As the largest European economies, Germany and France are generally late movers, hierarchical and conservative. In order to be taken seriously by local procurement professionals and end-customers, differentiation from the abundance of competitors and complementary market players is therefore paramount. As another example, the Dutch market is generally a first-mover market, and very difficult to grow, without locally experienced sales and highly skilled marketing people.
Our differentiation methodology and international GTM concepts have their origins from many years of local sales and marketing management practical experiences. Our way of working comprises four steps, which ensures the avoidance of key mistakes. Many exporting companies have made the mistakes in the past – causing 80% of them to give up in less than 12 months after launching in new foreign markets.
UNDERSTAND THE MARKET
- To succeed, we deploy our local expertise to understand your specific industry.
- We examine the local target markets to understand who the stakeholders are (competitors, distribution players, end-customers, etc.).
- Deep analysis of the main trends and information within the target market sectors, suggesting the best possible Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy.
PREPARE YOUR GO-TO-MARKET (GTM)
- Translation and customisation of your sales and marketing materials, required for meeting the needs of each local market.
- Differentiate! Position yourself!
- Adapting your corporate GTM strategy
- Promoting your products and services to your target audiences.
- Building brand awareness plan.
SELL TO THE MARKET
- Getting trough to the actual decision makers.
- Succeeding with setting up meetings and conducting them in a culturally acceptable manner, and professionally.
- Avoiding the typical business pitfalls.
- Mastering presentations, negotiations, contract proposals, etc.
- Achieving your first local customers.
- Closing your first reference client contract.
IMPROVE YOUR POSITION
- Setting of your goals and definition your success metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
- Planning local marketing activities.
- Onboarding of local sales representatives and marketing resources.
- Fine tuning of your offering and your GTM plan.
Topping the leaderboard, Germany is the largest economy in Europe, accounting for approximately 30% of the continent’s GDP. Aided by its low unemployment rate, low crime, developed infrastructure and qualified workforce, the nation reported a GDP of €3.4 trillion in 2017. The country’s economy is largely fuelled by its service sector, including the tourism and banking industries. The industry contributes to almost 70% of the country’s GDP and employs around and equivalent 70% of the working population, according to Business Development Germany. The manufacturing and construction sectors — spanning across the automotive, machinery and chemical markets — also contribute hugely to the country’s economy. For instance, Volkswagen Group, the largest carmaker in Europe, is headquartered in Wolfsburg in Germany.
France is also amongst Europe’s biggest economies, generating a GDP of €2.3 trillion in 2017. The nation has a highly educated workforce, with Focus Economic noting that France has the highest number of science graduates per thousand workers in Europe. As a result, companies such as Airbus, L’Oreal, Groupe PSA and Veolia have positioned their headquarters in the country. The chemical industry is also a key contributor to the French economy. Today, the chemical sector has nearly 3,500 companies in France who employ close to 180,000 people. Tourism is also a particularly important sector for its GDP, with the country attracting more than 85 million visitors every year.
With a population of around 60 million, Italy had a GDP of €1.8 trillion in 2017, according to World Bank. Italy is the world’s 10th-largest goods exporter, with the apparel and textile playing an important role in the country’s GDP and export earnings. Italy’s apparel market is expected to reach a value of close to €45 by 2020. The country’s unemployment rate was just above 11% in January 2018, down from nearly 12% the year earlier according to Trading Economics. Companies including Fiat, Geox, and Armani are headquartered in the country.
Spain’s economy is returning to health after the recession. In 2015, the country recorded the sharpest drop in its unemployment rate since it adopted the Euro in 1999. Today, with a GDP of €1.2 trillion, Spain now stands as the fifth largest economy on the continent. Tourism accounts for 11% of Spain’s economy and in 2017, the number of international tourists visiting Spain broke records for a fifth straight year. Spain is now the world’s third-most visited country, behind only France and the United States.
Playing a key role as Europe’s transportation hub, the Netherlands recorded a GDP of €766 billion last year. With Schipol airport in Amsterdam, one of the busiest airports in Europe, and the port of Rotterdam, which is the largest port in Europe, logistics is one of the country’s most significant industries.The Netherlands’ economy is also bolstered by a strong natural resources sector. The country is home to Royal Dutch Shell, the largest company in Europe by revenue, and it currently stands as the largest producer of natural gas in the European Union.
Switzerland reported a GDP of €629.3 billion last year, making it the seventh biggest economy in Europe. Discover Switzerland reports that approximately 74% of Swiss GDP is generated by the service sector whilst 25% comes from industry. The EU is the country’s key trading partner: around 78% of Swiss imports come from the EU, while 43% of the country’s exports are destined for EU countries. Glencore International, Nestlé and Zurich Insurance Group are just some of the companies headquartered in Switzerland.
The Scandinavian country of Sweden also has a robust economy. The nation is primarily export-focused, with products like timber, hydropower and iron ore playing key roles in its foreign trade. With a population of around 10 million, Sweden’s GDP was approximately €500 billion last year. Some renowned Swedish firms include IKEA, H&M and Spotify.
Poland is the only EU nation that managed to avoid a recession, and today its economy is still strong. Last year, the nation reported a GDP of €486 billion, with the pharmaceutical, agriculture, mining and banking sectors being some of the economy’s key industries. The country has a population of around 40 million and uses the Polish złoty as its currency.
Belgium’s central geographic location and highly developed transport network have worked in its favour — recording a GDP of €458 billion in 2017, the country is one of Europe’s strongest economies. Metallurgy and steel production have grown to become two of the country’s key industries with the Global Steel Trade Monitor citing Belgium as the world’s eighth-largest steel exporters. Large-scale companies such as Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, and telecom Proximus Group are also headquartered in the country.