International Business and Technology Blog

Michael Hawksley

Recent Posts

IBT ONLINE = Champion of Trade AWARD

Posted by Michael Hawksley on Thu, Dec 29, 2016

The State International Development Organizations, Inc. (SIDO) is the premiere U.S. organization dedicated to supporting state international trade agencies, whose mission statement states “SIDO provides state trade promotion professionals with a forum for collaboration and sharing best practices as well as advocates for states’ international trade development issues so that U.S. companies remain globally competitive”.

SIDO recognized IBT Online with the “Champion of Trade” Award for its successful Online Global program, working directly with small to medium-sized exporters, helping them grow their sales, brands and businesses globally. The award was presented to John Worthington, IBT Online CEO, by Manny Mencia, SIDO President, (Manny is also SVP International Trade and Development at Enterprise Florida, the public-private partnership between Florida’s business and government leaders and is the principal economic development organization for Florida) at the annual SIDO Best Practices and Training Forum in Williamsburg, Virginia.

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Tags: All posts, State Partners

The UK is now a smartphone society

Posted by Michael Hawksley on Tue, Sep 01, 2015

Did you miss it?

Walking around any place in the UK it is hard not to see someone looking at their smartphone, therefore it is not surprising that the UK’s Ofcom(1) report out in August 2015 heralding in the official status that the UK is a “Smartphone society” went largely unnoticed. So if you missed it (buried in the depths of a 435 page report) here it is…  “For the first time, the smartphone has overtaken the laptop as the device internet users say is the most important for connecting to the internet; in 2015 33% chose their smartphone…” and there is even a funky graph to go with it.

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Tags: All posts, Markets

How effective is your online marketing?

Posted by Michael Hawksley on Wed, Jul 29, 2015

We are continuously looking to see how effective our online marketing is, and one of the great benefits of digital marketing is that there are some excellent tools to tell you just that. We are running a series of webinars which are very popular, with over 50 people registered for the last one. Now, my challenge is to set about doubling that number. We share some of our own online marketing activities to help you improve your marketing return on investment.

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Tags: All posts, Social Media, International Online Marketing

Social media boost trade show ROI

Posted by Michael Hawksley on Wed, Jun 24, 2015

Last week I spent four days attending the Paris Air Show, supporting Business Oregon and their three companies exhibiting, as well as Northeast Pennsylvania and their five companies attending the show. If you have not been, it is an enormous seven day event. This year there were 2,260 exhibitions from 47 countries. The USA had 320 exhibitors, 230-plus in the US International Pavilion where I was based. Around the show itself there were many side events, receptions and evening networking parties.

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Tags: All posts, Trade Shows, Social Media, International Online Marketing

Ecommerce: B2B >2 B2C and growing

Posted by Michael Hawksley on Fri, Apr 24, 2015

b2b-b2c_ecommerceMost people assume that B2C ecommerce is the “big brother” and B2B is trailing way behind, but it is time to think again. Research from Forrester shows that, in the US, B2B ecommerce is now twice the size of B2C ecommerce and predicts that B2B ecommerce sales in the US will reach $780 billion by the end of 2015. That represents 9.3% of all B2B sales!  

Equivalent European B2B figures are not available (let me know if you can find some!) but European ecommerce market as a whole is dominated by the big three (UK, Germany and France) which together are responsible for 81.3% of European ecommerce sales. This is predicted to reach $236 billion in 2015 with an average rate of growth of 25.2% for the big three.

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Tags: All posts, Ecommerce

Social media now drives >30% of all referral traffic

Posted by Michael Hawksley on Mon, Mar 23, 2015

I read an interesting article by Jayson DeMers in the Forbes that shared a report from Shareaholic. Based on the 340k websites in the Shareaholic network then, as of December 2014, social media is now the #1 driver of all website referral accounting for 31.24% compared to the 22.71% from the same period in the previous year.

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Tags: All posts, Social Media, International Online Marketing

Facebook at Work… What the app will mean

Posted by Michael Hawksley on Thu, Jan 22, 2015

Facebook is launching a new app, Facebook at Work, which aims to expand its presence within the business community. It is positioning itself as a challenger to LinkedIn and other established collaboration tools targeted at businesses, such as Yammer, Jive and MangoApps.

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Tags: All posts, Social Media

Companies collecting sales orders online have 30% higher exports

Posted by Michael Hawksley on Tue, Oct 21, 2014

It is widely agreed that the use of technology and business growth are closely linked, and more so when companies look to develop export markets. A report from New Zealand’s Business Operations Survey concluded that export rates are significantly higher for those companies with online ordering systems to collect sales. This does not relate only to large companies. Small, medium, large – businesses of all sizes that use online technologies have higher rates of exporting than those that do not.

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Tags: All posts, Ecommerce

US Foreign Trade Zones – a $732 Bn business

Posted by Michael Hawksley on Wed, Jun 18, 2014

The USA has over 250 Foreign Trade Zones (FTZ) with different rules, processes, advantages and tax implications. But what is a Foreign Trade Zone?  It is a secure area defined by US law as being outside the Customs Territory of the USA. They are associated with an air or sea port of entry, no duty is paid upon admittance and in certain states local and federal taxes are eliminated. Once the goods leave the FTZ and enter the USA then US Customs Territory, duty and taxes apply.

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Tags: All posts, Markets

International Marketing: What is Inbound Marketing?

Posted by Michael Hawksley on Fri, May 23, 2014

For international business development and export managers the internet provides an easily accessible platform for promoting your brand and products in different parts of the world. Getting it right for the target markets is a different matter. Inbound marketing helps you do so.    

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Tags: All posts, International Online Marketing