Claus Andersen
Claus Andersen
A view from Claus Andersen

Global viewpoint from Denmark

Denmark is widely recognised as the happiest nation in the world. And one must say objectively that there is very little to worry about in the nation of HC Andersen.

People generally trust each other, the political system and the state, and businesses are beginning to see light at the end of the financial tunnel.

Denmark took a relatively hard hit from the financial crisis and growth has been slower to return than expected. It does seem, however, that optimism is back: unemployment and the economic environment are looking better compared with the past five to eight years.

No-one can live on happiness and optimism alone, though, and Denmark has been in steady transformation from an agricultural country to a nation known for innovative design, technology and a highly competent population. With fewer than six million inhabitants, the talent pool is limited and there is intense competition to capture and retain the best. Nevertheless, technology, environment and general sustainability businesses, as well as the advertising and media industry, are up there competing with the best and biggest markets.

Denmark is an ideal market to test and develop technological marketing innovations

Smartphone penetration is nearing 80 per cent and, thanks to an inherent trust in technology by citizens, the Danish government has tabled regulations that seek to make it legal for retailers to refuse cash, allowing Denmark to take the lead in a cashless society.

In PHD’s Sentience: The Coming AI Revolution And The Implications For Marketing, we look at some of the scenarios awaiting marketing in a not-too-distant future. From the rise of virtual personal assistants to the need to optimise, AI will radically change what we do and create huge challenges in reaching consumers. In a Danish context, most of the scenarios do not seem too far-fetched and Denmark is an ideal market to test and develop technological marketing innovations.

With a history full of innovation – ranging from the radical thinker Søren Kierkegaard to the physicist Niels Bohr to the architects Jørn Utzon and Bjarke Ingels – there is a rich heritage to build on. The challenge is in combining technological innovation with creativity to ensure effectiveness. Agencies and advertisers are in a race to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their marketing efforts.

With a happy, well-educated population and a history of innovation, Denmark may be a very small market but Danes will continue to punch above their weight in innovation and sustainability.

Claus Andersen is the managing director at PHD Denmark