Working in Spain and Kuwait during the formative years of the internet, our founder realised just how difficult it was for non-native speakers to effectively use it. Early websites were only written in English. They simply didn’t cater for any other audience.
Returning to the UK to lecture and complete an MA in International Web Communication, it was Geert Hofstede’s study of culture in online environments which delivered the lightbulb moment. It wasn’t purely: How do we consume the web?
It was: How do websites cater for international audiences?
The answer was: Not much.
With the fashion at that time for SEO businesses to offer direct website translations, our founder set out to prove that assumption wrong. Successful international digital marketing campaigns needed to reflect changes in complex online user behaviour from market to market – not just through language, but design and search engine strategies, too. These all had a direct impact on traffic, conversion and brand adoption.
It was the start of the Oban international, multilingual online revolution: think global, act local. Not one size fits all but the exact opposite. Multilingual search and conversion was a cultural phenomenon.
From our original University of Sussex offices, our Oban teams began to grow and expand into diverse countries around the globe. Talented multilingual search experts living in local markets, with cultural and technical skills to leverage international reach for digital clients worldwide.
Oban is still growing. We still think global, act local and it’s this client led approach that takes digital business all over the world.
As new online markets continue to open up, we’ll be there with teams who have the best local cultural knowledge. Multilingual search and conversion has always been our passion – and it always will be.