We live in an international market, but the art of catering to multiple cultures has yet to be perfected and for good reason. There are multiple barriers when it comes to catering to an international audience. Identifying a market need, a basic element of starting a business, becomes more complex in a foreign country. After all, these countries have different cultures, priorities and needs for their day-to-day lives than a typical American consumer, and just like in the United States, those needs will also vary from one community to the next.

big-dataIn addition, foreign brands must work to develop the trust of the people who will tend to select local products that they are already familiar with. Finally, cultural nuances and communication styles can make it difficult to craft effective marketing messages that are appealing, rather than offensive or confusing. Religious views, morals and even a sense of what is funny or crude will vary from culture to culture. Since international marketing is so complex, marketers can turn to big data to help them get to know a population and better reach the needs of an international audience.

Pizza Hut Example
As one of the largest pizza chains in the world, Pizza Hut has some experience in the international arena. In fact, the chain has more than 12,500 restaurants in 91 countries. In the chain’s most recent efforts to boost profits, it has started gathering data about its customer’s preferences and then breaks down its customer base into clusters and microclusters based on the consumer’s purchasing habits, characteristics and other behaviors. These micro-groups can then be targeted with specific engagement programs across channels, such as in the Pizza Hut restaurants or the chain’s website.

The chain’s website was adapted so that it offers users a different experience depending on where they are located, whether they are on a desktop or mobile device and individual behaviors, such as previous purchases or views. Just one aspect that changes is the top five pizzas ordered in a particular area.
Has big data been effective for Pizza Hut? The program has not been implemented in every international market yet, but so far the company has seen a 200 percent increase in its campaign hit rates, a 38 percent increase in customer retention and a 6 percent increase in sales generated each month. The changes to the website, in particular, has increased the number of pages clicked on per site visit by 75 percent and increased reservations by 30 percent.
These numbers certainly make a good case study for businesses considering using big data to help them understand and work with an international market. source