Some thoughts on Emotion Marketing and how it can be useful as a concept when evaluating marketing messages.

Multilingual Electronic Marketing

As the owner of a startup company, where any frivolous spending is a really bad idea, I had to rely on my intuition and experience in my efforts to position my product. This task became all the more difficult when we started working on the actual wording that would convey our messages. With no time, or funds, and yet fully and painfully aware of the importance of “words” and the potential risk they represent if you get things wrong, I started thinking about finding and using some tools to help me evaluate the quality and direction I was taking with my messages.

Given that we are a B2B company focusing on selling translations, our core values (and the “words” that will surround our messages to our potential customers have to be “toned down” significantly (for reasons that should be clear by the end of this entry). However, I believe that…

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A Greek Lesson

All opinions here are firmly my own…

Multilingual Electronic Marketing

I think that one of the overwhelmingly consequential stories of 2011, was that of the Greek financial and social issues. The topic has been covered very thoroughly by the world media, so I am guessing that just like me, you will have mixed emotions about my fellow countrymen as a whole.

On the one hand, the irregularities (ranging anywhere from innocent mistakes all the way to blatant stealing – from both Europe, but also from the poor to give to the rich) have happened within the country itself. Unquestionably it has been the Greeks making their own bed (albeit messing up everyone else’s as a result) and that apportions blame squarely and wholly somewhere within the country.

On the other hand, under several very misguided and very unfair governments for almost 30 years now, it is typically the “non-thieving” hard-working type of Greek (majority) that is paying a very disproportionate…

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The Cranley Hotel now speaks German

Delighted to announce that the www.thecranley.com website now has a German version here. We are expecting a .fr version of the Cranley and the Royal Park hotels to go live today. Exciting times!

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Multilingual Electronic Marketing

Looking at the primary findings of a recent hotel online market research we conducted, it became somewhat obvious that multilingual international travellers are not “chased” by hoteliers. Unlike the occasionally surprising proficiency one can find in a hotelier’s online strategy when it comes to same-language markets, international source markets are – to put it mildly – mostly ignored. This suggests a significant opportunity for hotels, in the form of what is – in every way that counts – a “new” marketplace; one in which linguistic barriers have so far kept the competition away!

If you are a hotelier, think of your PPC and SEO efforts… do you think you are selling to the Japanese in the same way that you are selling to the Brits? I am afraid that unless you KNOW the answer to be “yes”… you aren’t.

Although this changes dramatically from market to market, the rule of…

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A Google Language Experiment

Google’s WebGL platform, specifically designed to allow for statistical information to be presented over large geographical areas, has given us a wonderful visual representation of the untapped opportunity called Multilingual Marketing!

The Google Multilngual Experiment

Google runs a multilingual test - wonderfully illustrating that we are all selling to a very, very multilingual online world

“Multilingual” and even “multicultural” makes sense to everyone. A discussion on Spaniards’ and Germans’ online behaviour compared to our own makes for a fascinating conversation point. And the need for an international presence for a hotel – that is a natural recipient of travellers from abroad – makes sense to even the most sceptical business owner. However, actually marketing to an international audience is not at all easy… and usually, your marketing agency can’t quite do it all either…

Before going any further, I would suggest that you simply click here and have look for yourself. What you are looking at is “Google’s data on search volume by language”.

Given that you are reading at this entry in English, I would like to invite you to look first at the wonderful spread of the light blue colour over the US and the UK.. and then look at all the other colours in Europe and all over the world… Stunning isn’t it?

I believe that this virtually colourful world, however complex it may seem, is actually a representation of a stunning opportunity. An opportunity that comes from simple, basic consumer needs, and the fact that most of your competitors haven’t tapped it yet!

When consumers make a hotel reservation – and if you have ever booked abroad, you know this from your own efforts – they like ease. They like to be able to understand what they are booking. More than ever, they feel uncertain, and they are exactly ready to relay on “experts”. And this is where the online travel agencies step in.

Unsurprising the larger agencies around the world have a singular focus on the multilingual services they offer. Expedia and LastMinute come in some very strong German, French, Spanish and Italian flavours (at least), whilst the likes of Bookings.com (part of Priceline) have gone down an even more intelligent route… allowing smaller local agencies to use their engines to power their online presence. And at the same time most hotels are happy to accept and rewards this business because the foreign markets are markets hotels felt they couldn’t reach otherwise.

If you run a search for a hotel room from within England for London, and then you run the same search from Holland, you will get some different results even if you have searched for exactly the corresponding keywords. Your IP address (giving away your location), the search terms, the language at which you have set your keyboard and the fact that you are probably looking at google.nl rather than google.co.uk, all play a very significant part in the process. If you now do your search using a non-latin character set (say Arabic, Russian or Japanese), that is when the real OTA party begins. To verify this, I searched for a hotel in London from Greece, using Greek (of course, as it is the only other language I can speak at a respectable level I am afraid). Google.gr’s results returned only agencies in all the organic listings (most of which were Greek but using Bookings or Expedia engines to gain and display inventory and rates).

