Forging a new path in Europe

The many nuances and intricacies of each country in Europe has meant that tailoring your approach to communications and individual campaigns has always been important – but this is especially true during times of rapid change and market turbulence. As an international communications agency we see first-hand how macroeconomic and societal trends affect different regions of the world, and a huge part of what we do is helping businesses adapt. 

Senior leaders entering Europe for the first time – or at least putting a big marketing and comms focus on the region for the first time – often tell us that our conversations around how to make a big impact country to country, how the media landscape differs, and the varied topics and trends driving debate, can be some of the most interesting and valuable insights they receive. Having these conversations early, with experts on-the-ground, means more effective planning from the outset and avoids having to drastically change approach with plans drawn up centrally with no local input. 

We are also increasingly having these conversations with businesses that already have established marketing and comms functions in Europe. There is a growing sense that what worked a year or two ago no longer does, and the markets they need to target from a business perspective are also changing.  

To better help advise these businesses Tyto is today launching its Pathfinder consultancy service. This new strategic advisory service combines data and expert insights to help businesses plan or reassess the best route forward for them in Europe. You can book a free consultation with our team of experts here. 

UK benefits from inflated marketing and comms spend while Germany dominates sales and expected growth in H2 2023 

We are also launching the results of our first, annual, Pathfinder Barometer to get an extra level of insight into the changing European landscape and the challenges that marketing and comms professionals are feeling the most. Perhaps the most eye-catching finding, from our study of over 350 senior marketing and communications leaders responsible for multiple European markets, was how the centre of gravity in Europe is shifting toward Germany 

 It’s not only where senior marketing and communications leaders see the greatest opportunity for European sales, ranking first for overall volume of expected sales in H2 among 26% of respondents (ahead of the UK and France with 18% each), but also for growth. Here, 26% of respondents ranked Germany as the top market for expected year-on-year growth compared to H2 2022, with the UK (16%) and France (15%) trailing behind.  

It also highlighted a potential opportunity to steal a march over rivals in smaller European countries. While budget allocation in Germany is consistent, with 26% again ranking it the top country for European marketing and comms spend, a combined 35% of respondents ranked either Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain or Sweden, as their number one market for overall H2 sales, and 39% chose one of these countries as their top market for expected year-on-year growth in H2. Yet only 27% of respondents ranked one of these seven countries top for marketing and comms spend in the second half of the year.  

Why the discrepancy? Because the UK is receiving outsized budgets when compared to its expected overall sales and for growth potential. As mentioned above, 18% and 16% of respondents ranked the UK number one in terms of overall H2 sales and growth, respectively. Yet when it comes to budgets, the UK overperforms significantly as the top market for 25% of respondents.  

On the surface, this represents a major opportunity to target ‘longtail’ European markets, which would require a reallocation of budgets and focus to effectively reach people in those countries, and then reap the rewards. However, things are never so simple, and it could represent the fact that the UK is a highly competitive market, and therefore additional budget is required to maintain a certain level of visibility and to ensure products, services and messages can cut through the noise.  

A possible explanation for this disparity is that marketing and communications professionals are struggling with planning and executing campaigns across multiple countries, which was cited as the top concern by 17% of those in the study. Multi-market campaigns can certainly be more complicated and more expensive to run than traditional campaigns. But this needn’t be the case and is precisely why Tyto developed its PRWithoutBorders model 

By getting rid of the traditional European agency set-up, where the agency’s German business competes for budget allocation with the UK and French businesses, for example, you can have the expertise and specialisms for all your markets working together as one team. This approach is more efficient in terms of working process and overall budgets, while markets can be dialled up or down as needed to support local market opportunities and priorities at a moment’s notice, too. 

This highly flexible and strategic approach is something we really believe in and is something our clients get a lot of value from. Our new Pathfinder consultancy service and annual Barometer are extensions of this approach, adding an extra layer of insight and support for businesses looking to tackle the challenges, and take advantage of the opportunities, waiting for them in Europe. 

You can download the infographic with the main findings of the Tyto Pathfinder Barometer here.