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Marketing a Business in Holland

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Marketing a Business in Holland

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Marketing a Business in the Netherlands

The international transition of a business is more than just costs and procedures. It's more cultural acclimatisation than calculatory acumen. It's making sure your product or service fits the inclinations and idiosyncrasies of a nation; finding a way to culturalise your business in order to reap the same results your business has achieved domestically. This is accomplished through one simple step: effective marketing when setting up a business in the Netherlands.

Marketing your business on indigenous soil is an art-form in itself; attempting to do it in the Netherlands is nigh-on miraculous. Countries may be becoming more heterogeneous, but the foundations of a culture rarely budge for anything: their sensitivities, traditions, humour, discourses, protocols are essentially unchanging and stubbornly unaccommodating. Therefore, the identity of your product or service needs to seamlessly fashion itself upon a nation, not the other way around, shoehorned in, hoping for the best.

Advertising and Sales promotions in the Netherlands

When starting up a business in the Netherlands or marketing a business in the Netherlands you may will to consult with an advertising agent first to help you find possible routes to advertise your product/service. The Dutch Association of Recognised Advertising Consultants (Vereniniging van Onafhankelijke Erkende/Geregistreerde Reclame Adviesbureaus (PRAGMA)) can advise on suitable agents and what sort of campaign will be appropriate.

There are several routes that you may consider:

  • Trade and Profession magazines these cover many different subjects and areas of activity.

  • Radio and Television - The Radio and Television Advertising Association (STER) is responsible for advertising on the media.

English is the international language of business and most Dutch speak English fluently. However written correspondence, business cards and operating instructions and technical manuals should be in Dutch as a sign of respect.

Cultural Sensitivity

Cultural sensitivity and understanding of protocol is paramount to effective marketing. The intricacies of a nation its beliefs, even its superstitions can make or break your business. Know the market; immerse yourself in it. Never assume your marketing strategy will be transplantable to a foreign country. There is only a slim chance language will translate well. Anglophonic countries may be susceptible, but if your product or service plays on a quintessentially British characteristic or joke the chances are, it will not be well received.

As for other countries, don't bank on using the same strap-lines or gimmicks. Unless they are perfectly transitional, your product or service could suffer especially if it relies on humour.

Unless you are certain your product or service can sell itself on indigenous merits, it is probably wise to revise its selling-points for a foreign market. As always, however, only your own fastidious research can conclude this.

Cultural training can help when in another country. Its key to remember that people may do things differently from us and this must be respected. The side to the Netherlands that we are most commonly shown does not represent the majority of the Dutch people. Places like Amsterdam are known for certain lifestyle choices however it is unwise to expect all Dutch people to be similar. The majority of Dutch people are formal and reserved .

The Dutch can be reserved and formal and their sense of humour can differ from ours. The Dutch believe that self control is a virtue and will not discuss personal matters, even with close friends. When greeting a person shake their hand, smile and maintain eye contact. Use their title and surname as first names are reserved for family and close friends.

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