After a 2 week and 3 conferences marathon I was quite surprised how our industry develops different internationally. SEOCampixx, a medium-sized conference in Berlin, was a fun event, despite the fact that I was totally sick and could not even prepare a minute for my presentation.
I've spend some time talking to different people in the industry and it's quite interesting to see how different they approach work than in the US: Web analytics in Germany still only has a few niche local players, but there is (unfortunately) no real innovation. A lot of companies still clone features from Google Analytics and other vendors. Even worse, government institutions threaten to use outdated privacy issues laws against webanalytics vendors and ad networks, which use re-targeting based on Cookies or user behaviour. A true innovation killer, especially when you consider that in the US companies such as AppNexus are investing heavily to improve ad network and re-targeting technology.
However, the search space is quite different: Companies like Searchmetrics, Seolytics, Sistrix and SEOdiver are pretty innovative and I am sure that they would do pretty well if they decide to cross the pond and adapt to the cultural and local requirements of the US market.
Emetrics / SMX Munich was also an event that was quite inspiring. The show used to be small, but this time a good crowd showed up. Not very international, but smart people, that are willing to share ideas, stay on top of the game and are willing to make business. Maybe it had to do with the powerful industry in the Munich area (Laptop and Lederhosen), but the conference was much closer to what a US conference is like.
Long story short: The web analytics market in Europe still seems to be very local and only a few players really make some noise and were able to establish themselves in the market. It's probably still pretty tough to sell an Omniture solution for a $100k a year if the market is just not as big.
However, the search industry is pulling off some advanced technology and the German obsession with being precise really helped to come up with advanced tools, which can help sites to understand the ROI of their organic search engine efforts.
Over the next years it'll be interesting to see whether the web analytics and online marketing industry is able to move closer to the US or if the markets still keep apart.