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Online Marketing Tools Get Savvier for Global SMBs

On the internet no one can tell if you are dog, as the iconic New Yorker ad goes - they also are unclear how big or small or globally-oriented your firm may truly be.  Consider for example, Jonathan Defoy, the founder and CEO of BizTree, a Montreal-based business that sells templates for everyday business transactions. Using search in various markets around the world, he has expanded into a a 40-person shop, offering products in eight different languages, the Globe and Mail reports.

More and more, small businesses are able to expand their scope and reach across borders using online tools that magnify their resources. Marketing is just one category of these tools - a category that is growing daily.

What Google Offers

Chief among these is Google Ads for Global Advertisers, which Google launched in December 2010. It functions as a central hub for Google's tools and tips for businesses looking to expand to foreign markets. This website offers resources to help businesses find the right market for their products and services, translate websites and ad text, find new customers with relevant online ads, and understand options for international payment, shipping and customer service.

It also introduced Global Market Finder, a new free tool to help businesses identify markets with high demand for their products or services. The Global Market Finder automatically translates a keyword - Google gives the example of business suit - into 56 languages and then uses Google search trends data to see where in the world people search for the product or service.

Other Tools

Increasingly paid-for tools aimed at small businesses looking to look big overseas are coming to market. This week, NAVTEQ, which provides maps, traffic and location data enabling navigation, location-based services and mobile advertising around the world, launched its location-based mobile ad network, NAVTEQ LocationPoint, in China. Another example is Apprupt, a combination of mobile advertising network and application store that proved to be popular in Germany and expanded to England last summer. GoMoNews reported. apprupt is an affiliate mobile advertising network that delivers applications rather than banner ads. Users place a shopfront in their mobile property and Apprupt delivers applications directly to that shopfront, tailoring the selection depending on what kind of site it is.

Also last summer, Asknet, a service provider that helps US online retailers increase their sales in foreign markets, expanded into Taiwan and the fast-growth emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, India and China, DM News noted. The platform helps retailers negotiate cultural barriers as well as the more technical ones, such as foreign exchange issues. For example, DM News relates, while US consumers like deep discounts, Japanese customers tend to assume something is wrong with a discounted product.

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