Twitter is powerful and multilingual social media platform. Leveraging search engine optimization, Twitter can build your brand’s visibility and reputation, improve your relationships with clients and give you a competitive edge. The platform’s heightened transparency and the potential cost of a misstep worry some companies. Increasingly, however, businesses are putting their misgivings aside to join in the speed-of-light global conversation. A carefully-crafted Twitter program fully integrated into your global marketing strategy can put your company on the map.
Around the world, the growing field of mobile health, known as mHealth, is using simple wireless devices to keep people healthy and help doctors and public health workers work effectively with patients near and far. Wireless health can also help spread accurate information about public health crises like a tuberculosis outbreak almost as quickly as the spread of the disease itself.
In the developed world, people use mobile health apps for everything from quitting smoking to monitoring calorie intake. But mHealth is particularly effective in the developing world, where mobile devices are much more common than computers or TVs. While most trends in global health start with governments, mobile health is being driven primarily by the private sector. This new industry of health-related mobile apps presents challenges and opportunities for developers and users alike.
Turkey may not be the first place in mind when you think of global expansion, but the country merits serious consideration if you want to establish a presence throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
The country’s future is bright, its people friendly, but there’s an expectation of serious commitment when you bring your company under the moon star (ay yildiz) flag. The Turkish proverb, “Bir kahvenin kirk yil hatiri vardir” (A cup of coffee is remembered for 40 years) speaks to both the social and serious nature of an investment in the region.
In this blog post, we’ll take a brief survey of the business case for Turkey as well as a few cultural guideposts you’ll want to heed when you make the move.
The Acclaro blog is two years old! Two full years of snippets of localization savvy, language, and international business, all for you, dear Mr. or Ms. Acclaro Blog Fan. Since 2010, we've done our best to bring some pizzazz to your international business life, and we hope we've succeeded. Come with us as we take a trip down blog memory lane.
Can you translate colors? With the variety of connotations for colors worldwide, meanings aren't fixed. Maybe you're savvy; you might know that white is the color of death in China and sorrow in India but associated with peace and marriage in Western countries. Or that red can mean everything from danger to love to luck to mourning, depending on where you are in the world. But do you know about other connotations of colors like orange and purple? When it comes time to reach out to global markets, knowing color associations can ensure your message doesn't get lost in psychological color translation. Ready to see how color connotations translate across cultures?
Does “going global” bring to mind cultural and logistical hurdles? It doesn’t have to be as hard as you think. U.S. companies ready to make the leap into international business should consider two economic powerhouses perfectly suited for new adventures in global sales and marketing: Canada and Mexico.
As we discussed in our Q4 2011 newsletter, there are many good reasons you should place Mexico and Canada at the top of your list for strategic growth across North America, but there are also a few challenges you’ll need to consider. Compared to Asian and Middle Eastern markets, conducting international business north or south of the U.S. border can be a far easier prospect for American businesses.
During the Super Bowl, people talk nearly as much about the three million dollar 30-second ads than they do about the actual football game itself. That's why Honda is pre-promoting and creating buzz for its new ad that will air during Super Bowl Sunday this February 5th. And the buzz now is all about the return of a slightly grey Ferris Bueller, the main character from the 1986 hit movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off". Yep, Matthew Broderick returns as Ferris, a bon vivant with the utmost confidence, even when singing in Chinese. We ask: why sing in Chinese and not the original German from the movie, and was it dubbed?
Did you put your plans to expand into Japan on hold when last year’s earthquake leveled confidence in its economy? If the fallout from the crisis temporarily clouded your view, now is the time to recognize that abundant business opportunities appear every day in post-earthquake Japan.
Finding where your company’s global expansion strategy fits with Japanese consumers may be your greatest source of growth in the decade ahead, as we mentioned in our Q4 newsletter post, "Opportunity in Japan's New Dawn". Trends in retail, social media, mobile advertising, and product design show tremendous promise for 2012 and beyond. Japan is a trendsetter — a pioneer in product design, mobile technology, architecture — and sets the bar for buyer desire globally.