I believe that the single most important factor for being seen in searches from international destinations (and consequently be understood, which is an obvious prerequisite to being booked) is to have not just a translated page of your website, but a page that is optimised to match what the consumers are searching for. And I believe that BABEL is by far the most appropriate solution to attract international travellers directly to a hotel’s own website – no matter what the language. And in most cases, this can be done for FREE!

For more information on BABEL Multilingual, or if you have any questions or comments, please contact us here.

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Greig Holbrook explains what multilingual SEO is and why you should use it.

In my research for relevant information on multilingual search engine optimisation, I was not surprised to find Greig Holbrook from OBAN Multilingual coming up again and again as the singular authority on international search optimisation and online consumer behaviour. The article here is definitely worth a read. [entered as found on eConsultancy’s website here, back in 2008, and titled “The Wonderful World of Multilingual SEO”]

“International (or multilingual) SEO involves improving the volume and quality of

The CEO of OBAN Multilingual speaks about internationalisation - via eConsultancy

international traffic to websites from culturally-specific search engines.
English-only websites are a thing of the past. They overlook 95% of the potential market (since only 5% of the world’s population speaks English).
Online shoppers worldwide are increasingly relying on search engines to help them locate their product or service of choice.
While a product or service may be in demand in a variety of cultures, the way these cultures search for that product or service is extremely unique.
In other words, what captures one culture’s attention can be off-putting to another.
By optimising a website according to unique cultural search habits, businesses can specifically target particular cultures, and make their products or services visible in regions where there are often massive untapped markets.
Why you should care 
Last year saw 147.1m Chinese participate in e-commerce (source: MasterCard Worldwide), a higher number than the total population of all but the world’s eight most populous countries.
In less than two years, this number is projected to triple.
Across the ocean, Brazil is also seeing incredibly strong e-commerce growth.
Online spending there is predicted to grow by one-third in 2008. Brazil’s rapidly growing population of online buyers are among the most active retail e-commerce users in the world (source: e-Marketer).
At home in Europe, Scandinavia’s retail e-commerce sales for 2008 are predicted to total £10.65bn (source: Forrester Research).
Online buyer penetration rates in Denmark, Finland and Sweden were among the highest in Europe in the second quarter of last year, averaging 22% higher than the EU as a whole (source: Eurostat).
Add this onto the current credit crunching climate that is particularly pronounced in the UK and US, and it is easy to see why many UK companies are looking outside of our English borders for relatively untapped markets.
The trick is how to reach those markets.
Think about it as a simple mathematical problem. Nearly three-quarters of the world does not use the internet in English.
Most people prefer to use the internet in their own language and search on their own culturally-appropriate search portals (often not Google).
Therefore it can be deduced that English-only websites with great rankings on English Google can be largely invisible to, for example, those millions of Chinese using Baidu who search in simplified Chinese.
Thinking beyond Google 
Businesses wanting to achieve an international presence must think beyond Google and Yahoo when planning their global search marketing.
Despite Google’s dominance in the English-speaking world, local search engines in many countries continue to grow their market share.
In India, Rediff is extremely popular, often delivering more effectively than Google.
The South Koreans tend to prefer their local Naver, and Czechs also like their own search portal, Seznam.
These search engines are also commonly less pricey than the better-known global names.
In China, Tencent QQ and Baidu lead the search engine market. Both sites have nearly two-thirds of the market share.
Baidu has also recently launched in Japan, illustrating that local search providers are actively seeking to widen their audiences and are not intimidated by Google.
Cultural internet behaviour 
In designing the content and set-up of a website geared at a particular culture, local online search behaviours should be researched and incorporated into the plan.
In French, the use of accents is an important consideration in search terms. In Russia, phrases are often written and searched for in Cyrillic but are frequently phonetic English.
Many languages like Czech and Spanish have either accents or diacritics, which search engines often see as different phrases.
In English, we don’t have this accented system, so translating directly would omit these spelling varieties, and in turn, miss business.
Without thorough optimisation, websites are invisible for these terms.
Also interesting is how cultures interact with the web.
Although we use the same language, US web culture is very different to UK web culture.
For example, US searchers will tend to use the word ‘vacation’ in searches, whereas British searchers are more likely to use the word ‘holiday’.
Change is good (for the multilingual web) 
Recent changes in web culture rules have paved the way for multilingual SEO to become a bigger player in internet marketing.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) recently approved a recommendation that will introduce a whole range of new names to the internet’s addressing system.
The ICANN changes will allow the use of non-Latin or Roman characters in top-level domain names.
This means that we will begin seeing Japanese Kanji, Russian Cyrillic, or Persian Farsi characters in website URLs as early as next year.
This will give an advantage to companies targeting countries which with such non-Latin or roman scripts, who make use of multilingual search engine optimisation.
Proactive marketers will act promptly while the competition remains low.”

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