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World Wide Website: Preparing to Go Global

As a business grows, so too does the industry it belongs, often creating a saturated market. The result? For many this means diminished demand and the slowing of sales. So how to combat this common problem? Many businesses see the solution as internationalising their services and adding multilingual SEO to their website. This measure was once looked upon as a luxury, awarded only to large businesses. To internationalise was out of the reach of SME’s, but with economic growth predicted to see little to no change over the next five years, globalisation is being looked upon by small businesses as a ‘do or die’ decision.

There are potentially lucrative benefits that can be reaped from breaking into a new market but let’s not forget the huge challenges that a business will face should they choose to take this leap. We take a look at some of those challenges…

A lack of local data

Your strategy for website localisation should include in-depth research and local knowledge acquisition. It is only by completing the important step that you will be able to form a plan which considers social, political, economic and cultural influences that will affect your overall business strategy as well as how you build your website. You’ll need a team of local market experts to help build this information as well as data from your customers as soon as it’s possible to provide invaluable insights into your new audience.

Language barriers

Making the move into a non-English-speaking market requires a significant amount of resources and investment in order to overcome this particular barrier. Many SME’s have wrongly assumed that creating a website and compiling marketing collateral fit for a foreign country is a minor part of the transition…and consequently found that their content is riddled with nonsense! In fact, it’s not just small businesses that have fallen foul of this challenge. The Dairy Association’s well-known ‘Got Milk’ campaign was taken into the Mexican market and lazy translation asked readers a very different question: ‘Are You Lactating?’

Measuring success in a new arena

It’s important to consider the fact that moves which proved successful in one country, may not garner the same results in another. A revised strategy, which takes into consideration that local success factors may not necessarily translate, is required for your business to have any chance of success overseas. A famous example of this can be found over at Southeast Asian Pepsi, where the decision was made to change the colour of vending machines to light blue; a colour which symbolises death and mourning within Southeast Asian culture.

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