If you’re a company based outside the European Union, you’re probably wondering if it’s worth the effort to attempt breaking into the European market or increasing your investment in the region in the next 12 months.
For the last few years, the picture from the European frontline has been murky to say the least. Last year, the talk was all about the imminent failure of the Euro, the Greek bailout and the contagious effects on some southern European countries.
But it’s reassuring to note some light on the horizon as the signs of a European recovery begin to trickle through the markets. European factory output is up, and the Euro has hit a new high. The government debt market is back in its box, and share prices are up by a quarter.
The recovery signs (or at least the early signs of a bottoming out) have been commented on by a number of U.S. companies already doing business in Europe.
For example, in February this year, Reuters reported that Citrix Systems, Inc., Manpower Inc. and United Parcel Services Inc. were all forecasting a return to confidence in European markets. What’s more, as Charles King, president and principal analyst at California-based tech consultancy Pund-IT notes, European company expenditures on technology and services are, once again, “on the up.”
This all underlines the opportunity for well-placed U.S. tech businesses. So where should you be looking to focus your PR investment?
The fledgling European recovery is skewed heavily to Germany, which is currently Europe’s largest and most successful economy. The U.K. remains a core market, as well, and a great starting place for gaining the attention of other global markets such as Southeast Asia.
Other larger European economies include Italy and France, and it is still worth pursuing established opportunities in Spain and Portugal. Meanwhile, the Benelux countries and Nordics continue to “move and shake” and provide great springboards into fast-growing micro markets operating within Central and Eastern Europe.
One thing is for sure: the future is more complex and collaborative than you think, and getting the right public relations in place will be central to your “startup” ecosystem.
With opportunities starting to bubble nicely in the European melting pot once again, it’s time to get off the sidelines and get your PR investment into play fast.