Top4 by DMLR - The marketing magazine
--or the 'Eden vs. Babel' paradox--
(INTRO) English multimedial artist William Blake learnt Italian when he was an old man. He wanted to read Dante's 'Divina Commedia'. German playwright Bertolt Brecht was young enamored with Françoys Villon's 'Testament', a French poem. Four poets, four languages. The poetry was a direct medium to communicate most of their extreme experiences --such as the exile or afterworld. A universal speak? Not at all. Yet they were translated into commercial languages that added broader fame.
PART ONE - The LIP method.
Web Marketing as process presents the stages of implementation typical of any direct marketing strategy. Direct because the WWW is more than every other sales channel an interactive medium to the customer. The mix of three basic actions such as
a--Target group identification (WHOM to speak to);
b--Selecting of the communication tool (HOW to speak them);
c--Offer presentation (WHAT to market them);
influences the result of the marketing strategy. This article affects the first factor and a half. The languages selection mirrors how much broad is --or would be-- the audience. The more languages you add the longer radius is powered to reach new customers. The scheme I sum up below is useful in building websites to market internationally. Language International Plan (LIP) numbers three steps to propel a website increasingly towards by means of translated contents. The LIP stages are: 1) jumper page; 2) complete translation; 3) national website. Jumper page is a summary of your website translated to test your offer against new audience(s). If you get good response try to improve through a full translation. First condense then expand --it's the LIP method! The same occurs when you climb higher onto a national website, that is the full translated version done with the country domain. A series of independent national sites makes a global strategy for a global product. The criteria to select languages at every step should be different with regards to the product (i.e. old or new), the distribution (i.e. Internet as unique or added channel), the system of selling (i.e. by dealers or reps or direct marketing). Let's see how different approaches get different results for a website planning.
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PART TWO - The existing markets standard.
PART THREE - The Internet channel standard.
The Internet is an opportunity for national suppliers to establish or widen a market. A first step to move on, but not an easy-to-market environment. Nothing more wrong. As marketplace it has peculiar characteristics and the languages ruling the online world can deeply differ from existing markets. And a customer-centric Web cannot be else than a well language-focused site. Let's consider some criteria to evaluate the languages to translate the website into. Select by one of the following approaches:
- the number of Net users speaking a language --and in which they want to read online;
- the Internet penetration per ethnic group or population;
- the traditional list of countries that affect a product, market or sector by export value.
These criteria are driven by common sense, but you will see they can determine a deeply different selection of languages. Let's see how they work. You sell an existing product --from the old economy-- and enter the Internet channel to expand your audience. Selection is possible by languages according to estimates about the modes the Internet population accesses the Net. This is your range of languages in order of importance --first to fifth by percentage over the global Internet population (accesses in million):
If you prefer an index based on the Internet penetration in each language group, then the priority changes as follows (percentage of people online over total population per language):
Third way. On the contrary you count on existing statistics of your business/product --it doesn't matter this time the Internet specific audience-- so any language becomes rather a country listed in a traditional hierarchy, for example the most important national partners for the Italian commerce (percentage on total export value 199?):
Data source: ilMondo/Atlas Business.
(OUTRO) Marx Brothers were vaudeville and film comedians. Their style of acting is a byword of non sense and mish mash. I'm sure Groucho --the leader of a host of Marx Bros.-- would greet an international audience like yours with this sentence: "Meanwhile goodbye, so long, skol, prosit, salud, hasta la vista, à bientôt and ciao ciao. (Ciao ciao, if you don't know it, is an Italian greeting. It's too a dog breed that bites into your buttocks without any reason on the world)". So he wrote as from one of 'The Groucho Letters', a book offering scores of remarks about the forthcoming radio and tv marketing age. Enjoy it!
PPS. This article has been translated from the Italian version and vice versa.
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