The world of digital marketing changes each week, month, and year. In Thailand, we’ve seen some drastic changes to the way businesses can and should market themselves. Did you know that Thailand has one of the highest mobile internet usage rates in the world? Users shrugged at desktop applications and jumped straight to smartphones and other small devices. We are a country of innovators and techpreneurs; staying ahead of the curve comes naturally.
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Going into 2020, there are some trends that business owners need to know about and others they can leave behind. Based on the predictions of Mike Jittivanich, Google Thailand’s Head of Marketing, here’s everything you need to know about digital marketing in Thailand moving forward.
There is no more “online” and “offline”
Traditionally, Thai businesses have divided their marketing strategies between online efforts and offline. They would have a team working on traditional marketing tactics such as physical advertisements and events. Then, a different team would tackle their digital marketing, like social posts and Google ads. As we know, the digital sphere is taking over consumers’ worlds. Soon, there’s going to be no division between online and offline marketing as digital will takeover the entire sector. Most Thai people spend their social time, entertainment time, and work time online. Marketing teams need to come together and reorganize where they place their focus.
Your key takeaways for this trend:
- Assess your current marketing organization, structure, and plans. If digital marketing is a small part of your plans, rethink its importance. Really, it should be the center of your total marketing efforts.
- Consider how today’s consumers navigate the world of tech. They often jump back and forth between mediums online and offline. How can your marketing meet them at each jump and show up wherever they are? How can you engage with them?
- If you choose to only provide traditional marketing strategies, you won’t meet your clients’ needs. So, do what’s needed to learn about the digital sphere and dive in. Or, partner up with an online agency. Your clients moving forward will want a holistic, all-encompassing marketing plan that uses both online and offline tactics.
Your mobile internet strategies can’t depend on apps alone
19 million smartphones (source: https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1689468/oppos-sales-grow-as-tech-war-escalates )are sold in Thailand each year. And, 65 percent of YouTube Thailand’s views come from smartphones. Many Thai businesses picked up on this trend and jumped on the app strategy train. However, research is showing that consumers are getting “app fatigue”. There are simply too many apps to choose from and too many on any given users’ home screen to compete with. Most users are only opening five of the apps on their smartphones daily. Plus, you run the risk of being uninstalled as most users will delete apps as they find new ones to install. Considering how much is spent on app development, getting uninstalled puts all that money to waste.
It’s only going to get more challenging to secure a place on users’ smartphones. So, what are you going to do to outsmart the competition in the mobile game? Focus on mobile web marketing as opposed to apps. Mobile web technology is always advancing, making the user experience on websites nearly as flawless as on apps. If you’re still keen on having an app, Progressive Web Apps are an interesting in-between to consider. Not only are they more affordable than app development, but they don’t require installation for the user. If you’re going to take the plunge and focus on mobile websites, look into Accelerated Mobile Pages for faster page loading.
Key takeaways for this trend:
- Rethink your mobile marketing strategies. You need to deeply understand your target consumer’s mobile phone habits. Apps aren’t the only avenue to put effort into, especially if your consumers spend more time on mobile websites.
- If your brand revolves around gaming, keeping a native mobile app is still important. Apps are also great for accepting payments. Just because this new trend towards mobile websites is taking off doesn’t mean you need to completely abandon mobile apps.
AI and machine learning are here to stay
The buzzwords “artificial intelligence” and “machine learning” are everywhere these days. They signify a change on the horizon toward consumer experiences becoming more automated. Each year the technology improves and becomes more intuitive. Where can we expect to see machine learning expand? Everywhere from chat apps to image processing to virtual assistants. As the machine’s intuition grows, consumers will get more customized experiences. However, this also means their expectations of AI will continue to grow. So, we can assure you that AI and machine learning aren’t going anywhere.
Key takeaways from this trend:
- The same personalization customers get from brands in person will be expected from AI. So, brands need to learn how to make the technology match their unique experience features. This is especially important for mobile experiences as they’re becoming the most common way to search and shop.
- Addressing consumers by name in an email isn’t going to be enough anymore. You need to dive deeper into personalization with targeted campaigns and even your brand’s website.
Cashless payments will be more popular
For years, Thai consumers insisted on using e-transfers when shopping online which posed a huge security risk. Although e-commerce has exploded in Thai, the payment methods available weren’t keeping up. The bottleneck every e-commerce business experienced was trying to get customers to use their credit cards or other online payment methods. This has put a huge wrench in the growth of e-commerce in Thailand.
Luckily, we’ve seen the horizon with the creation of Prompt Pay. This option, and many others like it, are creating a seamless payment system for online businesses. We’re seeing the emergence of an omni-channel commerce system in Thailand.
Key takeaways from this trend:
- E-commerce is the way of the future. Businesses who don’t sell their goods or services online will begin to suffer. Since payment barriers are officially being taken down, it’s even easier to pay digitally. Make the transition to e-commerce now before even more advancements in technology happen.
- The way you use your website for business is going to change. Your home page is no longer just an introduction to your brand, it’s a showroom where users can test, try, and browse products and services. And, of course, where they can buy said products or services easily and securely.
The metrics to focus on are changing
We’ve all been told that impressions, click-to-calls, and view-through-rates are some of the most important metrics to track. But, with more detailed campaign capabilities we can track even smaller, yet more integral, metrics. Some call this type of metric the “measurement of impact”. It’s related to how marketing efforts affect business goals.
What does this mean? It means a switch from measuring online and offline campaigns separately to a more holistic tracking system. We can see the exact path to purchase on both websites and in-store. So, we can see how our business objectives are being achieved by which measures.
Key takeaways from this trend:
- Don’t rely on broad or general metrics anymore. Consider the important metrics for your business objectives. These might be different from your competitor’s, and that’s okay. Track these metrics on each online and offline platform.
- Since metrics and getting more detailed and technical, there’s going to be a demand for data analytics teams and firms, sometimes called data scientists. If your team doesn’t have an analyst, consider hiring one or partnering with a firm.
The Future of Digital Marketing in Thailand is Bright
These are just 5 of the trends expected to continue Thailand’s momentum towards digital marketing innovation and greatness. This country is already ahead of the curve on many technological fronts, but these trends show that there is always room to grow. Consider how each of these trends will impact your business and how you can adapt to them.
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