The Netherlands is the home country of some big fishes out there, such as Heineken, Unilever, Shell and Philips. Not bad for such a small dot on the map right?
But it is not only the mother country of some big multinationals, it is also a huge potential market for countries from all over the world! As mentioned in the introduction, the inhabitants earn loads of money, and are willing to spend it. But that is not the only aspect that makes the Dutch market so interesting. Here are some other arguments:
– The use of internet is massive in the Netherlands: 96% of the Dutch are connected!
– The Dutch also spend a big part of the day on the internet: 9-8 hours!
These arguments state that you will come quite far with an online marketing campaign only (when entering the market). Almost everybody is reachable, but the trick is to know how and where.
– The Netherlands has one of the most advanced infrastructures in the world
– It is the “Gateway to Europe”
– The country is a member of the European Union
These three arguments make clear that the Dutch market is a strategical one for companies who want to enter Europe, and an easy accessible one for the companies from Europe itself. The infrastructure is one of the main reasons for this: a lot of goods and travellers enter Europe through the Netherlands, and that makes the country more or less a place where it all comes together: the newest hypes from all over the world, and the most influential customers and companies that are able to spread the word all over the globe.
– The Dutch are known for their language skills
This is also a big plus for the Dutch market. All of the customers (of course there are some exceptions) master English, and to some extent, French and German. This sounds very attractive for foreign companies, but is also one of the biggest pitfalls: Launching a marketing campaign in the Netherlands in English, German of French will have poor results!
In the case of the Netherlands it has nothing to do with the fact that the people will not understand your campaigns, but more with the perception of your company. If you are not even willing to translate your marketing efforts into Dutch, the only reason you are here is probably making quick money. Although in the end that might be the reason you are there, do not let the Dutch notice! If there is one thing they are keen on, it is their money!
So one of the most important lessons you have to learn before entering the market is do not overestimate the effect of the Dutch’ language skills.