Friday, July 06, 2012

Public Speaking Business Marketing: Selling International

International Website Marketing

Websites by definition are international. If you have a website, then anyone, anywhere in the world can view it. This doesn't mean, however, that they can use it. That's what this chapter is about.

We're going to give you a resource right up front:

How to Build a Successful International Website by Mark Bishop. You might have to try to find it on a used book search. Even though the book is a few years old, we highly recommend it because it brings up issues that you probably wouldn't think of when it comes to usability in a non-English speaking country. Giving it to your webmaster will probably save you quite a bit of money because the webmaster won't have to do as much research to make your international site happen.

For instance, do you know what graphic depictions and colors might be offensive to people in Uzbekistan? Did you know that Katakana is the Japanese script used to spell out foreign words. This information is important because you don't want to alienate the people you are trying to attract.

Here are some more resources:

The Culturally Customized Web Site: Customizing Web Sites for the Global Marketplace by Nitish Singh and Arun Pereira

Beyond Borders: Web Globalization Strategies by John Yunker

You might correctly assume that many people around the world who are serious about doing business globally, learn to speak English. That is true, but many people don't. Many people that could buy your products and services can't speak English. You might say, “If I'm a management consultant and produce products in English, people that can't speak English couldn't use them anyway.” The answer, “Not so!” English based products are in demand around the world.

We in the USA tend to think that we are the center of the Universe and we don't go out of our way to buy information products from other cultures because we feel we know it all. People from other cultures are a little more open minded and willing to learn, so don't think you can't sell in other lands. They can get the information translated and/or use it to help their own study of English.

Sometimes it doesn't take a lot of work to make a site more user friendly for those from other cultures. It's a little easier if you concentrate on one culture and go through the method. Then adding additional cultures will be a little easier.

Don't think you have to create an entire website for your international visitors. In many cases all you have to do is put a link on your main page with their country name on it. If you want to get fancy, you can add their flag. From that link you can have as little as one page that describes what you do and invites them to look at your products. They can then email you to help them order. If you have many countries, you are better off using a drop-down box because you don't want to take up your entire home page listing all the countries.

Take your speaking business to the highest levels...