you are selling in Asia, adding Simplified Chinese will let you take your product to China and make it instantaneously accessible to more than a billion people.
But it’s not always about selling overseas. Sometimes, even in your own country, there may be a fair-sized minority that predominantly speak a language other than that spoken by the majority of the population. Case in point: Hispanics in the US.
The other time when you would want to translate within a single country is of course when you are selling in a country like India. The country has 22 official languages and each language commands millions of speakers.
Provides a competitive edge: In this fast-paced word, where you are competing with many other companies who may be offering similar products and services, translation can become your differentiator. Again, this comes at a comparatively lower cost than having to spend on development to create new products. Even if your competitors have translated, you can try your hand at transcreated marketing (multilingual copywriting from scratch) and be sure to reap rich benefits.
It’s what customers want: In an oft-quoted study involving 10 countries, people said they want products and services to be in their language; and that they would not feel confident of buying them if they weren’t. It’s no rocket science: Is it not true for everyone that one would trust only what one understands? And, that one would not buy from a company that one does not trust? A Google study of Indian internet users a few years ago too came up with similar findings: 68% of the respondents [pdf] found local language digital content to be more reliable than that in English.
There’s one more thing about translation that deserves mention here: Bad translation is worse than no translation. While quality sensitivity varies around the world, your potential customers can be unforgiving if they perceive that no attention was paid to translation, resulting in substandard, erroneous content.