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Global marketing intermediaries

Dec 19, 20052 mins
Data Center

According to Jakob Nielsen’s on-line column on Web usability, Alertbox:

The Internet is growing at an annualized rate of 18% and now has one billion users. A second billion users will follow in the next ten years, bringing a dramatic change in worldwide usability needs.

Nielsen points out that “Users are not like you, and the difference between elite and mainstream users is getting bigger every day.” He goes on: “U.S. market share and Silicon Valley buzz will become less important than international use as the metric for judging the potential of companies and technologies.

What this implies is that you either target your markets very carefully and stay within your zone of comfort or you go all out to be international. The former could mean you miss opportunities but will save you from huge development costs while the latter could assure growth and new markets but will cost a fortunate and could take your eye off the ball in the short term.

In general I suspect that small to medium sized companies will stay in their niches while large companies will expand their internationalism.

And there’s the opportunity: In between the two extremes running from the top end of the medium sized companies to the bottom end of the large sized companies is a huge, developing opportunity for intermediaries, aggregators, agents, and representatives that provide the bridge from the local to the global for a slice of the action.

Who will these intermediaries be? My money is on the large public relations firms that already understand how international marketing works.

[Thanks to Jim Sterne for the lead.]


Mark Gibbs is an author, journalist, and man of mystery. His writing for Network World is widely considered to be vastly underpaid. For more than 30 years, Gibbs has consulted, lectured, and authored numerous articles and books about networking, information technology, and the social and political issues surrounding them. His complete bio can be found at

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