International Business and Technology Blog

The Changing Landscape of U.S. Exports

Posted by Jared Grossman on Tue, Mar 20, 2018

If the U.S wishes to maintain its global stature, it needs to support its service exporters more as they compete in international markets. Traditional federal and state export assistance programs need to acknowledge the economic shift in favor of services and adapt their resources and activities to support the growing number of U.S. service companies that are looking to export. This blog series will discuss the different resources service exporters need compared to manufacturing exporters and will make suggestions on how U.S. state export development programs can address the exporting needs of service firms.

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Tags: All posts, Markets, Trade Partners

How can companies build brand awareness in China?

Posted by Susanna Hardy on Thu, Mar 08, 2018

New to China and wondering how to get brand recognition? One of the fastest and most cost-efficient ways of building brand awareness in China, particularly for B2B companies, is to use SINA Weibo. The name Weibo means microblog in Chinese and the app is sometimes likened to a Chinese version of Twitter. But that comparison undermines one of its key attributes: from an online marketing perspective Weibo is more like Facebook. Weibo allows companies to post content to specific targeted audiences in China. It gives you a segmented audience base to grow page likes, create social buzz and to drive traffic to your website. This is the main reason why Chinese businesses are increasingly using Weibo for their online marketing and why savvy non-Chinese companies are joining in. 

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Tags: All posts, Markets, Search Engines

Building brand awareness with social media in Mexico

Posted by Susanna Hardy on Mon, Feb 26, 2018

Social media is a fantastic way to boost your brand awareness and grow your sales in Mexico. Mexican consumers and businesses are reactive and engaged online: post great relevant content and watch it ricochet around your target prospect base! On top of that, online marketing prices are reasonable compared to many other large markets. So, if you get your social media and online marketing right, the return on investment for brand awareness and the sales that can go with it, are rapid. Below we share some of our insights to the Mexican online world that we use as international marketers to help our clients build their brand, sales and business in Mexico. 

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Tags: All posts, Markets, Social Media

Custom Biogenic Systems: Visible Online to a Quarter of the World

Posted by Susanna Hardy on Wed, Feb 14, 2018

If you want to be a global leader, you need global websites – this was the conclusion of Custom Biogenic Systems' management. In 2016, IBT Online rolled out the first 2 localized websites for them: now 2 years later, Custom Biogenics is online, optimized and fully visible to their international clients and prospects, with 6 websites across 6 international markets. IBT Online first built 4 localized websites for Custom Biogenics for Europe: French, German, Spanish and Italian. In early 2018, the company decided to add Chinese and Russian. These 6 languages equate to over a quater of the world's population. This multi-website presence allows the company to push forward its international ambitions, growing together with the global biotechnology, pharma, industrial and research sectors that they service.

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Tags: All posts, Case Studies

European VAT Infographic

Posted by Samantha Soffici on Fri, Feb 02, 2018

Europe remains a great export destination, despite all its complexities, including VAT. It is the largest destination for US exports and together, the US and Europe make up over half of world GDP and a third of global trade. 

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Tags: All posts, Markets, E-commerce

Online Global App Story #2: The Users - where are they and who are they?

Posted by John Worthington on Fri, Jan 26, 2018

When you go online today to use one of your Apps, you are one of more than 3.4 billion App-empowered users – that’s 40% of the world’s population. By 2021, that App utilization figure is expected to be >6.3 billion users; some 80% of the projected 7.8 billion world citizens. This means that over the next 3 years, a further 2.9 billion people will be using Apps, implying a doubling of the penetration rate to 85%. The big picture therefore and the message of this blog, is that we are all, the world’s billions of citizens, going to be App users. The details, and the focus of this IBT Online App blog-series, concern geographic location, the rate of uptake, which devices, platform and use.

An important insight is that globally, users are increasingly accessing Apps through their mobile smartphones (today >2.5 billion users) rather than their desktops. Innovative, easy to roll out and cost effective technologies facilitating the mobile 1st world (think China, India and Indonesia…), have enabled these countries to leap-frog the infrastructure dependent PC route, of users in mature Western countries. Let’s take a dive and see where all the App users are in this world and then make a case study of the world’s largest App market, China.

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Tags: All posts, Apps

Shire Post Mint: global appeal needs global websites

Posted by Susanna Hardy on Fri, Jan 12, 2018

Selling specialized products to consumers these days requires a fantastic website and regular postings of quality social media across multiple media platforms. Shire Post Mint from Arkansas do this well. Their US home website allows customers to browse and purchase easily while their blogs and regular social media postings include great visuals and engaging content. Now how best to grow internationally? Management chose to leverage their digital presence through localized websites and international online marketing for their key export markets. IBT Online is delighted to help: the first step was to build German and Spanish localized websites.

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Tags: All posts, Case Studies

Social media infographic - a helpful tool for exporters

Posted by Samantha Soffici on Fri, Dec 29, 2017

This infographic is designed to be a helpful tool for someone who doesn’t know where to start with international social media. 

Social media is huge. There is no denying the power and amplitude of social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn (among many others). Which is why it can be intimidating - especially for an exporter that is more concerned with keeping up with their products and services than how to fit a message in X amount of characters.

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Tags: All posts, Social Media

Vapor Pin conquers Brazil ecommerce

Posted by Susanna Hardy on Fri, Dec 01, 2017

Vapor Pin Enterprises, Inc. patented the Vapor Pin®, which allows environmental professionals a means of collecting high-quality, low-cost soil gas samples within minutes. Management was convinced that Brazil would be responsive to ecommerce and they turned to their local, US-based web agency for help. Unfortunately, the local web company did not have the experience, the know-how or the tools and skills to build localized Brazilian ecommerce websites. IBT Online was proud to be called in to help fix the problem and get a great, functioning, optimized and safe localized Brazilian ecommerce website with an accompanying online marketing strategy.

Localizing websites is more than translating a few pages – it involves deep local knowledge, wide technical experience and strong locally-based search engine optimization skills. Ecommerce plug-ins also need to be suited to the local market, taking into account local payment habits, safety and compliance regulations. For Brazilian ecommerce, according to Director of Sales Laurie A. Chilcote, “everything is in place including, distributors, accountants, lawyers…now we need to get online”. It was the right time to call in IBT Online to ensure the Brazilian website was launched on-time and on-budget with a full ecommerce platform and online marketing strategy to power up sales.

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Tags: All posts, E-commerce, Case Studies

All about that S - for security

Posted by John Worthington on Thu, Nov 16, 2017

I have always loved the letter S: it is the best letter in the alphabet. It is always, all about that "S". In fact, S is such an important letter that we added it to our web browser, so we are HTTPS, to make it safer for you! And everyone in the online community, should be doing the same. The online world and internet of things are fundamentally insecure, with cybercrime rising exponentially and now reckoned to be the second most reported economic crime, costing billions.

Could cybercrime happen to you? Yes. Worried? You should be. If not secured, “when you load a website someone else on the network can look at or modify the site before it gets to you”. And that happens all the time, with most users blissfully unaware. The not-so-elegantly named solution is Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), denoted by an S in your web browser. Just glance up now and check it out: does it read HTTP or HTTPS? You will see that IBT Online is HTTPS = secureThis is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. Hence the online mantra is HTTPS good, HTTP bad! Add an S and you’re good. An HTTPS website should make you smile as it is has three essential qualities: identity, confidentiality and integrity. So you know where you stand; safe and secure.

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Tags: All posts, Search Engines