Taking Care of the World CACHE (the Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education) is the leading specialist awarding organisation for the Care, Health and Education sectors and is based in St Albans, Hertfordshire. CACHE began in 1945 as the National Nursery Examination Board (NNEB) established by the Ministry of Health and now employs over 100 people and enjoys patronage from Her Majesty the Queen.
CACHE has been predominately UK focused with minimal business from overseas; however interest was increasing and in 2012 the organisation took the decision to develop export opportunities. Jackie Jones, Head of International Development, explained their strategy, “We wanted to target English speaking countries committed to developing Early Years and vocational education in the care sectors and, as we’d already worked in the UAE and understood the education landscape there, it seemed an obvious region to develop”.
To support their strategy CACHE signed up to UKTI’s Gateway to Global Growth Programme, specifically designed to help more experienced Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) increase their export business. They worked with Rob Doak, an International Trade Advisor, who provided advice and opened doors to many UKTI events and services. One of Rob’s recommendations was the Export Communications Review (ECR). The ECR provides practical, impartial and straightforward advice to help companies improve their communications with overseas markets.
Each ECR is conducted by a communications expert and is tailored to the company’s individual requirements. Rob introduced CACHE to Notburga Preining, an Export Communications Consultant, who spent 3 hours with Jackie and members of the marketing team reviewing their existing website in the context of their export plans and strategy. Following the meeting Notburga produced a report providing clear, step-by-step advice to enable the CACHE team to undertake the suggested improvements.
Notburga’s report provided a wide range of recommendations covering issues such as:
• International domain and localised websites: An international microsite on a generictop-level domain (such as .com or .org) would ensure CACHE is perceived as operating internationally. In addition, it’s a good idea to acquire the local country domains (e.g. .co.in, .com.au etc.) for all the countries in which CACHE might develop business and use these local domains as email addresses for local staff.
• Clear navigation and design: Clear site navigation with a home page and visible tabswill help users stay on the site. Adding a map of the world showing the location of CACHE centres endorses the global reach of the organisation. Notburga also pointed out that it’s a good idea to ensure the site doesn’t use Flash (as this is not ideal for iPads)
• Simple, jargon-free language: Simple language using clear bullet points with no jargonor idioms is easier to understand for non-native English speakers. Some of the images were less relevant to the target countries (it’s surprisingly easy to overlook the cultural nuances associated with pictures!)
• Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): By identifying keywords used when searching‘care’, ‘health’ and ‘education’ in each target country CACHE can ensure they’re incorporated as frequently as possible on the key web pages
• News page: Introduction of a news page for local stories of interest will keep thecontent fresh, reinforce the worldwide scope of the organisation and help in reaching a wider audience.
• CACHE’s export business is growing: by the end of 2014, the total number of approved centres in the Middle Eastern region was 20 with plans to double this number by July 2015 and by developing into countries such as India and Japan. “One of the best things about the new website has been to convince our international and UK customers that we’re serious about our overseas expansion”, explained Jackie, “We’re really becoming global!”
Jackie would highly recommend the Export Communications Review, “The ECR has been great: with Notburga’s support we’ve moved from having just one page for our international business to a whole microsite. More importantly, it’s helped our export activity become an integral part of our business”.
If you are thinking about developing your website for an international audience then maybe an ECR could help you too?
The Export Communications Review (ECR) The ECR is delivered nationwide by a network of specially-trained accredited Export Communications Consultants. The consultant works with the client to put together a programme of reviews to suit the needs and complexity of the exporter and their goals. Each review costs £500 + VAT, however, established companies with fewer than 250 employees may be eligible for a UKTI subsidy of £250 towards the cost of each of their first three reviews.
For more information, please visit www.ukti.gov.uk/ecr or contact the ECR team at the address below.
UK Trade & Investment is the United Kingdom Government’s lead organisation for supporting UK companies in overseas business, and attracting inward investment.
For more information please contact your ECR team on 0845 0342111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please follow this link to see how other Companies have benefitted from the ECR