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.

Small Business Mobile Marketing

With more and more consumers searching for local businesses via their mobile devices, it has become a must that small business owners invest in SMS Marketing services. Having a mobile presence can be a huge competitive advantage for small businesses who seriously want to introduce local consumers to their products and or services.

According to a recent survey taken by web.com 69% of U.S. small businesses consider SMS Marketing key to their growth. Using text marketing is the only affordable way to instantly build brand name recognition, customer loyalty, and increase profits on demand. Customers will give their business to the person who caters to their needs the most. Remember all people spend their money to fulfill some sort of emotional need. No matter how it is sugar coated at the end of the day we are all in the businesses of fulfilling some sort of emotional need.

The restaurant industry was one of the first industries to leverage the power of text marketing directly to their customer base. It was because of this that other business owners thought that SMS text marketing was only for the restaurant industry. This stunted the growth of SMS marketing for approximately two years.

Once the big businesses began to promote their text marketing efforts, it became a must have among the small business community. Although most small business owners were not sure about the technology or how it worked. The line of thinking was if it was good enough for the big boys it was good enough for us. If you take a look at the marketing efforts in your local area I can assure you that you will discover a lot of businesses using text marketing.

How Can You Use SMS Advertising?

For pennies per message, and less than $20 per month you can start building your very own SMS Advertising campaigns. This method of marketing allows you to offer exclusive offers to your customer base in exchange for them opting in to your subscriber list. This creates a win-win for both you and your customers. Your business sees an increase in profits and the customer receives benefits that they otherwise would not have received.

This form of marketing is one of the only forms of marketing that allows you to track every aspect of your efforts. You can monitor the growth of your subscriber list, as well as the results from each of your campaigns. That is a lot of power my friend. If you are a business owner and you understand that a successful business consist of 90% marketing and 10% innovation then SMS Marketing is for you.

Direct Mail Marketing Tips For Retailers

Direct Mail Marketing Tips to Bring Retailers More Traffic in your Front Door.

Business is lousy. The economy is tanked. You’re looking around your store and saying, “Where is everybody?”

Good News: If you’re a retailer, here are some lean direct mail marketing tips to show you how to get people to show up at your front door. If you’re in a service business, here are direct mail tips that show you how to get your phone to ring. If you’re a restaurateur, I usually get hungry around 7PM. If the campaign works really well, I’ll be bringing a few friends.

1. Track Response of All Your Direct Mail.

Learn what’s working in your direct mail program, and just as important, what isn’t. Leave a memo pad by each phone and when you receive a call – in the very beginning of the conversation – say, “And how did you hear of us?” Write down the response on the memo pad, and throw that slip of paper in a specific drawer and forget about it. At the end of the month tally all the slips up and you’ll have a pretty darn good idea which direct mail campaign brought in the most customers.

2. The Best Direct Mail Campaign Ever: Mail to your house list.

No matter what industry you’re in, what you’re selling, or what type of business you own, your direct mail strategy and your direct response email campaign should have a single priority: to mail regularly to your house list. This is the lowest cost and most effective direct marketing strategy you can have. Hummm… Lowest cost? Most effective? Any questions?

Preferred customer sales, private sales, pre-sale access before you open to the general public – make your house mailing list people feel special. They are. Start by collecting current customer’s names and addresses. If you don’t have a customer “house file” – a list of the names and addresses of all your customers – start one now. This will become your most valuable asset.

Sign people up for your FREE Preferred Customer mailing list at every opportunity! Keep a card by the cash register, and by the front door, or both. Don’t be afraid to recommend to each person that they fill out the card so you can place them on your private mailing list to receive special offers and preferred customer treatment (and prices!)

3. Specify Direct Mail Lists to target your “Best Prospects” and get a customer for $.44

Depending on your type of business, getting new customers through direct mail can be a precisely targeted direct marketing campaign sent only to your very best prospects, with no wasted advertising expense. Send your direct mail to geographic targets (close to your store), demographic targets (people similar to your current customers who like to/can afford to shop in stores like yours), and industry related personnel – in the specific markets you serve (lawn care, hearing aids, etc.).

Additionally direct mailing lists can be specified according to zip code, income, number of children and ages, pets, house value, net worth, and an endless array of other parameters. Think about what characteristics your current customers have, and order your mailing list with people who have similar traits. If you don’t have a great direct mail prospect list, start one of those mailing lists now. Yea, right now.

4. Mail a Gift Certificate

A gift certificate is inexpensive to print, light weight and low in cost to mail. The nice letter you send with it? Same. The goodwill it generates, invaluable. A gift certificate is a double function direct marketing piece. It’s good for the customer and great for you, too. Gift certificates A) bring people into your store; B) offer discounts on selected overstocked merchandise; C) are cheap to print and D) light to mail; E) are naturally easy to track with great precision; and F) always have a high perceived value. They work on both new and returning customers. To make sure people open your envelope, print “Gift Certificate Enclosed!” on the envelope.

Best of all, a gift certificate has a cost only if the customer actually shows up and redeems it. No customer, no cost.

5. A Direct Marketing Campaign to Get Referrals

Feel free to ask any of your better customers if they have friends they would like you to send a $5 gift certificate, with their compliments of course. As an added incentive and as a surprise bonus, mail an additional gift certificate to the customer making the referral. Include a letter saying, “Thanks for the referral.” Then mail the new referral prospect a letter and the gift certificate – compliments of your original customer (and from you, personally.)

This “referral method” is one of the most effective direct mail campaigns on the planet, and is the best way to acquire new (and similar) customers who immediately have faith and trust in you, your firm, your services. Customer acquisition cost from this direct marketing campaign: just $.44 in postage. That five dollar gift certificate? Well, that’s taken off the merchandise or food bill: so it didn’t really cost you five bucks, did it? It was the discounted cost of your wares.

Whether used for new customer acquisition, referrals, or to get customers to return to your store, direct marketing campaigns using gift certificates are one of the most effective uses of direct mail. This is one of the best marketing tips for any business. All your direct marketing campaigns should include some kind of referral marketing techniques and gift certificates make this campaign easy to succeed.

6. Specify Geographic Direct Mail Lists to Precisely Target Your Retail Market

Retail direct mail campaigns usually target a geographic center. Everybody likes to shop in their own backyard. Limit your direct mail marketing to people who live or work within driving distance. That “geographic market segment” qualification of your prospects varies by type of store and average sale. Generally speaking, the larger the ticket item you sell, the longer people will drive to get it.

Reaching people with your direct mail message can get expensive in a hurry, especially if you reach for the wrong set of people who are not shopping for your goods or services. Conversely, since direct mail can be targeted to tightly it can be the most effective and measurable marketing method you can use.