SMX Madrid - Target Europa

Oohkay; let's see if I need the translation headsets for this one. Next up I believe we are talking about targeting Italy and the Netherlands. Speaking we have Lennert de Rijk (Netherlands) and Massimo Burgio (Italy). The panel is going to try and take questions on the German market too.

The Netherlands

Ah yes; Lennert is speaking in English. Good man. +5 points already. He's Dutch and works in Spain. He's the Managing Director and cofounder of Onetomarket Spain. I wonder how many languages he speaks?

Let's see if his presentation on the Netherlands is as good as Joost's was for SES New York! Ha. :)

The Netherlands are 2nd in the world for broadband penetration. The Dutch spend about 6.4 hours online a week.

He doesn't understand the costing structure of telephone/internet usage in the Spain. The Spannish pay x4 more and have worse quality. He suggests that this is one of the reasons why internet shopping is larger in the Netherlands than in Spain (If you're not European; Spain is a large country and the Netherlands is not).

Ah! A picture of a cow. This is to remind us that agencies should have a global mindset but must act locally. All of the major players in the Netherlands are local - although iProspect just bought one of the market leaders.

Don't use Kelkoo. He says. He recommends using "ormaspdsfsdfsdffdf" or "asmdsfhdsfsdsdf" instead. Okay; I can't quite pronounce or spell the sites he recommends.

Also TradeDoubler, he says, aren't really getting into the Netherlands. Lennert says that TradeDoubler simply doesn't have the knowledge or marketshare to work as an affiliate network in the Netherlands (If you're not European; TradeDoubler is a large pan-Europen affiliate network).

Lennert describes the Dutch market as immature. It's growing quickly and expected to keep on growing.

Here's a fact for you; elderly people use the net more often than young people in the Netherlands. This is due to the demographic situation where there are simply loads of 65+ people and that they have the time and money to spend online.

Last year, on average, Dutch users would spent at least 500 euros online.

This is interesting; the leading vertical of spend in the Netherlands is travel and Lennert's included 'insurance' in that group. There doesn't seem to be a finance vertical of note.

This is a similar picture to the UK. In recent years we've seen the pure plays shops get their act together for online and start to take marketshare back from aggregators and affiliates.

Top sites in the Netherlands;,,,,,, nl.wikipedia and then hyves. Hyves is a popular social network in northern europe/the nordics.

Startpagina et al are the always popular 'starting pages' who simply refuse to go away in the Netherlands. Lennert urges us to be careful with the Startpagina clones as they're nothing more than link farm clones which mess up your link profiles and which have started to suffer drops in Google.

Some Dutch basics;
- use .nl domains
- host locally
- get local links
- be as aggressive as you need to be (Andrew's note; there's a Faith No More song about that)

The Dutch home shopping organisation ( is important. It has 750 members and 100 business partners. It represents 80% of the Dutch home-shopping market. Oh... wait, I think Lennert has a connection to these guys.

Lennert would like us to remember that the Netherlands are neither Belgium or Germany. Yes; the Netherlands and Belgium have a language in common but the culture is very different.

Are there any other search engines after Google? Nah. Not really.

How do you get a Dutch person (or user?) to love you? Be unique, Lennert says. (Slide shows Dutch beauty blowing a kiss (lucky kiss)).

Hyves has 4 million users. 2 million of these people are Dutch. That's 2 billion page views.

NuJij has 1 million users. That's about 4 million page views.

74% of the Dutch are on at least one social network.

Right. That's Lennert finished. Now for Massimo!


Before he starts - I bet Massimo plugs SEMPO Italy.

Win. Massimo's plugging SEMPO Italy.

... still plugging SEMPO.

Right. Now on to Italy.

Italy take 2

Google is big there. They're the market leader with Yahoo and MSN coming second. After that we've got Virgilio (an Italian directory) and Alice.

There are big publisher portals - kataweb group, RCS and RAI.

