Building a bridge to the export economy
Building a bridge to the export economy

Spencer Bailey explains how Facebook tools are being utilised to manage marketing in offshore markets.

Finding new customers in offshore markets can be tough going for Kiwi exporters introducing unfamiliar brands into multiple countries, and who often have relatively fewer marketing dollars at their disposal than local players.   

More than 50 million people are connected to a business right here in New Zealand on the Facebook platform. For companies like MitoQ, the New Zealand anti-ageing skin care brand sold in more than 20 countries, Facebook is becoming a bridge to consumers worldwide. 

Greg Macpherson, MitoQ’s CEO, is using Facebook’s tools to manage marketing campaigns in multiple countries.  

Potential customers have a specific profile, defined by age, interest in their health and well-being, have disposable income and are often female, and are not easily reached via traditional advertising. 

“Specific objectives on Facebook include taking people to a landing page to download an e-book and to make a purchase on the company’s website,” says Greg. “We generate a 4:1 return in revenue on Facebook advertising, in addition to the brand validation offered by a well engaged community.” 

Icehouse Expert in Residence Ken Leeming agrees that exporters often underestimate the costs of breaking into foreign markets. This is compounded by uncertainty over where and when to deploy their marketing budget, or what level of return on investment to expect. 

“I see examples of exporters over-spending up front and then finding they have insufficient funds to kick on with. Setting objectives and expectations at the outset, and what the marketing will do for the business overall, is essential in order to make decisions about when to go or hold back,” he says. “A strategy increasingly employed in the larger markets is to focus on certain regions or even individual cities.”

Leeming’s advice is to stay close to customers. “While it’s tempting for exporters who are spread thin in multiple markets to try and scale through distribution deals, you have to maintain a direct online relationship with customers to understand changing preferences and learn from feedback.” 

More than one billion people on Facebook are already connected to at least one business in a foreign country. The platform has just announced two new solutions and learning resources to help Kiwi exporters take advantage of these connections to efficiently scale up their marketing.  

‘International Lookalikes’ helps businesses find new people that look like their best customers in other countries. This means that if you have a customer segment in one country, you can use that to quickly build a lookalike segment in another country, reaching people with similar characteristics to your highest lifetime value customers, current subscribers, high-value prospects or engaged app users.

In addition, advertisers with website conversion or mobile app install objectives can now use extended location targeting to select a worldwide region or trade zone. Ads are delivered to the selected regions and then optimized to those countries showing the greatest return.   

To find out more about how these tools can help you find customers in new countries, download the handbook and webinar or go to 


Publishing Information
Magazine Issue:
Page Number:
Related Articles
Moving through the ‘fog’ of marketing busyness
Logan Wedgwood helps you to take stock of your current marketing and sales...
Why we must sell less for more
Why we must sell less for more
Brian Richards, a leading brand strategist and founder of award-winning consultancy...
The subbies thriving in today's construction cycle
Software and services provided by NZ Trade Group are all helping the country's trade businesses thrive...