Since the Internet started in the United States, until now most English speakers have tended to neglect digital marketing to non-English speakers in the rest of the world. At the end of the extraordinary year that was 2011, that looks more and more short-sighted.
Internet marketers have only really began to grasp this year the fact that worldwide most Internet users are not sitting at computers. Three-fourths of Internet users in some countries do not use computers; they use their mobile phones to access the Internet.
Even in the United States, the home of the Internet and many major computer-makers, one-fourth of Internet users are on their mobile phones. That is big news.
The revolution in Internet usage—both the expansion and the changing means of access—were dramatized by the essential role of social media and mobile phones in the Middle Eastern and North African revolutions that characterized the Arab Spring.
Marketers, especially Internet marketers, can either seize the grand new opportunities offered by new consumers and new markets or lose out on this fascinating new trend. Like the out-of-touch dictatorships toppled in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, marketers who do not adapt to changing circumstances will find themselves left behind in the dust.
Already bold local agencies in the ME-NA region are offering smart new programs that capitalize on emerging markets. They know the people, they understand the trends, and they share the energy and momentum that have drawn the world’s admiration during the long, amazing year of 2011.
For more information on the marketing opportunities offered current technological and social changes and by paid search in the Middle East, contact Levant Digital.