Just because Internet access is available in almost all parts of the world, it doesn't mean that your organisation's Web site will reach all potential international customers. Just like any market or community, each country needs to be targeted strategically. For an organisation to go global on the Internet really means going local in each geographic area because people respond to marketing messages through their own cultures. Marketers need to present messages that different cultures can understand, relate to, and trust.
If an organisation is looking to increase traffic on their site, there are many eyeballs to be had in the global online arena (Zeff & Aronson, 1999) and mostly the English speaking world represents the majority of users on the internet. Computer Industry Almanac (www.c-i-a.com) projects that by the year 2000, this majority will begin to decline and there will be as many Internet users from non-English speaking countries (Zeff & Aronson, 1999).
Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa (the primary English-speaking world) represent only 8% of the world's population and 30% of the world's economy so movement of the rest of the world to get online is only going to make the global e-commerce world bigger. The Internet has great opportunities to reach many different groups, which is why advertisers and marketers are embracing the Web to reach multicultural markets and minority groups. Demographic material shows that Hispanics, Asians and African-Americans are rapidly gaining access to the Internet.
The Internet is basically all about narrowcasting, and more than any other medium, it allows a company to understand what the consumer thinks about their brand, company, product or service. The Internet allows that company to track what consumers are doing (what sites they are clicking on to) and the marketers can...