It’s once again time for our regular update of international marketing news. In this week’s edition: customer care study finds that brands in Asia are inundated with social messages; 200 million use ad blocking software; Russian travel habits explored; Google refuses to take right to be forgotten law global; and Sri Lanka signs up for Google’s Project Loon.
Sprout Social have published their 2015 Social Index, with a specific focus on customer care trends. Beyond the headline fact that 7 out of 8 messages to brands are ignored, they’ve also revealed a regional breakdown with interesting implications for social-engaged international businesses. For example, Asian businesses receive three times as many messages as brands in Europe, Africa or North America – and nearly half of those messages require a response (whereas in the rest of the world, only a quarter to a third require a response).
Using past data, Sprout Social has also determined that Asia is experiencing rapid increases in brand messaging rates – inbound messages are up 92.5%, whereas the next highest regional growth is just 22% in North America. Unsurprisingly, Asian companies near the bottom of the list for response rates – (10%, compared with 13.1% in the Middle East) and response time (15.3 hours, compared with 10.5 hours in Europe).
Statistics discussed at an Internet Advertising Bureau event this week indicate that as much as one fifth of all online adverts are being proactively blocked by web users in Europe and the US. The study puts the number of ad blocking software users at 200 million globally. Interestingly, ad block users are more likely to be heavy content consumers than those who actually see ads (21% more). The research suggests that those advertising to a “millennial male demographic” are most likely to be affected.
Russiansearchmarketing.com have an article, supported by insights from the market relations head at Excursiopedia, promising five facts about the Russian travel industry. The article is a good read, with emphasis being placed on the Excursiopedia contact’s local knowledge. Key facts include the fact that the travel industry is in early but rapid development, that Russians prefer package tours and that having a mobile site is essential.
Interestingly, local travel is dominant, with searches for travel within Russia at around 34 million a year – significantly higher than the second placed destination, Turkey (7 million). Along with the aforementioned love of package tours, the love of local travel is attributed to people’s unfamiliarity with negotiating Russia’s visa laws.
Two months ago, France’s CNIL (Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés) formally requested that Right to be Forgotten laws be extended worldwide, despite only having passed in the European Union. The basis for this was the concern that users would side-step Google’s RTBF implementation by simply using different regional versions of the site.
Google’s delayed reply is predictable, though it makes sense – that “no one country should have the authority to control what content someone in a second country can access”. It also argues that the majority of users are redirected to the appropriate local version of Google. The refusal to comply could potentially lead to fines and legal action.
Google’s balloon-based internet connectivity project, Project Loon, is set to be rolled out in Sri Lanka by March after Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe finalised an agreement. The technology, which has balloons drifting at high-altitude to deliver affordable high speed internet to areas with less developed infrastructure, has previously been tested in Brazil and New Zealand.
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Shangxiajiu IV photo by J Aaron Farr
The old Bass poster photo by Radarsmum67
DSCF0631 photo by Satbir Singh
Monumenta 2012 (Grand Palais, Paris) photo by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra
Morning fog in Galle photo by Peter Pawlowski