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Think Global, Act Local

What is “think global, act local”?

Think global, act local, commonly referred to as Global-Local or Glocal was originally used as a rallying cry for people to consider the health of the entire planet and take action in their communities. Today, it takes on a much broader context—from environmental, to public policy, to business—many have even embraced Think Global, Act Local as the philosophical foundation of running a successful global brand, like Sony Corporation and other major Japanese multinationals in their advertising and branding strategies in the 1980s and 1990s.

In today’s global markets, the '‘think global, act local’' philosophy has more relevance than ever for the owners and directors of small business. More and more corporations are finding it extremely important to conducting business according to both global and local considerations. Many international hi-tech companies hunger after new geographic markets. Their business plans demand it.

Why think global?

International consumers are buying more than ever across borders. If catering to these shoppers should be on your agenda right now. Today, cross-border shopping is the most popular in China and all over the world. By 2025, the global consuming class is projected to grow from 2.4 billion to 4.2 billion--with the vast majority of growth coming from emerging markets. Meanwhile, emerging market consumer spending is expected to grow from $12 trillion to $30 trillion, according to a report from The McKinsey Global Institute. "The cross-border opportunity for small merchants is just beginning as the Internet opportunity explodes," says Nayar.

Maybe you don't consider yourself an international company. With all that a connected economy, global competition and the Internet have done to break down borders, maybe you should. A huge growing number of opportunities in emerging countries are waiting for you. The starting point is to become more aware of what’s happening around the world, what skills, services and expertise are in demand globally, how different countries operate and how you can participate without taking your eye off the ball at home and open your mind to new ideas and possibilities. There are amazing opportunities for small businesses to get involved and '‘think global, act local’'.

Why act local?

“Think global, act local” is not just about a local language websites. It means your customer experience has to speak the local language and, crucially, having culturally relevant messages and contents. If you fail to localize properly, your brand would be damaged. Understanding and delivering in a relevant, local context is a key component of effective customer experience management. Today, the marketing departments are increasingly concerned with the whole customer experience, so the ability to produce fresh content across all regions simultaneously is more important than ever.

Once context is understood and established with customers, the relationship can expand well beyond the basics of pre-sales, purchase and support. Creating transparency and accessibility to a wide range of self-service assets encourages customers to come back for more, and keeps your organization top of mind. Those that get it right will find that customers become mavens for your brand, helping develop and proliferate messages and content to local customer networks that you might not even know about.

How to practice?

Many people use the Internet to check out prices and features before buying a car from the local dealership. People are even using the Internet to find proper local hairdressers, auto repair shops, schools, stores and other products and services. Perfect connection with your customers is the key factor to your business success.

Step 1: Make sure they can find you

Make sure your local town or city name appear on every page of your website. This will improve your chances of coming up when someone types in a geographic phrase. If there are local business directories on the Internet, such as a local chamber of commerce website, make sure you're listed.

Step 2: Remind them about you

Invite your local clients to sign up for your electronic newsletter or email list. Give them some incentive by offering special deals that can only be accessed through signing up.

Step 3: Build a community

When people go on the Internet, they join communities such as social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Weibo, and Wechat which are related to their hobbies and interests, including their community. So do some research to find out if there are any online communities that attract people from your local area.

It all starts with getting the strategy right. Make sure that you have the right localization processes and systems to market for your products and messages while making sure that you are making best use of your resources for each channel and market. Getting translation and localization right can have a huge impact on the customer experience — and revenue potential. Through this process and remember to stay true to your mission, your global business strategy will be bright in the future.