Internet Marketing Goes Global

A lot of internet marketers are beginning to think global, and they should.  The internet has made the world a bit smaller, allowing businesses to market to potential customers all over the world.  But there are some challenges in getting into global marketing.  The biggest one is the language barrier.  For example, most online searches are done in languages other than English.  Even if the searcher can read and understand English, they will ask for additional information in their own native language.  So if your web presence is entirely in English, you could be missing out on a big global market share.

For example, Skyscanner, a site that lets users compare airline prices, localized its website into 23 different languages.  The overseas market now accounts for 70% of the company’s revenue.  The Russion version alone jumped from 30,000 users to over 1million in just 18 months.  So you can see the benefits of opening up your internet marketing strategy to include a global approach.  However, there are some things to keep in mind.

First of all there are some terms in English that do not translate well into other languages.  For example, there is the tale of Coca Cola not translating very well into Chinese characters.  Back in 1927, the Chinese market found it necessary to translate the English product name into its language characters.  However, the first translations came out with a meaning of “bite the wax tadpole” or “female horse fastened with wax.”   The problem was that someone was trying to find the correct symbols that sounded like Coca Cola, but there were many people that got a laugh out of the meaning.  Currently, the phonetics used to describe the product sound correct, and means “permit the mouth to able to rejoice” and is in Mandarin (the language spoken by a majority of Chinese people).

So it is a good idea to do some research on language translation for your brand.  It may take more in the terms of marketing dollars, but you have to realize that your market share on a global level will more than return those costs.  Let us know if your business has gone global, and how you overcame some of the challenges.