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

Do you want to sell your products or services to Germany, Austria and Switzerland (the DACH region)? Then it's important to know who and where your target audiences are, and how to connect with them. We’ve got some tips and tricks for you.
 

DACH Region
First of all, it is important to get to know the DACH Region. The DACH region includes the countries Germany (D), Austria (A) and Switzerland (CH). The DACH countries are closely associated both geographically and culturally, primarily through shared use of the German language. The region hosts around 100 million inhabitants. Germany is the biggest contributor to the region with 83.65 million inhabitants. The DACH countries enjoy a high standard of living, which is reflected in a large GDP per capita in each country. The DACH region has a GDP worth of 5.1 trillion dollars. This means that the DACH region would by far be the biggest economy in the United States.

94 million internet users
Let’s get digital. With an average internet penetration of 93%, the DACH region is a highly-connected region. This percentage equals almost 94 million internet users. The DACH region counts around than 47 million social media users. With these numbers it can be stated that it is an interesting region to execute digital marketing actions. From 2019 to 2020 there has been a clear change. From 2019 to 2020, there was a decrease in addressable Facebook users in all DACH countries. On Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and LinkedIn, however, there has been a strong increase.

Table 1: Statistics of Germany, Austria and Switzerland

 

Population

Internet users

Internet Penetration

Active Social media Users

Social Media Penetration

Germany

83.65 million

77.79 million

93%

38.00 million

45%

Austria

8.98 million

7.90 million

88%

4.50 million

50%

Switzerland

8.62 million

8.28 million

96%

4.50 million

52%

 
 
Table 2: Addressable advertising audience per social media platform

 

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Snapchat

LinkedIn

XING

Germany

28.0 million

21.0 million

5.3 million

12.2 million

10.0 million

14.0 million

Austria

3.5 million

2.4 million

0.9 million

2.1 million

1.4 million

1.0 million

Switzerland

3.4 million

2.7 million

1.1 million

1.9 million

2.9 million

1.0 million

 
DACH consumer – What do they value?
Important to know is that consumers in the DACH region value security and quality. In order to be successful in the DACH region, one must bring the famed “German quality” to the table. To do this, one should use badges, testimonials and certificates in their digital marketing strategy to attract customers. Trust and security have to be key words in your strategy.
 
Furthermore, one should consider aiming for localized domains (.de .ch .at) to increase trust. Needless to say, communication has to be in German. Despite the fact that the countries in the DACH region are ‘highly proficient’ in English according to the EF proficiency Index, the people prefer German as language. This fact also shows also shows in the movies; almost every movie has a German voice-over (even in the cinemas).
 

Germany – LinkedIn and XING
In most countries, in a B2B setting, the most obvious choice when using social channels is LinkedIn; it is well known, has a big audience and has great targeting options. However, in Germany, there is another B2B platform that is even more popular; XING. XING is the German equivalent of LinkedIn and is used by 14 million people in Germany. LinkedIn counts around10 million users in Germany. You can learn more about XING in our previous blog.

Austria – Digital Austria
With an internet penetration of 88%, Austria is the least connected country in the DACH region. However, Austria takes digitalization very serious. With Digital Austria, the initiative of the Austrian Federal Government, Austria sets the course for digital transformation in their economy. The initiative aims for new opportunities for growth, jobs and prosperity.

Switzerland – Four official languages
With an internet penetration of 96% it can be said that Switzerland is a highly-connected region. This is also visible in the fact that 88% of all consumers using the internet shopped online in 2018. This percentage is the highest in Europe. The Swiss are comfortable with shopping online. However, Switzerland might be the hardest to advertise in, since the country has four official languages (German, French, Italian and Romansh). Also, ranked 19th, Switzerland has the lowest rank in the EF English Proficiency Index in the DACH region. Yet, it is good to know that most cantons, divisions within Switzerland, are bilingual or trilingual.

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How to use it to increase your sales
Looking at the addressable advertising audiences per Social Media platform in table 2, it can be said that Facebook is the most popular platform in the DACH region. In 2016, display and search engine marketing as a tool of online advertisement overtook television spending, making the internet the strongest medium for the first time. Also in Austria social media advertising and search advertising are by far the most popular digital advertising tools. Switzerland might be the hardest to advertise in, since the country has four official languages (German, French, Italian and Romansh). However, it is good to keep in mind that most cantons, divisions within Switzerland, are bilingual or trilingual.

We have learned that not only LinkedIn, but also XING is an important player in the online B2B marketing landscape in the DACH region. Therefore, we encourage you to have multiple advertisements for multiple target audiences on both LinkedIn and XING. From our experience, it is preferable to have multiple advertisements for multiple target audiences, so we can really know which score best. Furthermore, in order to turn prospects into clients, one should demonstrate and communicate trust and security in their DACH digital marketing strategy. Without stimulating trustworthiness in your digital marketing practices, the DACH consumer is not likely to start doing business. Last but not least, one should carefully determine which advertising tools to use. Our advice is to focus on the trends that are happening in each country, for example, search advertising in Austria.

Where we add value
If you’re looking to do sales in these countries, 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 Scandinavia, feel free to contact me at l.ruiterkamp@eurodev.com.

EuroDev is your go-to agency for all European marketing. We would love to help you with your European digital marketing strategy.

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Source: https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2020-global-digital-yearbook

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