Will Mother Tongues Divide Global Internet Experience
Naseem Javed | February 27,2012 10:42 am IST
Within the next five years there could be as many as five billion online users on the Internet.
The world is overflowing with cheap technology and round the clock induction towards online living.
By the hour, such multiple propagations are manifesting by creating the largest ever assembly of online markets. Currently, 27% of the world population speaks English, but soon, the remaining 73% of non-English speaking populations will dominate the world of online commerce. Some 3 billion online users may transact business in languages other than English.
What global CEOs, CMOs, CFOs CTOs and shareholders must understand is that technology is going allow the online operations in native languages, which will divide the global online power of presence and name identity domination based on the popularity of the languages spoken.
We are amidst the tectonic slides of global image shifts, where developed economies are going through stress tests against emerging economies. The mathematics are simple, how long and how far would Western brands stretch to reach the farthest corners and keep on pushing their English-only language of communication? The world is already awakening to calls of nationalism and localization to accommodate the non-English speaking populace at a faster rate. New age global cyber branding technologies are more befitting to new phases of glocalization; a place where old time globalization would cave in to global based but fully localized marketing and branding, absorbed with local cultural issues in a local language of choice.
True, English will always be the most powerful international tool of business communication.
The quantum leaps of Internet based technologies as represented by global multilingualization of the domain names, ICANN gTLD platforms, creative applications or engaging global audiences at hyper-speed with social media are all combined as one major force. These dynamics are demanding a new layer of education to cope with rapid adjustments in global marketing and image expansion mandates.
Billions of folks in emerging markets to improve quality of life, the wise men and native intelligencia of the faraway lands, unable to speak English and left abandoned as ignorant, the local trade and cultural dynamics, the vibrancy of folklore and traditional life accommodating regional issues, the flourishing dialogue and re-energized communication from local to local expanding within regions, multilingualization of marketing branding, naming and trademarking.
The Monarchist Clubs and English Only Spoken Here mentality, the global marketing and branding mindset to have a cookie-cutter approach for the entire world, mass merchandisers and globalization devotees, Western institutions still in denial about the global image shift.
Identify the global markets based on languages. Create a culture open to such foreign transitions. Embrace a global view and seek comfort in non-English markets. Start building teams of bilingual and trilingual staff to focus on those markets. Organize a companywide program to work with selected markets and start a language-specific initiative. Discover the tactical and digital tools to make the transition easy and practical. Determine the power or weaknesses of present too few or too many name brands. Identify the entire companywide global corporate nomenclature to prepare for some new foreign trademarks and soft assets. Launch a 2020 program and aim at the right trajectory right from the start.