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VanEck Case Study: How Translation Creates Opportunities in the Financial Sector

Translation helps VanEck to communicate with local investors about global growth opportunities

VanEck is an asset management company with a long history of recognizing growth potential in the global economy. As part of their philosophy of ‘providing investors access to opportunities that will strengthen their portfolios’, they were one of the first asset managers to offer their clients access to international markets. As experts in identifying the trends that lead to investment opportunities across the globe, they are known for providing innovative financial solutions that help clients to build a diverse investment portfolio.

Lionbridge has been supporting VanEck with their expansion into European markets since 2019. Using a fully automated workflow that seamlessly connects our tech stack with VanEck’s infrastructure, we translate their website content, regulatory documentation, and marketing materials into eleven European languages. As VanEck continues to experience growth across Europe, the US, and Latin America, Lionbridge’s translations will underpin their move into new languages and regions.

We spoke with Sander Zboray, VanEck’s Head of Marketing and Product Strategy for Europe, to learn more about digital marketing in the financial sector and how translation is helping them to adapt and grow in a rapidly changing environment.

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What are your responsibilities as Head of Marketing and Product Strategy for Europe at VanEck?

As a provider of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and exchange-traded notes (ETNs) which allow our customers to indirectly invest in cryptocurrencies, we find ourselves in a rapidly growing market. People would like to invest their money, but they do not know where to start. With so many assets to invest in, from stocks and bonds to real estate, the choices can seem endless and overwhelming. Our products combat this by providing investors with diversified exposure to countries, sectors, and even asset classes.

In my role as Head of Marketing and Product Strategy, I have the opportunity to promote and develop a range of innovative ETFs and ETNs which provide diversification at relatively low costs. Our digital marketing campaigns try to market these products to a broad audience. It is amazing how wide the reach of digital campaigns can be nowadays.

What is your top priority at the moment?

We see a lot of interest from clients in adding technology ETFs to their investment portfolio, from industries as diverse as semiconductors, blockchain, and esports. Because of low interest rates and inflation, we are also seeing increasing interest in our dividend ETF and real estate ETF. Personally, I am also very happy to observe increasing traction for our hydrogen ETF and food ETF.

What are the greatest challenges and opportunities around language and terminology in your industry?

It is important to have balanced communication. As a marketing or product manager, you can easily be taken away by your own products and only highlight their strengths. However, it is important to also show the risks of ETFs. While this is a regulatory requirement, we have found that this also has significant benefits for our business: by providing a more rounded view of the market for your customers, you make your message stronger. 

Additionally, keep your messages very simple. Put yourself in the shoes of the person seeing your campaign or reading your landing page. The more succinct your copy is, the higher your chance of getting your message across. This is much more difficult than you might think! As you are working on your products all day, you want to show them off and share all your insights. Instead, it’s better to follow the classic writer’s advice, and kill your darlings.

Have you seen any changes in the way readers consume your content?

People get bombarded with information. They get used to instant gratification. Rather than searching for a specific website, users enter a few keywords and let the search engine’s algorithm do the rest. This reinforces the importance of search engine optimization and the use of video.

We have also seen a significant shift in the media channels people use to receive financial advice. Traditionally, people followed the advice of their bank advisor, watched television, and listened to radio. Now, it’s far more common for people to search for advice from financial influencers, watch YouTube, and listen to podcasts.

How does the translation industry help you to meet the increasing demand for content?

Digital marketing provides tremendous opportunities. It completely shifts the paradigm. Previously there were very high fixed costs to enter a new market. Nowadays, thanks to digital marketing, costs have become variable. Any company can much more rapidly increase its geographic reach.

However, communication needs to be in local languages. Here the translation sector comes into play. The main challenge is to allow seamless integration with clients’ information systems. Content written in one language should be automatically translated into all other relevant languages and published - ideally at the lowest cost possible. Some in the translation industry might see machine translation as a threat, but I would see it as an opportunity. It can give a huge head start to those who are willing to embrace it.

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Thanks to its diverse array of content, there are a huge number of translation opportunities in the world of finance. For a deeper dive into translation, the financial sector, and how Lionbridge can help, take a look at our Banking & Finance page or set up an appointment with our sales team.

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