Thanks to the world wide web, we live in a time where most businesses can be promoted to people from all over the world.

In fact, there is a huge benefit into making your products and services internationally and culturally friendly in order to increase your revenue and build a stronger brand.

Understanding the international market however, takes time and research. Often there are subtle nuances and cultural differences that have to be observed in order to effectively market your products or services.

One clue that can give you an insight in how to market to an international audience is to pay attention to the statistics and trends from some of the top marketing companies from around the world.

By gaining insight into how some countries choose to approach their marketing strategies, your business can learn the important things to focus on and what their international or local competitors may be doing to win over the market.

Of course, learning how to market to an international audience will also take specific research into determining what the needs are of your cultural audience and how your product or services will fit into their lifestyles.

When you have an understanding of how different countries choose to approach the market, it instantly puts you 10-steps ahead of the rest and allows you to obtain valuable knowledge over what to concentrate on and where you should be placing your attention.

The five regions that we have chosen to focus on include-

  1. Australia and New Zealand
  2. North America
  3. South America
  4. Europe, the Middle East & Africa
  5. Asia Pacific

Let’s start off with our local region first…

Region: Australia and New Zealand 

  • Around 42 percent of marketers from Australia and New Zealand stated that traditional outbound marketing such as print ads, broadcasts and billboards were the most overrated marketing strategy.
  • Around 14 percent of marketers believe that social media is the most overrated marketing strategy, followed by 11 percent which believe that paid advertising is the most overrated.
  • The least overrated marketing tactic in Australia and New Zealand was viewed as blogging and collateral development.
  • Gaining a strong return of investment was viewed as the top marketing challenge for marketers in this region, with 59 percent believing it is the most challenging.
  • 39 percent of marketers believe that securing enough budget was the biggest challenge facing marketers in the region, along with 30 percent who believe that managing a website that is most challenging.
  • A huge 79 percent of all marketers in Australia and New Zealand, believe that blog content creation is the most important marketing strategy followed closely behind by growing SEO or organic presence in search engine results.
  • In Australia and New Zealand, an estimated 79 percent of marketing content is written by in-house staff, making it the second highest out of any other region in the world. (The highest being North America).
  • 42 percent of marketers in this region check their marketing metrics at least three or more times per week and around 30 percent check at least two times per week.
  • 42 percent of marketers in this region spend an average of 1-2 hours writing their blog posts however, 27 percent spend 2-3 hours and 17 percent spend 4 or more hours.
  • Interestingly, less than 5 percent of marketers in Australia and New Zealand, spend less than one hour crafting their blog posts.

Region: North America

  • In North America, close to 41 percent of marketers believe that the most overrated marketing strategy is traditional outbound marketing such as print ads, billboards and broadcasts etc.
  • Out of all the regions surveyed, marketers in North America spend more time checking their analytics and tracking their return of investment than compared with all the other regions.
  • North America was the only region where more than 50 percent of marketers checked their statistics and metrics more than 3 times per week.
  • Close to 49 percent of marketers in the North America region saw a greater return of investment than the previous year, this is compared to around 39 percent of Australians and New Zealanders who reported doing the same.
  • 88 percent of marketing content is written by in-house staff, which is the most for any  of the five regions.
  • 56 percent of marketers in this region believe that getting a solid return on investment is the greatest challenge, followed by 32 percent which believe it is managing their website and 30 percent which believe it is securing enough  budget.

Region: South America

  • More than 50 percent of marketers in South America do not track the return of investment in their marketing efforts.
  • 66 percent of marketers in South America feel that growing their SEO or organic presence is the most important marketing tactic.
  • Around half, or 49 percent of marketers in South America believe that proving their return of investment was the hardest challenge they faced, along with 38 percent who believed it was identifying the right technologies for their needs.
  • In South America, around 61 percent of marketing content is written by in-house staff, another 29 percent is written by executives and 26 percent is written by agency partners.
  • In this region, 32 percent of marketers spend an average of 1-2 hours writing a typical blog post, followed by 21 percent that spend 2-3 hours and 12 percent that spend more than four hours.
  • 18 percent of marketers in this region spend less than one hour writing blog content, which was one of the highest compared with the five other regions.

