A.M.Sall's Motivational/Inspirational Ramblings
Amadou M. Sall - The Cross-cultural Connector, author, translator, coach, success mindset philosopher
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
What Word Do You Own?
When you're thinking about fast-food, what brand do you think of when you hear the word "fast"? (McDonald's) When you think about cell phone providers, who do you think of when you hear the word "network"? (Verizon) When you think about television stations, who do you think of when you hear "s
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Happy Chinese New Year :-)
Friday, February 12, 2010
The Real Lesson of Toyota: Cultural Insensitivity? > Trust Matters : Trusted Advisor Associates
Thursday, February 11, 2010
What Does Google Buzz Mean for Small Businesses? | SmallBusinessNewz
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
3 Simple Steps to Add Irresistible Influence to Your Brand | Liz Strauss at Successful Blog
Google to Break the Language Barrier With Android Translator | Search Engine Journal
Google to Break the Language Barrier With Android Translator
Google has (possibly) done it again! Word on the street says that Google engineers are working on a translator for the Android smart phone that will translate one language to another- almost completely in real time. Now, there’s a few problems in the past that have appeared when trying to do anything involving voice translation. First off, the pronunciation problem. Everybody has different ways of saying things and often times it doesn’t translate correctly.
Ever use those voice to text translators? If you say “the fish is in the lake bed” it translates it to text and says something like, “the dish is in the cake head”. What?! The other problem is that the dictionaries are so limited that often times it can’t even keep up with the human language. Throw slang and a foreign language into this and it spells trouble.
I used Babel Fish one time to translate a Japanese message that was saying “I’ll call you tomorrow” and the translation came out to say “tomorrow I will use the telephone on you!!” Something innocent turns into somewhat of a threat when a literal word by word conversion is used without artificial intelligence.
Google has come up with a few solutions to these pesky problems for its up coming Android translator. It will be crawling through various web pages and documents in different languages so that it can get an artificial grasp on the human language. The translator will also be able to view the words as part of a whole; fully understanding the complete sentence rather than each word separately.
This tool is expected to support a 52-language text translation, along with voice recognition and text to speech capabilities.
Communication is a vital part of everything we do. We need it for everything, including sitting down with the CEO of a Japanese company via video conference with your corporation. While the internet allows communication overseas and makes business easier, the language barrier that accompanies this freedom often stands in the way. If all goes well, this tool could be utilized by individuals and businesses to bridge the gap in culture and language.
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Friday, February 05, 2010
2010 Small Business Owner Resolutions | Small Business Trends
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The Significance of Storytelling | Decker Blog
How to Be a Local, Anywhere - Pat McGovern - IDG - Global Business
How to Be a Local, Anywhere
If you're a leader, lead. When my company explores a new market, I'm the first one off the plane.By Pat McGovern | Apr 1, 2007
Occasionally, I meet people who believe communications technology will make it possible for them to run a global business without setting foot outside their domestic comfort zones. Experience tells me that is not realistic. When a company ventures abroad, its point person should be its CEO, traveling frequently and acting boldly and enthusiastically.
I founded my company, IDG, in Boston in 1964, and I have spent an average of four months a year for the past 40 years launching our technology publications, events, and research and online services from Antarctica to Zimbabwe. When I established IDG, the United States accounted for 78 percent of the world's information technology market. I forecast then that that share would decline to 35 percent by 2000 (the actual number was 33 percent). So for us, globalization was not optional. Today IDG operates in 85 countries; 80 percent of our profits come from outside the United States.
Where the business goes, I go. Or as my colleagues say, where I go, the business goes. IDG launches businesses in three to five new countries each year, and for virtually all of them I'm first on the ground, meeting with potential customers, government ministers, and management candidates. It's a hierarchical world out there: People respect a title. If I'm there, we work together to define the market, set the mission and goals, and sign the contract. If I sent my staff, they'd meet with local people and merely exchange information. Nothing would get decided.
Of course, it helps that I love to travel. Even after 40 years, my adrenaline starts pumping every time my plane touches down in a new country. I never tire of exposure to unfamiliar people and places. Every trip is a story waiting to happen.
