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Thanks in no small part to the internet, we live in a global economy in which companies can compete in markets they never would have a decade or two ago.
For B2B businesses in particular, globalization has created countless market opportunities. But exploiting them isn't always easy, and for companies already overwhelmed by the number of marketing options they have in their home countries, international marketing can seem like a daunting challenge.
US internet retailers are more likely than their UK counterparts to target Brazilian and Chinese markets in the next year.
However, all agree that use of social media networks and website translations are fundamentally important tools for making progress into international e-commerce markets.
After attending two events, most recently the IRCE in Chicago, USA and the IRX in Birmingham, UK back in March, I found several crucial differences in the way that companies in the US and UK were approaching the various international retail markets.
We’re nothing if not resourceful in the UK. While high street sales may be dropping, a number of UK-based retailers are marketing themselves abroad, yet keeping the business (and product fulfilment) on UK shores.
Scottish brand Lyle & Scott, for example, has expanding markets in France, Germany and Sweden through e-commerce sites designed for those markets, while managing the business from its home in Selkirk.
The world is smaller than ever thanks to the internet, and while growing numbers speak a handful of 'languages of business', such as English, there's still a huge need for localization.
A big part of localization, and one of the most costly, is translation. For businesses praying for better automated translation solutions, Google hopes to be of help.
With orders received from other non-English speaking countries and a desire to expand, many companies are faced with a choice of how far to go with the localisation of their site.
New research helps brands make that decision, from a full localisation of site and all campaigns, to a partial localisation of just the keywords and ads.
It’s an age old question for content marketers: what’s the recipe for ideal content that will be read, linked, tweeted and otherwise disseminated around the web?
We have an informal motto when it comes to online content: for something to be worth your time, it has to be either Useful or Amusing.
Did you know that 20% of Americans speak a language other than English in the home? And of these bilingual Americans, the overwhelming majority (62%, or 34.5m, according to the 2007 census) are Spanish-speakers, representing a massive e-commerce consumer market.
Foreign language consumer groups within domestic markets represent a massive untapped market, and one that doesn’t require e-commerce businesses to alter their shipping, payment or logistics set-up at all...
It’s well-established that if you want to sell to people overseas then you need to communicate in their language, but what about the consumer groups in majority English-speaking countries whose first language is other than English?
Times are tough in the English language internet. With billions of pages of content competing for your attention, and many of them optimised for search engines, getting your web page into the broader search consciousness can be like running up the down escalator.
There is a place, though, where there’s less competition for keywords and domain names, and less content overall, and that place is the non-English or foreign language internet.
According to Econsultancy’s 2010 Social Media and Online PR report, 83% of marketers will increase social media spend next year, but only 26% will run campaigns in more than one country, why is this?
Having a global channel literally at our fingertips obviously does not mean that our message is being understood globally. Whilst some organisations have made much progress in resolving the issues of acting globally online, for others it remains a complex problem.
So what should a company be thinking about when considering the globalisation of its website?
With the popularity of other, China-based search engines set to rise thanks to Google’s threat to close down their Google.cn site, in turn freeing up the market, businesses need to optimise their site to suit their search processes.
However, simple translation of websites will not suffice. Taking an example from Oban’s area of business, the phrase ‘to Twitter’ translates to ‘织围脖’’ – ‘to knit yourself a scarf’ in English.