|by Brenda Fields, December 15, 2008
The advancement of technology has made the world a smaller place. Movies, television, and the Internet have created a world which has fostered a better understanding of and access to different cultures. Teenagers in remote areas of the world dress and speak like teenagers in the most urban areas of the world based on their journeys thru the Internet. And a rural homemaker has access to shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City just by logging onto the Internet.
But, does this familiarity and exposure lessen cultural characteristics or nuances? Is it correct to assume that this familiarity creates instant purchases of your product? And does this also ensure that your product will be selected over your competition in these markets? This article will address key components to consider when planning and implementing global marketing campaigns or initiatives or in just reaching specific international markets. Understanding the key elements of marketing combined with a campaign that is tailored to an in-depth understanding of the targeted markets will guarantee the most effective return on investment. Whether you are McDonalds, The Gap, or a small bed and breakfast on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, there are basic tools to apply and areas to address to ensure that you capture the desired international business.
So, after identifying your targeted international markets, have your web site translated into those languages. At the same time, consider paid search advertising and local language banner ads in those identified international markets. Look into the most popular local search engines. For example, in China, the otherwise prolific search engine, Google, ranks well below the most popular (and inexpensive) search engine, Baidu. So it will be worthwhile to research those targeted markets to determine the most cost effective way to reach them thru search engines, paid search, and local banner ads.
Language and Currency:
In addition, how many of us will buy a product without knowing the price? So why would we expect a foreign customer to book our hotel when we ask then to figure out on their own, the currency conversion? You can increase your reservation conversation rate when the potential customer has immediate access to the cost of the room in his or her own currency. Once they leave your site to get information, it is unlikely that they will return.
“One size fits all” may work when buying some tee-shirts, but not necessarily when cost effectively penetrating key international markets. With a few basic, but critical, components in place, owners and mangers are in a great position to compete, cost effectively, for international business and to lay the foundation for future growth.
About the Author:
In her more than 27 years as a marketing and sales pro in the hospitality industry, Brenda Fields has emerged as the "go to" consultant for independent and/or privately owned hotels and resorts seeking real-world solutions for today's market challenges.
From small boutique hotels to large convention properties, Brenda has created and implemented highly successful Strategic Plans that enable owners to achieve target results despite market conditions. With extensive expertise in pre-openings and repositionings Brenda was responsible for the successful opening and stabilization of the Paramount Hotel in New York, one of the first boutique hotels.
With a "who's who" roster of clients, Brenda has worked with a number of industry leaders and real estate investment companies including Starwood Lodging Corporation, Planet Hollywood, Choice Hotels International, and Olympus Real Estate Corporation, among others.
Brenda is a member of ISHC (International Society of Hospitality Consultants); currently President of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International Greater New York Chapter of over 500 members; and was recently awarded "The Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing by HSMAI. She also received “The Best of the Best" award from HSMAI for the Awards and Recognition committee work. Brenda can be reached at: 518.789.0117/phone or email@example.com, www.fieldsandcompany.net
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