Region: Europe, The Middle East and Africa

  • Growing traffic is on the top of the list for marketers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with 70 percent reporting that building SEO and organic presence was their most important marketing strategy.
  • Like most regions, the greatest challenge facing Europe, the Middle East and Africa was securing a positive return of investment, followed by securing enough budget for their marketing tactics.
  • 34 percent of marketers also believe that traditional outbound marketing, such as print ads, billboards and broadcasts were the most overrated marketing strategy, followed by 13 percent who believe it is online paid advertising and 11 percent who believe it is social media.
  • 32 percent of marketers measure their marketing statistics just once per week, and another 28 percent check their marketing strategies every day.
  • In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, 51 percent of marketers track the ROI of their marketing efforts, which is one of the lowest compared with other regions.
  • When it comes to spending time on blog posts, around 35 percent of marketers in this region spend 1-2 hours per post, followed by 25 percent who spend 2-3 hours per post and 17 percent that spend over 4 hours per post.
  • Around 10 percent of marketers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa spend less than one hour crafting their blog posts, which is the third highest compared to all the other regions.
  • In this region, 72 percent of in-house staff write content for their blogs and website, whereas 31 percent is written by executives.

Region: Asia Pacific 

  • The top priority for 72 percent of marketers in the Asia Pacific region is inbound marketing.
  • Nearly 80 percent of businesses in this region have between 0-25 employees who are prioritised to work on inbound marketing strategies. This is followed by 70 percent of businesses that have 26-200 employees and 62 percent of businesses that have more than 201 employees to work on inbound marketing.
  • Both inbound and outbound marketers in Asia Pacific believe that paid advertising is the most overrated marketing tactic.
  • 70 percent of marketers in the Asia Pacific region believe that growing their SEO is the most important marketing strategy, followed by generating leads and converting customers.
  • Around 17 percent of marketers in this region found it a challenge to cater to an international audience, which was the highest for any other region.
  • 50 percent of marketers in this region take between 1-3 hours to write a blog post, while 25 percent stated that it took them more than four hours, which was the highest compared to the other regions.
  • 33 percent of marketers in the Asia Pacific region check their marketing metrics three or more times per week, and 28 percent check their metrics less than two times per week.
  • Close to 40 percent of marketers in Asia Pacific were likely to reach a positive return of investment, making them the second highest region after North America.

Summary of Marketing Strategies and Habits from the 5 Global Regions

Through identifying the key habits of marketers from around the world, there are a few clear evaluations that can be made-

  1. Most regions identified paid outbound advertising such as billboards, broadcasts and print ads as overrated. This means that when choosing to market in a particular region, you may want to reconsider these forms of advertising, and instead take another route or develop a complimentary strategy to your outbound marketing strategy.
  2. Most regions identified building SEO as their main priority. As far as your competition goes, it seems that really focusing on getting to the top of search results may be a strong move, especially if you are looking to enter the overseas market or dominate in a local city.
  3. Blogging was identified as being one of the top strategies and most marketers spend between 1-3 hours crafting a blog post. If you haven’t already started keeping a regular blog, it would definitely pay to start now and then test out marketing posts to your desired international market.
  4. Marketers who tracked their return of investment were also more likely to experience higher returns than previous years. This proves that by managing your spending and adjusting accordingly, that you can be wiser about what you are choosing to allocate your budget to.
  5. Marketers from around the world consistently felt like their greatest challenge was obtaining a positive return of investment and tracking where their spending was going. Because this is a weak link for most marketers, focusing your attention here will help you to be at the top of your game and will give you added insights and knowledge.

Along with understanding the marketing strategies of marketers from around the world, it is important to pay attention to brands that have learnt to dominate the market.

Following brands that have managed to go big in the global market can give you a keen insight into possible strategies and tactics that your business can also use or adopt.

Sometimes the best way to learn is through the art of imitation, so we have narrowed down 7 of the top businesses that are crushing it in the international market.

1. Red Bull 

Did you know that Red Bull is an Austrian company?

This news may be surprising to many as the company does such a good job of reaching their audiences around the world. In fact, many people believe Red Bull to be an American company, due to their clever advertising techniques and their way of appealing to a western crowd.

One of the reasons Red Bull has been so successful around the world is because they host extreme sporting events in a variety of different countries.

Your brand can mirror this by getting involved in some sort of community event that is featured around the world or in your target region, such as sport.

2. Airbnb

Airbnb, the apartment sharing travel site was founded in California, USA however the company has grown to over 34,000 cities from around the world.

The reason this company has been able to have such a mass global appeal is because of their use of social media.

Back in January of 2015, AirBnB ran a promotion with the hashtag- #OneLessStranger, which helped the company to go viral around the web.

The brand advertised their campaign as a “global social experiment” where they asked people to perform random acts of hospitality and kindness to complete strangers and then share a video or image using the hashtag.

Just three weeks after their campaign was launched, over 3 million people from countries around the world were engaged with the business and to date, AirBnb has over 1.5 million listings on the site.

Your brand can mirror this strategy by launching your own campaign with a catchy hashtag. In order for the hashtag to go viral, you have to have some sort of competition or incentive to get people sharing.

