Multilingual markets and the collapse of the US dollar
This first 2008 quarter is about to end, and the US dollar keeps on dropping against other major currencies to reach some of its most embarrassing low records: It is over 50% weaker than the Euro and, for the first time in so many years, weaker than the Canadian or Australian dollar.
Anyway, I am not going to comment herein from an economic or political perspective. It is not the time and place to voice my opinion in regards to prognostics or other financial assessments. Although it is obvious to everyone that it will get worse before it gets better, I am a big advocate of seeing the positive in today's awkward US economy.
The US dollar has clearly been (for the past few years) artificially maintained by the Federal Reserve as low as possible against foreign currencies. I am not judging their legal/financial strategy (although it is economically absurd on a long-term basis). In fact, supposedly and “unofficially”, it is for the good of our economy! With a trade deficit in the trillions, bringing the US dollar to its knees is the best way to increase exports while proportionately lowering the import ratio. US products and services have never been so attractive to foreign buyers.
For instance, someone from Europe will save over 50% just on the rate of exchange and, in many cases, save another 20% by avoiding their national sales tax. In other words, it is not a good time to travel abroad for Americans, but the timing is perfect to promote US businesses abroad!!
Of course, since MSEO.com, Inc. offers multilingual search engine promotion services in 28 languages, we have always pushed the US market to develop an online presence on multilingual platforms. However, in today's economic context, diversifying through international marketing is no longer a luxury, but almost a necessity. Why try to compete locally when your rate card is so attractive to prospective global clients?
Although the drop in the US dollar has been playing in the favor of US companies doing business on an international scale, it certainly has been difficult for us as a global SEO agency. In fact, we pay our staff in Germany in Euros, our technicians in Tokyo in Japanese Yen, etc. In other terms, our payroll cost per employee has increased from 40%-60% depending on the language. This is why we are currently considering discontinuing our "first-time customer" special discounts (free language, volume discounts, etc.). Nothing has been decided yet, but since our project fulfillment is performed by in-house native SEO technicians and translators, the cost of doing business abroad will increase as the US dollar keeps on dropping. We currently feature the lowest rate card in our line of industry: Try to hire a company in France to promote your website on French search engines…Try to do the same with a company in Germany to give you a presence on German search engines…Even more expensive, I invite you to compare our rates for Japanese SEO with other agencies in Japan. I can only guarantee that the ongoing rates abroad will be 3-5 times higher than the rate card currently featured on http://www.mseo.com.
I am not writing the above in an effort to outline how competitive our services are, but rather I mean to salute our entire team for their efficiency, which has allowed us NOT to raise our rates for the last 3 years. In the near future, even after we discontinue our current "first-time customer" special discounts, MSEO.com will still feature the best rates in the world of multilingual SEO.
Whether promoting a website on multilingual search engines or via other significant international marketing actions, the cost of advertising abroad will slightly increase as the US dollar grows weaker. However, it is a small price to pay for such a global market opportunity! The current US Administration might not have the best reputation around the planet lately, but, by all means, everyone abroad loves to exchange their superior currencies against the US dollar. Start thinking globally: Capitalize on the embarrassingly low US dollar by offering your products and services to the world! Your first step is to give your website a genuine presence on foreign online markets. We can help.
Mathias Levarek, Ph.D.
1250 Connecticut Ave NW Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036 USA
Tel: +1 (202) 787-3989 • Fax +1 (202) 318-2453 • E-mail