Global Online Marketing Profile 2010 Forecast – The Netherlands

Market Opportunity

The root of the Netherlands’ economy lies upon its free capitalistic market. The Netherlands’ economic freedom score is 77, making its economy the 12th freest in the 2009 Index of Economic Freedom. It has the 16th largest economy in the world and ranks 10th in GDP (nominal) per capita.

According to the CIA Factbook, the GDP is currently 670.2 billion USD and the Purchasing Power Parity is 2.8 billion USD while the Dutch are experiencing 1.8% real growth, 4.5% unemployment, and 1.6% inflation rates. Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek reports the average disposable income of Dutch households amounted to 28.5 thousand euro in 2004. The real disposable income of Dutch households rose by nearly 4 percent in 2007. Households spending exceeded household income by 2 billion euro. In 2006, Dutch households spent 6 billion more than they received in income.

With a population of 16.7 million, the country has been one of the leading European nations for attracting foreign direct investment and is one of the four largest investors in the United States. The increasing ties of the Netherlands with global trade are reflected in the increasing shares of exports and imports in GDP. Data from the Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek shows that exports rose from to 77% of GDP in 2008 in addition to imports rising to 68%. Despite its small size, the Netherlands ranks seventh in the world in total value of its corporations. Furthermore, its online retail market is amongst Western Europe’s largest, with the Netherlands also ranked as one of Europe’s top five e-commerce nations states techpubinc.com.

The Netherlands began circulating the euro currency on January 1, 2002. The Euro remains strong against the US Dollar, with 1 Euro equaling 1.4114 USD. Because of the weakening of the US dollar for the last two years, the Euro has appreciated vis-à-vis US dollar (x-rates.com). So steeply has the greenback fallen in value against the Euro that economists are talking about the dollar losing its status as the world’s reserve currency, a position it has held since 1945.

Best Industry Segments

The Dutch industry is diversified, with a variety of businesses that range from manufacturing, mining, and energy production to construction and chemical manufacturing. The government initiated many programs to encourage the development of new industries, specifically, aerospace industry, biotechnology, and microelectronics. Figures from Eurostat indicate that, in 2007, the Netherlands was the EU’s third top exporting country after Germany and France. Dutch exports also grew substantially in 2007. If the current trend continues, the Netherlands will move up to take second position in 2008. Relative to other countries, the Netherlands exported large volumes of food products, gas oil and natural gas.

Regulatory and Tariff Landscape

Along with the United States, the Netherlands has consistently been one of the main advocates of international free trade and the reduction of duties and tariffs on goods and services. The average tariff rate is low. The Netherlands’ trade policy is the same as that of other members of the European Union. The common EU weighted average tariff rate was 2.1% in 2005 according to the Heritage Foundation. The EU policy upholds non-tariff barriers in agricultural and manufacturing subsidies, import restrictions for some goods and services, market access restrictions in some services sectors, non-transparent and restrictive regulations and standards, and inconsistent customs administration across EU members. Supplementary biotechnology and pharmaceuticals rules exceed EU policy.

In order for many products in the European Economic Area (EEA) market to pass the consumer safety, health, and environmental requirements, it must receive a CE marking. By affixing the CE marking, the manufacturer asserts that the item meets all the essential “Health and Safety” requirements of the relevant European Directive(s) that provide for the CE marking. Examples of European Directives requiring CE marking include toy safety, machinery, low-voltage equipment, medical devices and electromagnetic compatibility.

Online Marketing

Based on statistics from internetworldstats.com, there are currently 13,791,800 Internet users in the Netherlands, with a penetration rate of 82.9%. The Netherlands is ranked 7th among the top internet countries in the European Union yet 2nd behind Greenland with the highest internet penetration rate. Over the span of eight years (2000-2008), user growth stands at 253.6%. In terms of type of connection, the Netherlands exhibits a positive trend towards broadband internet adoption. It can be located 4th on the list in broadband penetration, leading the OECD along with Iceland, Finland, and Norway. Despite the wide availability of Internet connections, nearly 4 million people (about 25% of the population) have never used the Internet at all according to data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Online Language Preferences

The two official languages of the Netherlands are Dutch and Frisian. However, Dutch is the mother tongue of almost all people in the Netherlands. The 500,000 inhabitants of Friesland, a province of the Netherlands, speak Frisian. Most of Dutch people speak at least one foreign language, mostly English that is taught at school during the basic education. Many Dutch people speak also German, which is similar to Dutch language and some of them speak French. Like any other country, internet users prefer to search in their native language, Dutch.

Search Engine Profile

Data from a checkit.nl shows Google Netherlands (Google.nl) overwhelmingly leads the way as the top search engine with 95%. Ilse.nl and live.nl take the second and third spot, respectively.

Summary

Netherlands being the small country is a big player in the world’s trade and the global transfer of capital. Its thriving and open economy serves as an inviting potential global trading partner to other countries. The economy is noted for stable industrial relations, moderate unemployment and inflation, a sizable account surplus, and an important role as a European transportation hub. Based on the current and future potential of the market, Global eMarketer ranks the Netherlands as a Tier I market for global online market opportunity.

Various Online Marketing Solutions

There are so many people who go for online businesses. This is because everyone goes online these days and it will be easier to market products and services where people usually are. Since majority of the population today makes use of the internet, this is the best place to start a business. This will be the best place to reach more people and create income through business. However, since many people are already doing online businesses, the competition is getting tougher. It is important that one knows various marketing techniques so that the business website will more visible than the others. This will create more exposure and popularity for the business website resulting to more income. Here are some of the most used online marketing solutions that business websites may use.