Just like AirBnB promoted “kindness” your brand also has to promote something that is going to get your target audience talking.

3. Dunkin Donuts

Have you heard of a dried pork and seaweed donut?

This donut may not feature on Dunkin’s Menu in the USA, however it does feature in the Dukin Donuts menu in China.

This American company has over 3,100 stores in around 30 countries outside the US and has evolved their menu to cater to their international markets.

Along with dry pork and seaweed, Dunkin also has Grapefruit and Coolata in Korea, a Mango and Chocolate Donut in Lebanon and Russian Dunclairs in Russia.

By offering flavours that will appeal to the local demographic, Dunkin has been able to expand their reach and strengthen their international presence.

Your brand can do the same by getting savvy with what your customers from around the world want. In Australia, a chocolate filled donut may sound delicious, but to someone in another country, there may be something else that will do better.

Of course, you don’t just have to be in the food industry in order to adopt this mentality.

4. Domino’s Pizza

Domino’s is another food brand that has been able to cater their menu to appeal to a wider audience. With some simple market research, your brand can also tap into what consumers want and what are popular items in the region you wish to target.

Domino’s Pizza CEO, J. Patrick Doyle explains –

“The joy of pizza is that bread, sauce and cheese works fundamentally everywhere, except maybe China where dairy was not a huge part of their diet until lately. And it is easy to juts change toppings market to market. In Asia, it is seafood and fish. It is curry in India. But half the toppings are standard offerings around the world.”

Domino’s CEO also makes a good point in that you don’t completely have to rebrand and change everything in order to cater to an international market. In fact, just a few tweaks to your products and services may be all that it takes to boost international sales.

Doyle also highlights that there may be some regions that your products or services may not be easily integrated, so it is also important to learn what these regions are to avoid losing money and time.

5. Redzy

Redzy is an Australian based software which is designed to help businesses take reservations and to make bookings smoother for tourists and travel agents.

When dealing with travel, it is important that Redzy works to target both the local and international markets in order for their business to be successful.

To ensure that Redzy can integrate their software in countries around the world, they offer services in a variety of languages and also customisation processes that can help international businesses select their preferences.

If you are aiming to target the international market, it is imperative that you offer tools and instructions in their native language as well as checkout options in their native currency and shipping options to their country.

 6. McDonald’s

McDonald’s has adopted a ‘glocal’ marketing strategy when it comes to how they tailor their brand and menu to an international audience.

McDonald’s uses their ‘Glocal’ strategy to tweak their menus and focus on the  local flavours of a particular region. This allows them to ensure that their menu is specific for the audience that they are catering to.

For example, back in 2003 the fast food giant introduced a McArabia flatbread sandwich in the Middle East and also introduced French style Macarons to their menu’s in France.

In the Philippines, McDonald’s even added a McSpaghetti to their menu in order to appeal to the local tastebuds of consumers.

This strategy has made the golden arches one of the top 10 global brands in the world, so their strategy is definitely something to pay attention to.

Your brand can mirror their ‘Glocal’ strategy, by changing or adding parts to your products or services in order to appeal to your target location. In fact, the more “local” you can make your products or services, the more likely they are to appeal to an international market.

7. H&M

Clothing store giant, H&M is on track to open 10-15 percent more stores every year. How are they expanding so fast?

H&M has a highly optimised online experience which caters to people in over 21 countries. Their website is also very easy to use and offers fast navigation options and a mobile friendly shopping experience.

By appealing to customers online first, H&M can then determine which regions would most benefit from having a brick and mortar store.

Your brand can imitate this by reaching out to markets online first. After tracking analytics from your online store, you then may be able to determine which markets a brick and mortar store would be most successful in.


When you open your business on the international stage it increases your opportunities ten fold. Not only can it be more lucrative for your brand, but you may also find a untapped potential in targeting cities from around the world.

If you brand is thinking of going global, we recommending testing the waters online first if possible. It may also be helpful to start reaching out to your international market through social media to see how engaged they are with your brand, products and services.

Researching your target audience and assessing the marketing strategies from the appropriate region will also help you to have a solid idea of what you are dealing with and how best to approach things.

You may also have to think about offering products and services in different languages, tailoring your products or services to fit your international marketing, or changing your marketing strategy to be more culturally appropriate.

Remember, it is not necessary to change your entire business model, but making a few small tweaks in order to appeal to your target location and appear as a local product will go a long way to helping you get sales.

Finally, if you haven’t learnt how to dominate your own market first, approaching an international market may be spreading yourself too thin. If your marketing strategies are not running like a well-oiled machine and are not returning positive results, you may want to address this first rather than setting your sights overseas.

Are you ready to dominate the global market?