Learn more about Swe-Cham Member Team5pm and their launch in Stockholm in a recent interview by John Dekker, Innovation Advisor at Netherlands Innovation Network.
Team5pm, the YouTube Agency, started in 2018 in the Netherlands as a startup. As a YouTube agency, they help publishers, advertisers and brands succeed on YouTube as a full-service agency: helping with strategy up to production. The company is now levelling up by opening its own Nordic office in Stockholm. The Netherlands Innovation Network Sweden spoke to Jelmer, co-founder and CEO of Team5pm and Jolien, market manager at Team5pm: What does Team5pm do, why did they come to Sweden and how are they experiencing their journey?
Can you tell us more about Team5pm? What do you do?
Team5pm is a YouTube agency, Jelmer explains. “We help companies to be successful on YouTube”, in different ways. Team5pm will look with a company at what they want to achieve, to draw up a plan for them, and help them to innovate their use of video by strategy, data research, content creation or channel management. “From A to Z, full service.”
“We make content that’s suitable for the platform that is used”, Jelmer continues. “On one hand, we work data-driven, which is very much the innovation within this market, and on the other hand we work with a lot of specialist knowledge of the different platforms.”
“We keep moving forward”, Jolien adds. “5 years ago, when the company started, our goal was to become the best YouTube agency in the world, not only in the Netherlands, but also abroad. We have broadened our scope as well: besides YouTube, we also work with other platforms such as Instagram. And our first Prime Video series will go live this Friday.”
How did you start with Team5pm?
Jelmer tells how the two founders started Team5pm together in a coffee shop, five years ago. “Just the two of us – with a laptop – and from there we got our first customers, did some networking, and so on. And now we are about 120 people and we have offices in Cape Town, Amsterdam and, since January 1st, in Stockholm.”
You recently opened your office in Stockholm. Why did you go to Sweden?
Team5pm has two main reasons to go to Sweden. “We see that the Netherlands is very much ahead in using YouTube. Sweden gets pretty close to that.” Sweden is relatively more advanced with the way they see YouTube than other countries that are a bit more conservative and behind the trends, Jelmer explains. “Besides that, we already had a large customer in Sweden that we already have been working for for almost two years, so we really felt it was time to open an office.”
How did you experience coming to Sweden?
Team5pm is actually still at the beginning of their establishment in Sweden, Jolien and Jelmer explain, because they opened their office in Stockholm on January 1st. Right now, Team5pm is trying gain a foothold and see if their products catch on in Sweden and the Swedish marketing sector. Jolien notes: “The fact that we are now organizing an event with such a good attendance is already a good sign, I think. We are really happy with the enthusiasm so far.”
When you went to Sweden, what was the role of the Swedish government or the Dutch embassy?
Jelmer and Jolien reflect on opening an office in Cape Town last year. They then had a number of questions for which they contacted the embassy in Cape Town. Team5pm could come by and has been helped very well. “With this positive experience, we also mailed the Dutch embassy in Sweden when we wanted to open our office in Stockholm”, they explain. Last year, Team5pm came by and explained what they are doing and what their plans are. “The advantage in Sweden is that most things you have to do as a foreign party are already quite clear.” The Dutch embassy was able to help Team5pm by offering a space for hosting an event. “Of course that helped us a lot”, Jelmer says, “because it is nice for a Dutch company that opens here to be able to host such an event at the Dutch embassy.” Jolien adds: “We really wanted to do a launch event, especially at this location. Our launch event at this location feels good.” “So far we are very happy with how the Dutch embassy in Sweden has been able to contribute”, Jelmer continues. “You also gave us the tip to join both the Dutch chamber of commerce here in Stockholm and the Swedish chamber of commerce in Amsterdam, which we did. We try to do everything we can to make it work.”
Team5pm has really grown. What do you think you owe your success to?
According to Jelmer and Jolien, the main reason for their success is the fact they are a YouTube agency, which is quite a new concept. “We are a first mover in that market, so, also in terms of innovation, I think we are the first in Europe anyway, perhaps the first in the world to set up such a specific YouTube agency”, Jelmer explains. Jolien adds that their experience and knowledge is also to their advantage, especially in a world in which a YouTube agency is still quite new. “It helped that we were really the YouTube expert in the Netherlands”. Jelmer notes: “It doesn’t exist here in Sweden either, I think. That’s interesting.”
Do you have any tips for other companies that would like to take the same step, to establish themselves in Sweden?
“What really helped for us”, Jolien explains, “is that we have added local people with a network to our team.” Another tip Jelmer and Jolien mention, is to really immerse yourself in the Swedish culture and their way of cooperating. “At first, you might think that the Dutch and Swedes are quite similar, but when it comes to doing business, we are quite different”, Jelmer notes. “I think exploring the cultural differences and embracing them would be good advice.” Other tips Jolien and Jelmer give, is to communicate in Swedish and to be physically present in the country. “You can’t just do it from Amsterdam only.”
“We hope to become a local player here that can compete with the marketing agencies here in the city. Hopefully, we can become a real Swedish company which once originated in the Netherlands.”