Books on foreign business cultures can't begin to prepare you for the unusual situations you encounter. I remember one that began on a snowy Boston day in 1975. I was in my office when the phone rang. It was a Brazilian entrepreneur who wanted to start a computer publication with IDG as his partner. He told me it was 90 degrees in Rio; I got on a plane and met him at the Copacabana the next morning. We worked on a business plan for three days. On the third day, which was New Year's Eve, the entrepreneur transferred the business plan to a single sheet of paper and took me to the beach at midnight. Standing on the sand, he folded the paper into the shape of a boat and placed it at water's edge. He explained that if the first wave at midnight carried the paper boat out to sea, the gods blessed the plan and the venture would be successful. If the wave pushed it back up on the sand, the gods disapproved. He seemed very serious so I went along with it, and fortunately so did the waves. Ten years later IDG Brazil was the largest technical publishing company in that country.
In nations with socialist economies, assumptions about business go out the window. My experience in the former Soviet Union is illustrative. In 1988, I signed a contract to launch PC World magazine with the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Russian Printing and Publishing Ministry. We determined that the first issue would have 150 pages, 30 of them full-page ads that we would sell to companies outside the Soviet Union.
I flew with a group of our largest advertising clients to Moscow for a launch party at the National Hotel. As the first issue was passed around, I heard the clients muttering, "Where's my ad? Where's my ad?" I flipped hurriedly through a copy and found only four ads in the whole magazine. When I asked the manager of our joint venture what had happened, he explained that the Soviet editor in chief had reviewed the ads and found half of them lacking in solid technical content. Another 11 were redundant because the company was also mentioned in an article. In the editor's judgment, only four of the 30 ads were sufficiently useful to pass muster. It was no small matter to persuade the editor that we needed ad revenue to pay expenses, his salary included.
During the past 15 years, about two-thirds of my international travel has been in Asia. Of course, the customs in Asia take some getting used to. When I first went to Changsha, the capital of Hunan province, my business partners took me to a restaurant where the waiter decapitated a snake and poured its blood into our glasses. People in my party told me that toasting with the blood would make me a member of the "Hunan Mafia." Fortunately I have an iron stomach (I've also eaten monkey brains and scorpion), so I downed the stuff. Becoming part of the inner circle paid off: Today many leaders of our Chinese business units are Hunan natives.
I know that anti-American hostility has escalated in recent years, but I haven't experienced much. The only time that I was a bit anxious was in 1984, in Ethiopia. I was being driven around Addis Ababa when a group of men started beating on the car with clubs, crying "Die, Western devil! Die, Western devil!" Fortunately, we escaped before the windows were smashed.
My wife, who was CEO of a computer company when I met her, accompanies me on many of my trips. My children often come along as well. We typically take our vacations overseas, and if a business opportunity pops up during one of those occasions, so be it. For my wife's 50th birthday, I took her to the South Pole, where we spent a week in an unheated tent. While we were there, I met a scientist from the National Science Foundation's South Pole research station. He gave me a tour of the facility's telecommunications room and let me send out e-mail reports about the use of computers for seismic research, ozone layer analysis, and glacier movement. From those reports, Computerworld Antarctica was born. It's a website with 20,000 monthly visitors. With the site's launch, IDG became the only publishing company doing business on all seven continents.
In 2000 my wife and I founded an institute for brain research at MIT. Researchers in neuroscience have discovered that when the brain is stimulated by new experiences it generates neurons, and the birth of those neurons improves the immune system and general health. In other words, learning promotes longevity. And one of the best forms of learning is traveling to new places. Over the years, international travel has helped IDG reach $3 billion in revenue. I believe it will also help me reach my 100th birthday.
Pat McGovern is the founder and CEO of IDG, a Massachusetts-based company with more than 13,000 employees.
How to Build a Brand Internationally
How to Build a Brand Internationally
Advice for small businesses on what it takes to build an international brand, such as crafting a universal message, increasing brand awareness, and registering and re-examining product names and trademarks.By Elizabeth Wasserman | Feb 1, 2010
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Forty years ago, there were only a handful of truly "global brands" and they were made up of only the biggest corporations -- Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Colgate-Palmolive, IBM, Shell. Then a rash of upstarts came along, such as Nike, Microsoft, Apple, and Honda, and pushed their brand reputation further than their actual sales footprint. But now that barriers to international trade have come down and the Internet has helped small and mid-sized companies compete on the global stage, building an international brand is a realistic goal for more and more businesses.
"Only in the last 10 years has global business become the benchmark for how you do business these days," says Hayes Roth, chief marketing officer for Landor Associates, a strategic brand and design consultancy that has worked on international branding with such companies as BP, Panasonic, and KFC. "Thanks to the Internet it's hard to keep your brand just localized. Once you're on the Web, you're accessible pretty much anywhere in the world. It doesn't necessarily make you a global brand but you have to be mindful of the implications."
