Why Take a Regional Approach to Global Websites

No matter how big a brand you may be or how profitable a company, the focus should never completely go out of making sure that every dollar you spend is being utilized in the right way. In this bid to get the most value out of every dollar, smart business owners do make sure that they can cut costs wherever possible without compromising on the product or the process.

Today’s business environment is highly competitive and it is not just the local businesses that you have to fight off to retain your market share but also global ones. The Internet has brought down geographical boundaries and made your customers accessible to players from all over the world. This makes marketing and publicity a very important part of your business because you need to stay visible and highly accessible to all at any point of time. Does this mean that your marketing budgets can be allowed to go through the roof? No, not really. You still have to keep these costs reasonable. To do this, you may be adopting a simple yet effective strategy, particularly with your virtual marketing plan by creating content that can be globally reusable.

A smart plan that can backfire spectacularly

Well, yes, this is definitely a smart move that lets you control costs and keep your marketing budget within reason but unless you have practical thought directing you in this, you could be making a big mistake.

Let us give you an example to illustrate why this could be a problem. You have a beautiful website designed and all ready to launch. You have done a lot of groundwork, researched all about colors and words and phrases that are universally acceptable in every country that you are keen to cover. You have gone over the design with a fine tooth comb to make sure that no member of the audience from anywhere in the world can find it objectionable or intrusive or just plain garish. Then you realize that the text is written in reverse direction in the Arab countries, meaning the whole alignment of your site needs to be turned around when the content is being translated into this language. Now, can your site design accommodate this massive change too? Probably not, right? These are the kind of problems that can mess up a carefully thought out plan.

Keep local needs/preferences in mind

Creating globally usable content is still a fabulous idea, no doubt, provided you do keep local needs and preferences in mind while you are at it. Basically, what you can do is create content that is not culture-specific so that it can be used across the world with ease and translated without mishaps. However, you still view this through the eyes of the local audience at each location to ensure that the little differences are taken care of before you go public.

The challenge here is that, often, these minute differences in preference or distaste for specific ideas or phrases may not be very evident to someone who is not familiar with a particular group or community. In fact, it may not even be a specific word or phrase that a certain audience does not like but something more ethereal, like an association or a general assumption that you hint at. These are very difficult for you to spot. Thankfully, not impossible, though!

A good way to gain an on-the-ground understanding of your audience in a far-flung location is to interact with the people there one-on-one. Now, how exactly do you do that without actually going over to the place? Through social media, of course. Social listening and social media interactions are both invaluable tools that allow you to get a very accurate feel of the pulse of your audience.

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