How to use Digital Marketing to boost sales in the Benelux region

Do you want to sell your products or services to The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg (the Benelux region)? Then we’ve got some tips and tricks on how to leverage Digital Marketing as a tool.

Benelux region
The Benelux region includes Belgium (BE), The Netherlands (NE), and Luxembourg (LUX). Of the three Benelux countries, the Netherlands has the largest population. Today, approximately 17 million people live in the Netherlands. Roughly 11.4 million live in Belgium, and just over 600,000 live in Luxembourg, the smallest of the Benelux countries. All three have growing populations. According to recent forecasts, by 2020 Luxembourg will have a population of some 630,000 peopleBelgium’s population will grow to 11.5 million and the Dutch population will have increased to 17.3 million. As we can see the Benelux region is growing exponentially which makes it a perfect candidate to expand or boost your sales.

Over 90% internet penetration in each country
Looking at the digital landscape, all three countries in the Benelux region have equal to or more than 90% internet penetration. This makes the Benelux region a highly connected region that still has a substantial grow rate of internet users. The overall internet penetration in the Benelux region is 94%, with a total of 18.9 million active social media users. Here’s a breakdown per country:

Table 1: Statistics of Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg

 

Population

Internet users

Internet Penetration

Active Social media Users

Social Media Penetration

Belgium

11.4 million

10.4 million

90%

7.5 million

65%

The Netherlands

17 million

16.3 million

95%

11 million

64%

Luxembourg

600 thousand

602 thousand

97%

398 thousand

64%

 
 

Go digital (and multilingual)
The Benelux region is very diverse when it comes to nationalities. Of the total population of 29 million, almost 4.7 million people have a foreign background. In Luxembourg, this is true for roughly half of the population. The Netherlands has 3.9 million people with a foreign background, whereas Belgium has almost 500,000.

This is one of the challenges for digital marketing in these countries: the different languages. On the other hand, the Benelux is a great region to test digital marketing efforts, as you have the opportunity to reach a diverse audience in a fairly small region.

Digital Marketing Benelux

Belgium – Digitalization can open a lot of doors for you
Belgium is already highly digital and advanced in terms of digitalization, and it has even bigger plans for the future. Belgium ranks high for basic or higher digital skills in Communication. It is also the country in the EU with the highest percentage of large enterprises selling online. 6.76 million people purchase consumer goods via e-commerce. The value of the consumer goods e-commerce market is $5.292 billion (total annual sales). Although we’re talking about B2C here, keep in mind that when people buy their consumer goods online, it is in their nature to use online channels in B2B decision making as well. Better be prepared.  

The Netherlands – Big opportunity
The Netherlands is the biggest country in the Benelux region in terms of population. Digitalization is a hot topic right now. At the moment 74% of the Dutch companies have digitized at least half of their business documents, which puts the Netherlands ahead of six other big digitalized countries in Europe (Italy, Turkey, Spain, the United Kingdom, France and Germany). At the moment, digitalization is actually the most important source for growth, innovation and new business activities in The Netherlands. With a 95% internet penetration and a world class digital infrastructure, digital marketing provides big opportunities for reaching out to your end users here.

Luxembourg - highest proportion of ICT specialists
The digitalization of Luxembourg is fundamental to its continued growth and development. It is one of the most important tools that Luxembourg actively leverages to promote the economy and attract foreign investments. An OECD study ranked Luxembourg among countries with the highest proportion of ICT specialists in its working population and another study placed Luxembourg as number 2 for countries in the world to start a business in 2017. As you can tell, Luxembourg is very connected.

Table 2: Addressable advertising audience per social media platform

 

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Snapchat

LinkedIn

Belgium

6.5 million

3.6 million

1.3 million

3.15 million

3.8 million

The Netherlands

8.8 million

6.3 million

1.8 million

6.65 million

8.5 million

Luxembourg

320 thousand

190 thousand

170 thousand

398 thousand

260 thousand

 

How to use it to increase your sales
Leveraging digital marketing can provide you with an audience you never knew you could reach. Looking at the addressable advertising audiences per social media platform, for example (figure 2), there are over 12.5 million LinkedIn users. This is a perfect start for an online B2B campaign. If you’re in B2C, Facebook and Instagram are definitely worth considering. One other thing that stands out is that Twitter is relatively small.

All social media platforms have advantages and disadvantages, and they can all be used to reach different marketing objectives and target audiences. That’s why it all starts with your business objectives, and what added value each of these online channels brings to the table for your business. 

Digital Marketing Audience Europe

What about other regions?
Check out our previous blogs on how to leverage digital marketing to gain a foothold in Germany, Austria, or Switzerland (the DACH region), or how to use it to create marketing and sales success in Scandinavia.

Where we add value
Are you looking to increase your sales in these countries? Then our digital marketing services can help you reach out to the right people, increase your brand awareness and kick-start your sales. Together we will define goals, strategy, target audiences, channels and actions for your company.

If you’re interested in more detailed country specific information or the opportunities for your business in Benelux, feel free to schedule a meeting with me, or leave me your details to further explore the opportunities for your business.

Explore your chances in Europe
EuroDev is your go-to agency for all European marketing. We would love to help you with your European digital marketing strategy. For more information on what we do, check out our Europe-wide digital marketing services: 

Sources

https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2020-global-digital-overview
https://www.statista.com/topics/3552/benelux-demographics-2017/
https://www.bearingpoint.com/files/Digital_Transformation_Study_BearingPoint_Belgium_EN.pdf?hash=c640cdfa09376e97186ca3432aed46cdd6d45023235deffb
https://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/dem/monitor/sites/default/files/DTM_Luxembourg%20v1.pdf

 

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