The following pages will detail what an international brand is, how to build a brand internationally, and how to build brand awareness in new international markets.
What a Global Brand Is
In starting a new business or seeking to increase growth at your current business by expanding into international markets, establishing and building a brand identity becomes essential.
Branding involves what people think about your business and your products. "Think of a brand as a reputation," says Paul Williams, founder of the international marketing firm Idea Sandbox, which helps companies build their brands. "Building a reputation in any new market, including overseas, involves a first impression, which comes from the initial interactions someone has with your company, products, and services."
Businesses can attempt to shape or form the branding of their company or products in many ways, including advertising, media, word-of-mouth, and contact with your products or services. A lot of thought and effort goes into branding, including naming products, designing logos, and ensuring that service is uniform throughout the business. Through continued exposure over time, your brand -- or your reputation -- is formed with potential and existing customers. "A brand is essentially a short cut, it is a way for a customer to get an instant recognition on what the promise is of a product or service and how that will benefit them," Roth says.
The reason businesses spent time and money developing brand recognition is so that they can charge a premium for a product or service. People will pay more for a brand name product or service if it is recognized as a leader and a trusted brand and they know what they will get. Apple, for example, can charge more for its computers than some other companies because of its brand reputation for offering innovative design and quality electronics. The same can be said about Mercedes or BMW automobiles.
How to Build an International Brand
When businesses try to expand their brand globally, those goals don’t change. But there are several steps you should take to make sure that your products or services will have a market overseas, that you can maintain quality in delivering and/or distributing your goods or services, and that your business or product branding meets cultural expectations -- and doesn't insult anyone -- in different parts of the world.
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Getting More from your Blog and Blogging | The Small Business United Blog
Getting More from your Blog and Blogging
by John Jantsch - February 2, 2010
There are two things most business owners must reconcile when it comes to the subject of blogging: every business needs a blog, but nobody wants to read your blog.
Now here’s what I mean by that. People, your prospects, are probably not sitting around waiting for the next bit of wisdom shared in your blog posts, but, they are going online by the millions and using search engines in the hopes of finding suppliers, solutions and answers to questions.
Every business needs to have a blog, because the software used to run blogs is the easiest way to produce frequently updated, education-based content – just the kind search engines can’t get enough of. Try it yourself. Go to a search engine and type in a common question in your industry. Chances are that blog posts are heavily mixed into the top results.
On January 27th I presented a webinar called Getting More from your Blog and Blogging and during that presentation I shared blogging basics, best practices and my favorite resources for amplifying and elevating how you use a blog.
Make sure to visit the link above and catch the entire program.
I focused heavily on the use of the WordPress.org platform. Below are some of my top suggestions for extending a WordPress.org driven blog.
• Wishlist Member – This powerful WordPress plugin allows you to add a membership component to your site. You can offer premium content, members’ only access and even sell courses with full integration into some shopping carts.
• Apture – The Apture plugin sits in your admin panel and allows you to create embedded or popup links that include reference sites, video, audio and images. By simply highlighting some text in your post, Apture will find videos, for example, that explain a concept or feature you are talking about. This is a great way to add more content and interactivity without sending readers away from your site.
• Author Exposed – Adding authors to your blog is a great way to share the workload. You can have internal staff writers or include blog posts from guests and industry partners. The Author Exposed plugin makes it easy to share bio information and photos for each author.
• WPTouch – Increasingly, blogs are being read on mobile devices, such as iPhones. The WPTouch plugin automatically creates a very mobile browser friendly theme for your blog, making the posts searchable and much easier to read on the small mobile screen.
• Facebook Integration – Adding your activity on your Facebook Fan Page is a great way to integrate this growing network. This post tells you how to do it.
Image credit: KPWerker
If you liked reading this you may also enjoy:
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- Word of Mouth with a Mega-PhoneJohn Jantsch is a marketing and digital technology coach, award-winning social media publisher and author of Duct Tape Marketing and The Referral Engine (May 2010). More information about his social media coaching program can be found at www.ducttapeu.com.
- Carol Roy says:
This is very important, and very foundational, information for anyone writing a blog.
To my eyes, the most important information you’ve shared is that search engines love new content and, by default, blogs are constantly evolving. If optimized correctly, your blog can become *the* answer to the questions asked online by all your new potential clients.
Thank you John, great article.
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