If you're like us, you much prefer shopping on your favorite store's website at home in your bunny slippers (don't judge) than fighting the crowds at the mall. And you're not alone...Cyber Monday resulted in $1.25 billion dollars in online sales in the U.S. alone, according to an article on ITProPortal. While Cyber Monday is traditionally a follow-up to the post-Thanksgiving "Black Friday" event in the U.S., global ecommerce is following suit.
Modern business looks to emerging economies—areas noted for rapid growth and industrialization, according to Wikipedia—as targets for investment. One of the most commonly cited areas, BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China—read more about this in our blog post), now has some competition from MIST (Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, and Turkey). An article from AdAge provides some compelling reasons for why MIST may be a viable and profitable market for your product or services.
If you’re thinking about testing—or even diving into—the waters of the rapidly growing Chinese social media market, now is the time to start doing your research. With more than 400 million Internet users, most of them young, educated, and savvy about games and web socializing, there’s ample opportunity for well-prepared businesses to succeed.
We’ve got a few ideas to help you get familiar with Chinese online channels as you start out, and expand into this lucrative market in a way that’s culturally appropriate. More detail can be found in our full newsletter article.
Translating your website goes a long way towards establishing your local presence in a global market. A local-language blog can take you another step further, with marketing benefits that equal that of your English-language blog. But is this the right step for your organization? Get the scoop on what we mean, take a minute to answer these questions, then read on.
While we were all sipping pink wine this weekend, savoring barbequed tri-tip, taking a snooze in the hammock and generally shunning all forms of labor, the French were up to something quite different. Yesterday, the 5th of September, was a day of mass exodus in the hexagone (as the French refer to their geometrically-shaped country). Millions of impeccably groomed, sun-tanned French kids donning petit backpacks and perfectly shined shoes filed into the streets for their first day back to school. That’s right—millions. Back-to-school in the States is a season; it happens over several weeks’ time. In France, the vast majority of students head back to school on the same day, called la rentrée: the return, or the re-entry.
Due to the prevalence of English-language searches in China, a unique partnership has formed between the Chinese search giant Baidu and the American "decision engine" Bing. Baidu users searching for English terms will see a selection of English search results alongside Chinese results in their browsers, providing access to an additional layer of information.
Bilingual search results, still a relatively new technology, show how the quest for information on a global scale overcomes regional language barriers...or perhaps caters to an increasingly polylingual group of internet users who are comfortable searching in one or more languages.
“Brevity is the soul of wit,” Shakespeare famously posited in Act 2 of Hamlet. Brevity may be an effective, low-cost way to introduce your product or service to international markets, too. Enter the minisite: a fun, interactive, compact teaser site that draws attention and prepares you for a larger rollout down the line…or helps judge brand interest to determine if your international markets are suitable for you and your goals.
Localizing a minisite is significantly easier and more cost-effective than a full site, and can get your name “out there” in a new region while you consider the rest of your localization strategy; e.g. do we really need our entire product catalog translated? What about SEO/PPC keywords and ads? Is our CMS ready to handle Chinese?
Here are some quick steps to help you get your minisite up and running:
1. Pick a handful of pages – really, no more than five – that share the basics of your product or service.
2. No TMIs or oversharing! Less is more here; you’re mainly trying to drum up interest so your visitors either learn the basics about your brand or highlighted product, or they immediately buy something on your site.
Last night in San Francisco, The Disposable Film Festival premiered 24 short films made by people from around the world. Finalists hailed from the U.S., Israel, UK, Canada, Spain, Germany, Russia and France. The films, ranging in time from fifty seconds to seven and a half minutes, were not made by video recorders or professional cameras, but from point and shoot cameras, pocket cams, web cams, screen capture, SLRs, mobile phones and a “hacked” Kinect video game console.
