The Global Neighborhood: Are You Ready?

Do you know or remember the movie “Pulp Fiction” by director Quentin Tarantino? During a memorable scene, John Travolta’s character, Vincent Vega, talks about MacDonald’s Quarter Pounder and Big Mac in France.

While that scene is a sample of director Tarantino’s quirky humor, the concept that Vega talks about is real: Where a product or service might be successful in one place, it might have to be altered—in some cases quite dramatically—to be successful in another place.

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff of Computerworld and Benjamin B. Sargent, blogger for The Common Sense Advisory, offer some basic information for companies that want to take their business abroad:

Hire a local agent or specialist. This is not limited to basic translator and language issues. You might need help with cultural specifics that will help you focus your marketing plan in a defined region.

Comply with local laws and regulations.  Be prepared for different labor laws, insurance needs, rules about benefits and other monetary-related issues. Even if your presence in only online, in a foreign market, it’s important to know the local Internet and privacy laws.

Choose carefully who you send to oversee the project. The person (GM) should be highly qualified in the field, and should be a “people person” who can get along easily with others. He/She should also have a solid plan of action (and back-up Plans B, C and D) with all specifics in place before making the trip. Specifics should include a professional translator who knows the local language and the local culture.

To help companies expand internationally on the Internet, The Common Sense Advisory set up a Global Web Score (GWS) system that helps to standardize international companies on the Web. GWS evaluation is based on web visitor information, customer experience, availability, visitor buying power, and metanavigation (cross-region web surfing within a single company’s site).

Per Sargent: GWS uses “…20 scoring areas. Sites that make it difficult for global audiences to quickly find relevant content are penalized with point deductions for poor practices. [For example] with a Global Web Score of 9.56, Google narrowly beat out Facebook (9.53), YouTube (9.51) and Wikipedia (9.43). Web giants were not the only ones to make the list. Other companies topping this year’s leader board include Samsung (9.11), Blackberry (9.10), and HP (8.97).”

To get a Global Web Score for your website, register here.

Monolingual websites are becoming a thing of the past. Is your company prepared to go global? The world is shrinking and it’s happening faster than you think! (See our article on rapid developments on the African continent.) Alpha Omega Translations has local specialists all over the world to help you expand your business to anywhere on the globe it is looking to grow.

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Category: Business Translation

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