SEO/Search Engine Optimization – this is the most common way to marketing online. It is the method of obtaining high ranks in the search engines so that the website will be more visible over the net. This will then provide more chances for the website to be clicked more often giving more visitors that may become customers in the future as well. The more visitors that a website obtains the more chances that their sales will also go up. SEO make use of tools like article contents, blogs, press releases and newsletters in connecting with web browsers that may become web visitors.

SEM/Search Engine Marketing – this is almost similar to SEO but the only difference is that SEM is making use of both paid search results and the one that SEO is using. Therefore, this method gives more chances to have more visitors for the website. It also makes use of the tools being used in the optimization. It also makes use of strategies like PPC or Pay Per Click which will help the website rank high in the search engines.

SMM/Social Media Marketing – this is the method of marketing using the social media sites. This will make use of the sites so that one will freely market their products and services. This is very common nowadays as many people are getting hooked with using these social media sites. And since many people are using these sites, it is easer to market and advertise your business. You will also be able to reach more people with the aim to increase sales.

Even big names in the business industry are going online these days. Business experts have seen that there are bigger possibilities for business to reach the global market through the internet. With it, one does not have to put up stores in different countries. Through the use of the internet, people can shop, browse and do business without any hassles. One just needs to learn much about these techniques so that they can market correctly in the online business scene.

Unraveling the Mystery of Marketing

Marketing. Sales. PR. Promotions. Online marketing. Guerilla tactics. Direct response TV. What does it all mean and how do you know which is for you? Never fear, the product launch maven is here to reveal the truth and help you navigate this new process of getting your product into the right hands. Talk about the right hands — that, in a nutshell, is what marketing is. But before I go into details, let’s start from the beginning and back up to a 10,000 feet view and you can see this in context.

Every company, or creator of a product/service, consists of 3 parts: the product itself, the operations and the marketing. The product or service includes everything it takes to have a tangible thing/service; this may include the research and development, the creation of the prototype, sourcing of materials, manufacturing, packaging and inventory systems. Operations are all of the systems and people it takes to make a business run. At the moment, those “people” are probably only you and perhaps a few outside vendors or independent contractors. Included in the operations of a company are the systems that in the viewpoint of Ray Croc (creator of McDonald’s and the master of replication) are 100% repeatable and anyone, with instruction, can re-create. And, speaking of Ray Croc, he’s one cat you should read about; I recommend Grinding it Out: The Making of McDonald’s by Ray Kroc. Did you know that McDonald’s isn’t a restaurant, but one of the most brilliantly executed operational marvels of our lifetime? Aside from reading about him, I had the good fortune of learning this from my uncle who was his VP of Marketing back in the 50′s when McDonald’s was just getting started in Ohio. He has some incredible stories about their early days that I’ll share with you another time. Operations are systems for your company developed to stand alone without you. If the operations manual for your company was handed over in exchange for a nice fat check when you’re ready to exit, it would be a turnkey business for someone else to run and grow. Marketing is anything you do to get that product into the hands of not only someone who wants and needs your product, but will happily and easily pay you for it. So, therefore, what marketing modalities every company chooses will be different.

So, follow the logic here (and by the way, it is backwards), if the marketing is based on who your paying customer is, who are they? Do you have some good guesses about where they are? What makes them tick? Do you know why they want, or better yet, do they need your product? There are many questions to ask yourself about your customer, much of which will be conjecture in the beginning, but as soon as you have up to three customers, two of whom are similar, you’ve got a line to go on.

Here’s a big secret: as you are developing your product, begin developing a picture and list of attributes of your customer. And, do not take one step further, or spend another dime, until you are exceedingly clear on this. I cannot tell you how many entrepreneurs I meet who have a great solution for some problem they’ve experienced and are so incredibly enamored with it, they don’t care what anyone thinks (except waxing poetic about why it’s so incredible). Guess what? That’s not a business; that’s a vanity project; and an expensive one. If you are truly interested in making a scalable product/service that becomes your retirement, the only thing you should care about is your customer and why they will want to pay you for something. So, if your customer thinks that the shoe laces on your new sneaker should be green instead of blue, or the design needs to change, you better darned well do it. Why? Because they are your customer and you have no business without customers.

So, let’s focus on marketing. What exactly is it? How does it work? What are its many faces? It starts with the “marketing umbrella,” under which there are many different ways to get your product into the hands of the customer who will pay you for it. Here is a list of some of the different varieties of marketing:

Sales / distribution *
Advertising
PR
Promotions
Guerrilla tactics
Online marketing
Social networking
Sampling
Trade shows
Word of mouth
Email marketing
E-marketing
Direct response TV
Direct mail
Special events
Viral marketing
Networking
Professional associations
Awards and recognition
Referral programs
Network marketing
Pay Per Click
Search Engine Optimization

And, the list goes on.

So, how do you know which method will work best for your product? Should you employ one or perhaps several of them together? This is a question that only you can answer based on who your customer is and where you think they gather in numbers. It may be that your target customer is someone who hangs out at the Moose Lodge. So guess what? Sampling your product there is a good idea. You may have an online business that sells a product that is desired by those who ride the bus every day. So, your marketing should probably be on buses and on bus benches. Just because you have an online business, by the way, does not necessarily mean that you only market online. You certainly want to ensure that you are directing traffic to your website, but it better be from those bus riders. Maybe they are online buying bus tickets. See how that works? You just think backwards and it becomes quite easy. It’s not rocket science; but it’s incredibly practical.

A few words about *sales. Like all the other modalities I mentioned above, sales is also a method used to get a product into the hands of someone who wants to buy it, but it’s the one marketing aspect in this list that is 100% necessary, no matter who your customer is. As for the rest of the list, you have choices about which to use. You have no business without sales.

When you start a company, the marketing is an integral part of the launch. The best way to approach it is to create a marketing mix. Use an Excel sheet to list all the marketing methods you might use to find your customer. Choose the ones that you can afford first and build from there.