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Ztove: Cracking customer journey critical for international growth 

Written by Max Riis Christensen

Ztove is a Danish company with global ambitions to change the way we cook. Based in Odense, the hardware startup capital of Denmark, the company develops cookware with built-in temperature sensors that connect with a Ztove cooktop, which lets you control temperatures and cook perfect meals.

In our Spotlight interview, CMO Thomas Mortensen talks international expansion and why the company obsesses over understanding the buying situation of its target customers to build its marketing strategy across markets.

"When creating a target audience, it's important to analyze the buying situations, especially when expanding abroad. Buying situations will shape everything from your distribution strategy to methods of communication," - Thomas Mortensen, Ztove CMO. 

Technology: Unlock the right customer data to open new markets

When it comes to picking the right channels to enter markets, Thomas tells us that the team has learned much more by analysing the different buying situations than by looking at target groups and demographics.

The team used Nordstat to survey a representative sample of consumers in Denmark about what prompts a decision to buy a new cooktop.

They found out that about 60% of those who buy a new cooktop do it in connection with a kitchen renovation. Most of the remaining 40% were replacing a broken cooktop, with only a small portion of the market actively looking to upgrade an existing cooktop.

"This new insight has helped shape our strategy. For instance, at the bottom of the sales funnel and in retargeting, we now focus more on clearly explaining that Ztove is compatible with all new kitchens, and we offer detailed guidance on how to integrate it into the renovation process. We've also reallocated a substantial portion of our budget to digital channels targeting customers who are currently renovating their kitchens.

In the report, we gained not just insights into when consumers purchase cooktops, but also where they conduct research and ultimately make their purchases. This has allowed us to focus our marketing budget more effectively."

He notes that variability in buying situations across international markets could render existing strategies in distribution, communication, or digital marketing ineffective.

For example, in Norway, Ikea is a much more dominant player in the kitchen industry than in Denmark, he says. And in Germany, it's completely different again.

"We haven't conducted a full analysis of every market, but we have indications that markets vary significantly. We need to take this into account when rolling out our marketing strategy in other countries."

Localisation: Can you simply replicate your marketing strategy?  

Now the team has a complete understanding of Denmark's market and have created a marketing strategy perfectly tailored to their target customer base, they are looking to new markets and wondering to what extent they can replicate it. 

“Do we need to consider new channels of distribution or methods of communication? For example, do we include Ikea as a stakeholder when entering Norway? That's what I've been thinking about,” he says.

The team plans to use the same buying situation data-led approach to develop its strategy for individual markets and is looking to Norway and then Germany.

"We would like to enter Germany, simply because the market is much larger. Culturally, I have a feeling that Germany is more different to Denmark than the rest of the Nordic countries. It will be interesting to see how much our current go-to-market strategy is affected by the change in buying situations," he says.

Whether they can replicate or will need to adapt their strategy will come down to customer market data. Ultimately, he says, the strategy that works in Denmark can be replicated based on whether the customer journey is the same. 

“Our product is unique in that there are only two major scenarios leading to its purchase. For other products, there might be 10 or even 50 scenarios, making analysis increasingly complex."

"However, I believe that analyzing different buying situations across markets is important. It can have a drastic impact on market approach, and be very expensive to overlook.”


Thank you to Thomas Mortensen for sharing some of your experiences from the Ztove growth story across markets with our community. We look forward to following the story!

This is the latest story in our series where 50+ top e-commerce professionals share their learnings on market expansion tactics, localisation and technology across markets with our learning community. Check out the full collection here for more tips. 


Max Riis Christensen

Max, the CEO at MakesYouLocal, specialises in cross-border e-commerce. His expertise encompasses building business cases, developing rollout strategies, and ensuring successful international launches. With a vast network and a track record with renowned companies, Max is instrumental in helping brands succeed abroad.


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