However, despite these big publishers and alternative portals there is only really AdSense and AdWords.

Panama is slowly gaining a little more traction but have very far to go.

MIVA disappeared from Italy. Facebook offers some PPC alternatives. Massimo doesn't recommend trying Facebook just for PPC campaigns... got to use it for social media strategies instead.

Massimo says that the interactive agencies in Italy have rushed to embrace Web 2.0 stuff but have forgotten their SEO basics on the way. There are some in-house SEO teams in Italy but they have neither the training nor the resources.

The Italian search agencies are working very well. Massimo thinks the agency fee is a problem, though, as the Italian clients don't really want to pay that. He says he adores Google Italy but hates the way they simply act as sales people. There are only six people in Google Italy, they're only sales people and can't solve your problems (reading between the lines; Google Italy are promising to run SEM campaigns for clients directly and Massimo doesn't rate their ability).

Turns out there are Googlers in the room. Massimo changes slide. :) (Actually Massimo ; there's an Italian Googler in the room and within throwing distance - if I shout duck then duck!)

The evolution of search in Italy;
- from SEO all the way through to SMO
- SERP rankings - blogs + social media (says Massimo)
- universal search = social search
- PPC = lead acquisition

Social media is of increasing importance in Italy. We're also seen an increase in Web TV and mobile ready users (thanks to the iPhone once again).


Thomas Bindl can't make it so we're going to adhoc...

Germany's internet market is more advanced than Spain. The Travel and Retail verticals in particular are much larger.

Some popular German social networks
- StayFriends
- SevenLoad
- MyVideo
- Mister Wong
- StudiVZ

Tomy says Mister Wong is good for links as the site doesn't use nofollow. Er... I think they added nofollow some months ago. Tomy did warn the audience that he hadn't been active in Germany for a few months though and so that makes sense.

Alex (surname?) works for a search agency active in both Germany and Spain. He's here to walk us through some search campaign differences.
- Germany is more saturated than Spain; this effects the bid costs
- You can't transplant a campaign from one European country to another; you must localise
- Germany is more sober than Spain. German creatives need to be more technical.
- In Spain, Alex's agency uses 'flashy' landing pages designed to capture the users' attention
- In Germany, Alex's agency uses more conservative landing pages
- When data harvesting; in Spain you can ask for it, get it and know everything about the user - in Germany no one knows their national ID number
- It takes more effort to persuade a German to part with their money
- Spanish customers are easier to keep happy. If you can show a Spanish client you're doing well - then they'll keep the PPC campaign going.

Thanks guys! I'll not live blog any of the questions and answers and keep them exclusive to the conference instead.


Unknown said…
Sounds pretty interesting. I missed Massimo's presentation at SES NY (something about a missed flight?). Thanks for posting!
Andrew Girdwood said…
Yeah; you missed his presentation and his missed his flight. :) It's a connected world, these days!
Anonymous said…
THX for posting a summary, hope you enjoyed Madrid.
"ormaspdsfsdfsdffdf" or "asmdsfhdsfsdsdf" are supposed to be and

cheers, Lennert
burningmax said…
Great job with this coverage, Andrew!

And you crack me up, yes I plugged SEMPO and SEMPO Italy, and of course also SEMPO Spain!!! ;)

And yes I missed a flight for NY, I am famous for this - I might actually miss a flight to Warsaw today, so I'll better stop posting around!!!

See you soon for the next SEMPO speech ;)

Will you be at SES Munich next month?
Andrew Girdwood said…
I don't think I'll get to go to Munich but I imagine some of bigmouthmedia Germany will be going.
burningmax said…
Andrew, can you get in touch with me at massimo.burgio at gmail dot com?

Anonymous said…
Hi Andrew:

Thanks for the interesting review. I am Alex Fischer, the person that spoke about targeting Germany. Just wanted to let you know my full name ;-)

Catherine said…
Thanx for the run-down of SMX Madrid. Was there any information regarding the search market in Portugal?

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