When a company is looking at expanding into new online markets, sometimes it’s their current customers that dictate where their company heads next – just because demand is already there.

Or, it may be because of ease of entry.

Perhaps you’re headquartered in California, but since your neighbour to the south is Mexico and there’s a talented labour pool you can draw from in your own back yard, so you consider Spanish.  Proximity can also be a determining factor.

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An approach that makes sense

But companies may want to re-examine how they’re determining their online presence by looking at the potential of a market — and what share that market has of the world online wallet. It’s an approach that makes a lot of sense.

Last month, market research agency Common Sense Advisory published a report called “Benchmarking the Top 100 Online Languages for 2015″. In it, they’ve determined the total online gross domestic product (GDP) is a whopping $54.9 trillion US. Limiting your online content to being only in English touches just over a third of that total, at 36.5%.

However, once you increase your online presence to a total of 12 languages – including English, German and Japanese, your addressable economic online potential skyrockets to 88.5%.

To cover 95%, your online presence needs to escalate to 21 languages.

And then, to get your coverage all the way up to 98%, you’ll need 35 languages. To get that 1% more — up to 99%, your online offerings would need to be in 48 languages.

Customer experience

Paying close attention to the customer experience has never been more critical than what it is today. Global companies can no longer simply rest on their haunches with localized websites and packaging to satisfy their customers. No, they need to be able to reach out, react and respond quickly to their customers in the social channels that they prefer, not the ones you prefer to support.

Those social channels, like Twitter and Facebook, don’t just need to be available, they need to be active, managed by people who speak the local language. These content programs also includes Apps which need to be localized and available for pretty much the same operating systems as you have them available in your home language.

Running these content programs require budget, and prioritizing that budget is much easier to do once you understand each market’s potential.

Going global

Going global is a much more complex undertaking now than it was even a decade ago because of the number of social media touch points that customers expect. This means that companies with global aspirations — and the content marketers within them — need to understand that all the additional layers of expenses that accumulate with new online language markets truly have an upside. With the concerted effort to go global, and all the translation expenses associated with doing so, you also get an expanded economic opportunity. And each new language will mean an increase in your share of the world online wallet.

Written by Anita Sempels | @wordbee1

 

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