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.

A Quick Guide To Direct Mail Success

Whenever you begin your marketing journey, make sure you’re marketing to a group of people that will listen to you, and want to hear from you. This is typically the case when you have a large customer database and you interact with them via tele-seminar, seminar, consulting, or simple direct marketing.

With these methods, you would think that it’s easy to make money in business. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. The truth of the matter is that success in business is hard – probably harder than anything that you have ever done before. I know this is how it was for me.

When I first started, I had no idea of what I was doing. I did telemarketing, cold calling, cold direct mail, and classified advertising in those little publications that no one reads. None of it worked. But I decided that there was opportunity in direct mail, so I wanted to pursue it further.

Turned out that I was doing direct mail completely wrong. I used to pick out names from the phonebook, find businesses on the internet, and I would do all of the “tricks” and techniques to boost my direct mail response rate.

None of it worked.

So I decided to buy this program on direct mail to learn how to make it work, And once I found out how badly I was doing it, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Well eventually I finally got it right, but I wasn’t bold enough to run campaigns in the 5000 and above range. Just too much money involved, so I figured I’d continue to do it at a lower scale.

If you’re thinking about doing direct mail but don’t know the mechanics of it, then I will briefly go over the concepts for you. The first thing you need is a list that correlates to the product that you’re selling. To get a list, go to the library and ask for the SRDS. It contains a wide variety of mailing lists that you can use to find a profitable list to mail to.

Once you have your list, it’s time for an offer. Your offer is essential for the operation of your direct mail campaign, and you have to show your reader how much value your offer is so that they can take advantage of it.

The last thing that you will need now is a sales letter. This is your sales rep on paper. Use your sales letter to ignite and inspire sales faster than usual. If you don’t have the copywriting skills to create a good sales letter, hire a copywriter. You can find some good ones for about $5000 to create a letter for you. Check around the internet for some.

These mailings will allow you to have the success that you desire with these direct marketing techniques. You should strive to learn how to write copy also so that you can have as much success with it as you possibly can. So don’t this option out.

Good luck with making direct mail work for you.

Top 9 Ways Marketing Executives Should Use Twitter to Build Revenues

Even today, with Twitter mentioned in mainstream media daily, many top executives – including marketing execs – are confused or uncertain on how to effectively utilize Twitter to market their business or service. Twitter, the popular “micro-blogging” tool, is not just a service that allows every-day-Joes the opportunity to share irrelevant stories about their day (read: “going to the gym”), but a great tool to increase both revenues and brand awareness for executives. Here are some tips to get the most out of Twitter:

BUILD YOUR FOLLOWING

The first step, naturally, is to have an audience. Celebrities and politicians alike have embraced the micro-blogging phenomenon, leading to its permanent fixture in pop culture. Political campaigns have used Twitter to mobilize armies of supporters, raise funds, and spread the political message.

BUILD YOUR BRAND

There is a delicate balance between being open and honest and revealing too much on Twitter. I tell my clients, “be authentic, not transparent”. Your following will appreciate your authenticity more than your over-sharing.

DIRECT COMMUNICATION

Aside from authentic communication, nothing builds a loyal, dedicated following like direct communication. Several large corporations are able to search (in real time) for their brand and address problems immediately. Never before has a company had such access to their customers. Traditional media houses do not allow for such instant communication to attend to their customer’s needs.

PROVIDE VALUABLE CONTENT

Rather than constantly selling your products, constantly provide great content. Get over the fact that everything produced by your brand is proprietary. In the age of instant access, users have become accustomed to free content (this is both good and bad). The more useful content you give away, the more attention you will gain.

DRIVE TRAFFIC TO YOUR WEBSITE

Twitter is a great vehicle to generate visitors to your company website (or Facebook Fan Page), where you can convert them into customers. Useful content, direct and authentic communication only builds your creditability online and in turn, your brand as a whole.

SPREAD THE MESSAGE

Twitter is potentially the most effective way for marketing communication to turn to marketing wildfire. In recent history, many stories break, are confirmed, and become widespread on Twitter before mainstream media has even heard about it. Your brand can use that type of potential to announce major product launches or other industry news.

MARKET RESEARCH

Never before has any industry had such a measuring tool for any brand or product. Monitor Twitter for your name, brand, products, and competition for a real sense of how your clients view things.

CONVERSATIONS

Twitter is real-time, meaning you have thousands of potential customers and followers standing in your preverbal lobby waiting to hear what you have to say – likewise, they expect you to listen to them. Chat and engage with your followers in a consistent “voice”.

FREE ADVERTISING

Today, people are bombarded with THOUSANDS of advertisements a day. Twitter allows you to reach people who are actively interested in learning more about your brand. This attentive ‘Army of Few But Loyal’ is more valuable than a billboard passively seen by millions

BONUS: FOLLOW OTHER EXECS

Here is a list of other CEOs using Twitter. Follow as many of them as you can to learn how they use it. Take what you like, and leave what you don’t. Not all of them are perfect – in fact, there is no “perfect” way to use Twitter. It is still in the early stages of finding its identity.

EXTRA BONUS: PROMOTE OTHERS

It doesn’t make much “traditional advertising sense”, but Twitter isn’t traditional advertising. Media has change with the introduction of ‘Social Networking’. Use your platform to promote your followers, colleagues, and partners. A ratio of 3:1 is preferred. Social media is not about promoting yourself as it is celebrating the “social” interaction between individuals and brands. See you on Twitter!