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Localizing Online Content With IP Intelligence
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By Rob Friedman

The Internet provides an opportunity for every small company to become instantly global, which seems very daunting when one considers the often faceless and geographically dispersed nature of the online audience overall.

This is the second column in a three-part series that looks at how small companies can tap IP Intelligence (the tons of data contained in an Internet user’s IP address) to enhance a host of Internet marketing activities. This installment examines how small businesses can use IP Intelligence to create an instant connection with Website visitors by presenting them with relevant content and products.

When it comes to online content, a universal, all-things-to-all-people approach simply doesn’t work for small businesses. Companies need to define themselves on the Internet just as if they would differentiate themselves in the retail marketplace. To succeed online, small businesses need to localize content to increase the reach, relevance and response of their Websites.

For example, take a typical scene at a specialty retailer’s local store. A walk-in customer here enjoys being recognized by the sales clerk, talks about the upcoming warm, sunny weather, laments about the need for a new bathing suit, and asks about potential employment opportunities at the store. That same customer may have a less impactful experience on the retailer’s Web site where he or she is treated as “Anyperson in Anytown, U.S.A.”

The Internet channel highlights the overall lack of “local” brand awareness that plagues many small companies. The majority of today’s consumers are multi-channel shoppers. Even though they may use each channel differently — some use the Internet for information and the retail store for sales (or vice versa) — they still engage in a shopping experience within their local communities.

By using IP Intelligence, small companies can quickly and cost-effectively enhance the relevance of their online business and gain the knowledge needed to build stronger customer relationships, brand awareness and ultimately, increase sales and revenue.

IP Intelligence involves knowing information about online users such as their geographic location (country, region, state, city and zip code); area code; demographics; language; time zone; longitude/latitude; Internet Service Provider (ISP); domain name; company name; proxies; North American Industry Classification System (NAICS); and Designated Market Area (DMA)/Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).

For example, having the ability to accurately and non-invasively identify a Website visitor’s location down to the city level worldwide gives small businesses the knowledge needed to understand the makeup of their online audiences and know where they come from – literally. Web sites can instantly route users to location-relevant content instead of asking each visitor to “choose their country” or surf their entire site just to find products and services of interest to them.

More specifically, small companies can use IP Intelligence to localize online content in order to:

Build Consistent Brand Awareness – By delivering localized content, companies can provide consistent and relevant communications and messaging to prospects, customers and employees on a global basis. Whether someone visits a Website from the United States or Japan, they are met with the same consistent brand and messaging from the company — only the U.S. visitor is greeted in English and the other in Japanese.

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Rob Friedman is the Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of Digital Element.
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