The world of global strategy is complicated and ever-changing. When expanding internationally, is it best to apply a one size fits all approach, or tackle markets on a much more local basis? We believe that the data should guide the global approach as it can reveal just how different consumers really are. Here, we will analyse four of our core EU markets: Sweden, Italy, Netherlands and the UK, comparing opinions across a range of different topics.
Across all four markets, people are most likely to watch between 1-2 hours per day. However, the Swedes are the least likely to watch any TV at all. Brits on the other hand are 32% more likely to watch over 10 hours per day than any other market.
With other media channels, Italians are most likely to visit the cinema (47% more than the average) and the Swedes are more likely to listen to music streaming services (42% higher than the average). The Dutch favour traditional radio and are less likely to be high users of social media than the other four markets. The Brits are all about screens, being the most likely to watch TV (both on and offline) and use games consoles.
When it comes to alcohol consumption, the UK just beats Italy, indexing at 109 for drinking at least once a week. Interestingly, although the Brits are more likely to be inebriated, they are also the most likely to donate to charity on a monthly basis. The Italians are far more likely to eat out more than once a week, with an index of 135 compared to just 28 for the Dutch. The Dutch are also the least likely to eat fast food, followed by the Swedes, who are too busy taking public transport to be visiting McDonald’s.
It appears that all of the weekly drinking and fast food may be wreaking havoc on the UK’s overall health, as they are most likely to have arthritis, asthma and hay fever. Diabetes is fairly even between the UK, Netherlands and Sweden, but Italy takes the crown for the highest cholesterol. It seems that 24-hour sunlight is causing the Swedes issues, as they are 74% more likely to have a sleep condition than the average and 52% more likely to have mental health issues.
To help reinforce stereotypes, the Swedes are most likely to have bought furniture in the last six months and to subscribe to both on and offline services. Swedes are also 20% more likely to have bought a dishwasher in the last six months. 35% of Italians have bought a holiday in their own country and 21% have bought one abroad, compared to almost 30% in the other three markets.
The Dutch have not forgotten their roots in the magic art of turning grain to alcohol with 35% having bought spirits in the last month – 35% higher than the average. The Italians on the other hand are 13% more likely to buy wine.
In summary, the key findings are:
• Italians like food and wine
• The Brits drink too much, watch too much TV and eat too much fast food
• The Swedish like furniture
• The Dutch do most things in moderation but can’t resist a gin
All Response Media Viewpoint
Understanding the key differences amongst cultures can be crucial for not only your media strategy but also your creative, website and commercial policies. For example, in Germany it is important to have a selection of payment options available otherwise your conversion rate will suffer. It is imperative to be aware of these factors prior to such ventures, utilising tools, experience and data insights to understand how your business can succeed and grow in key European markets.