While people in Arab countries are using their mobile phones to disseminate information and images about civic revolutions, these video artists are using their phones and other small devices to create a global film revolution. You don’t need to be a Hollywood or Bollywood film director with a big budget, diva movie stars, big name backers, or formal training to create innovative and compelling films.
Take a look at this film, titled “Thrush” by UK director Gabriel Bisset-Smith, the grand prize winner of the Festival:
As Egypt goes, so goes the Arab world: if that idea has lost some of its currency in recent years, Egypt’s latest revolution is proving its worth once again. By far the most populous Arab country, Egypt has long had a cultural influence that extends far beyond its borders — a status reflected in Cairo’s Arabic nickname, “Umm Al-Dunya”, or “Mother of the World." A brief look at a few of Egypt’s “greatest hits” shows why events there have such an outsized impact on other Arab countries, and why the rise of democracy in Egypt could pave the way for a new era in the region.
Politics. For better or worse, Egypt has long been at the leading edge of Arab politics. The fiery President Gamal Abdel Nasser breathed life into Arab nationalism and inspired a generation of young revolutionaries — though his star dimmed after Egypt’s disastrous 1967 war with Israel. His successor, Anwar Al-Sadat, lacked Nasser’s popular appeal, yet he transformed Arab politics yet again by making peace with Israel and aligning Egypt with the West.
Music. Cairo and Beirut have a longstanding rivalry as capitals of the Arab music industry. For lovers of traditional Arab music, twentieth-century Egyptian stars such as Umm Kulthum and Farid Al-Atrash remain legends. More recently, singer Amr Diab has become one of a handful of Arab pop stars to achieve worldwide fame, most notably with his 1996 single Habibi ya Nur al-‘Ain.
The international business community is still trying to assess the effects of revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia for investment and growth in the Middle East and North Africa—especially now that similar uprisings are springing up across the Arab world. A brief look at the Arab and foreign media reveals uncertainty and concern over what will happen next. Yet there is also hope that greater democracy will improve the economic outlook both in Egypt and elsewhere in the region.
To be sure, the economy of the Arab world’s largest country is still reeling after weeks of paralysis. Banks have reopened, but Egypt’s stock market remains closed, reportedly infuriating foreign investors, and the tourists who power much of the economy have been slow to return. Exacerbating the immediate crisis, the rash of labor protests and strikes that helped bring down Egypt’s dictatorship has not yet abated. The Egyptian state newspaper Al-Ahram (in Arabic) echoes the new government’s call for the strikes to end, saying they endanger the country’s economic growth.
On Friday, January 28, 2011 the ruling government of Egypt cut off access to internet and cell phone services to its 80 million inhabitants. That’s the equivalent of shutting down access to everyone in California, Texas, and Florida. Yet, despite this, individual voices among the hundreds of thousands of Egyptian protesters are still being broadcast not only via traditional television news, but also via YouTube, personal blogs and Twitter feeds. Similar to the events that occurred in Thailand in 2010 and Iran in 2009, the "internet revolution" has transformed the 21st century civic revolution into a 24/7 newsfeed of insightful, real-time protester tidbits.
Videos, blogs, and tweets are the new call to arms — instead of picking up pens, protesters now wield phones. Want to glean a bit of what’s being written by Egyptians but don’t speak Arabic? No problem. Check out Meedan, a service we profiled in a previous blog that translates various news items from Arabic into English, along with translated reader comments. Another similar website is Alive In Egypt, which adds English subtitles to videos, and Arabic transcriptions along with English translations of Speak2Tweet audio files. Speak2Tweet, launched by Google when the Egyptian protests started, allows anyone to leave a voicemail that is then placed onto Twitter with an #egypt hashtag.
Mobile advertising is definitely here to stay. In fact, across all advertising media, it’s quickly emerging as the global dominator, second only to online video. How does mobile advertising work and which foreign markets offer the most promise for your mobile campaign? Here’s the 411:
The figures will make your head spin:
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