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The Importance of International Marketing

While this commercial may be funny for most, it also shows the importance of localized marketing. A marketing campaign that works well in one culture probably won’t in another. For example, viewers in Hong Kong and in the US have commented that they just want to smack the guy in the face for his exaggerated facial expressions, instead of wanting to purchase the Windows phone:

The world is becoming flat. And shrinking. While the Internet made it simplier for brands and businesses to connect and build their customer base around the world (how how this commercial became viral outside of Japan), it is key to also have an international marketing strategy.

A recent report by AMR International suggests that United States’ B2B online marketing expenditure may increase by 14% by 2012. If you have not looked into international marketing strategies, now may be the time to slowly look again.

An international marketing strategy should be created country-by-country, with both language and cultural differences taken into account. Businesses may balk at the extra work and cost involved, but the rewards are worth it.

Pick a specific geographical region to establish your brand, and then branch out to other international locales.

What do you think? We’d like to share your thoughts.

 

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Google unveiled another product to compete against the popular social-networking site, Facebook.  “Google+” will be released to a select group of users, and will have features such as status updates as well as photo and link sharing.

Isn’t that just another Facebook clone where users lose their privacy?  Google says no, and promises privacy features such as more fine-grained controls for users on what information to share with whom.

Looks like Google is in for another fierce battle with Facebook.  We hope Google have learnt from Orkut’s decline and failure, and create a smoother interface and a more user-friendly experience this time.

Here is a video preview of the Google+ site:

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Google has recently updated its list of the 1000 most-visited web sites.

The sites are ranked based on data from Google’s DoubleClick service and third-party market research results.

This list is by no means definitive, but it shows a trend of Chinese-contented web sites gaining huge traffic.  To name a few:

  • Baidu.com, China’s own search engine
  • QQ, the mainstream instant messaging service in China
  • Taobao.com, a Chinese online shopping web site similar to Amazon

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While trying to shorten a link on the Progressive.com web site with bit.ly, I discovered that instead of the good ol’ “http://bit.ly/” URL, bit.ly returned http://pgrs.in/hmw4n4.

Although the *.in top-level domain was originally intended India, it also fits the insurance industry quite well.

With social media being a major marketing tool, and Twitter’s 140-character tweet limit, it is smart for companies like Progressive to get a shorter version of their domain names, for their messages/campaigns to get socially (and virally) passed around with ease.

But does Progressive own http://pgrs.in/? A quick WHOIS lookup reveals that Bitly, Inc. is the current owner of these domains.

 

So here comes the problem:

  1. As more URLs for Progressive.com pages get passed around on Twitter under http://pgrs.in/… Bitly will control a sizable part of Progressive.com’s inbound traffic.
  2. Progressive may eventually need to pay Bitly to keep those traffic.

 

I have wondered how a company like Bitly will become profitable, and why they would receive millions of capital investment. Now I am starting to understand.

As a business owner, I think it is now time to start looking for a shorter domain name, to compliment your existing one, before it’s too late.

So *.in fits the insurance industry. Which top-level domain fits yours? Here is a list for you to start looking at.

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