Wow! What a pleasant surprise to find that my first post to this blog had 4 comments already… It looks like my statement, “a community of like-minded people interested in the same things” was on the money. Thanks to all, and based on Michael’s remarks, I think I need to clarify my thoughts on marketing log homes to China. (Please see Michael’s comments above)
Michael, “giving up”? Me? Perish the thought!
I absolutely agree with your observations, particularly about improving our marketing efforts here at home and broadening the public’s awareness of the benefits of log home living. However, I was also speaking euphemistically. The point I should have expanded upon was that all of us in the log home industry can learn from recent history and prepare for what may possibly be a huge selling opportunity that could be upon us before we are fully prepared.
In a former life, I worked for a well known Japanese electronics manufacturer for almost 15 years. We were in the wireless communication business and during that time I watched 2-way radio communications and paging demand explode - and then implode with the introduction of cellular technology to the U.S. market. The way we communicated and conducted business had changed almost overnight. A few short years later, Internet technology gave business and individuals another completely new communication and marketing medium.
China’s economic expansion (… I agree, "this train can't be stopped"), their civil rights violations notwithstanding, is creating wealth that will be seeking new western products. Clearly, the means to reach this new market is the web. I guess my real point was that if I were a log home manufacturer, I would make sure that I was ready by adding some minor website tweaks.
Knowing how Google values a web page’s ‘age’, the relevancy of the keywords, and content, I would make sure I had a couple of pages describing my products and services optimized for Asian readers. I am not advocating abandoning existing marketing efforts for the reasons we both cited, I’m just saying that an Asian buying tsunami could strike at any time and if a company sprinkled a few breadcrumbs in preparation…
Thanks for taking the time to share your insight… great commentary.