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thinking globally helps…really?

Monday 13 April, 2009

I caught this article in a recent issue of B2b Marketing Thinking global may help U.S. marketers by Christopher Hosford.  I’m resisting my urge to criticize, so looking for the positive in this article, proposing the use of search-engine optimization as a means of market entry is a possibility, but somewhat oversimplified.  I’ve posited many times that visibility on the web gives firms the opportunity to go global instantaneously, but that requires a number of things for it to work correctly, namely localization for most, which is in many cases no easy task, especially in countries like China which use double-byte character sets.  Additionally, pushing product/services without the requisite local support structure in place in local markets can quickly subdue even the highest expectations.  Just to clarify, direct mail is illegal in some places & e-mail is no more or less proven elsewhere than it is in the US.

I question the results of the Accenture survey in which other countries supposedly switch vendors due to poor customer service.  My impression is that in some ways they must be comparing apples & oranges, because other countries switching up to 55% while the US only switches 22% just doesn’t make sense.  While these results indicate higher levels of competition elsewhere, of which I have no doubt, I would bet they polled intentions but not actions.  The US is the most open & transparent country in the world, so I don’t doubt that number.  However these results indicate that the costs to switching must be lower in other countries, & I doubt that’s the case.

While I agree that getting good international data is an obstacle, I do find it interesting that a direct marketing company announcing the availability of data on 44,000 decision-makers in 10,000 companies China is news, especially since my impression is, regardless of the quality of the data you collect, what matters in China is who you know on a personal basis.  Lists of names & numbers will do you little good when all that matters are the right connections.

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