As we’re rapidly approaching the end of the year, it’s a great time to start thinking about the trends we’re likely to see more of in 2020. In Thailand, over 90% of internet users access social media and online services through their smartphones and it’s no doubt that new technologies will continue to influence consumer behavior.
We can all agree that technology continues to advance at a rapid pace and therefore, a majority of marketing trends are focused around new technologies and features that marketing and digital platforms are rolling out. With the rise of marketing technologies and data analytics, 2019 has also seen some push back in the area of digitization and privacy between brands and consumers, bringing to light the desire to make marketing more human again.
Let’s take a look at the top 5 key marketing trends Thai marketers should focus on in 2020
1. Experience First Marketing
Instead of looking at offline and online marketing as two separate strategies, 2020 will be all about connecting the two realms. Experience first marketing involves planning communications, promotions, or key messages at every touch point of your products and services.
In order for brands and marketers to excel in developing solid ‘experience first’ strategies, UX and UI comes to play. From websites and mobile applications to the design and layout of an ad, all the key messages and visuals must be easy to consume and comprehend.
Introducing new experiences such as augmented and virtual reality is another great avenue to help audiences fully visualize your product or service. Once you get your audience’s attention at the first touch point, every other step and form of communication must be a seamless process until the check out.
Thai consumers will be expecting a hassle-free experience before, during and after purchasing a product or service. If you’re brand can offer a great experience, Thai consumers will stick with your brand. Research has shown that Thai consumers are willing to pay more for their favorite brands, and they rarely switch brands – even if the prices are better.
In addition to this, Thai consumers also expect high quality customer support and after sales service, both of which are taken into account when deciding whether to make a purchase.
In 2019, customization has been gaining momentum, however the use of personalized marketing methods will increase in 2020 and beyond. At the end of the day, personalized experiences can make your audiences feel more special and resonate with your brand even more.
How should marketers go about personalization? This can be as specific as ensuring customer names are included in email marketing campaigns and messaging, special offers and discounts for the most loyal customers or even suggesting personalized product and service recommendations.
As the use of chat bots increases in Thailand whether it be on websites, mobile applications or even through LINE and personalized SMS, it’s important to ensure that there is a level of personalization as the ‘human element’ does play a key role in building trust and rapport between the brand and the consumer. After all, nobody likes generic robot-like responses, and you’ll likely drive your audiences somewhere else.
Personalization can even be taken further through hyper-retargeting efforts and adjusting ad copy and creatives to suit a particular audience segment.
3. Group and Sub-Culture Marketing
The use of niche and specific groups on Facebook has soared over the recent years. The purpose of groups is to share ideas and talk about a specific topic. The function of Facebook groups is fairly similar to web forums, but the difference now is that it has become more social. Groups are a fantastic way to reach key and relevant audiences, because it is safe to assume that those who join a particular group would genuinely be interested in whatever the group topic is.
Even though marketers and brands aren’t able to target and penetrate groups through ads, brands that do create their own groups to share knowledge, key products or services and promotions, opens up doors to create a really engaging audience base that are willing to interact with the brand. What’s great about niche groups is that opportunity for two way and transparent communications between the brand the consumer. This not only enables brands to disperse information and key messages, but to also establish trust and rapport with potential consumers.
Creating and leveraging groups will be crucial in 2020, as it will be another vital communication touch point between the brand and the consumer.
Thailand has seen several brand collaborations in 2019 to cross promote products and services – such as the Citibank x Grab collaboration and the Alienware x Carnival* collaboration. Brand collaborations are expected increase even further in 2020 as these collaborations enable brands to leverage each other’s target audiences enabling a wider audience reach as a whole.
Collaboration will also continue occur not just because of the potential of reaching new audiences but will also occur if brands share the same philosophy and marketing direction, can build on each other’s products and services or if they complement each other.
Thai marketers should also consider brand collaborations and partnerships because a joint press or launch event can generate a higher PR value and even stimulate buzz amongst target audiences which could potentially lead to a surge in engagement, reach and sales.
5. Live Shopping
Live commerce will boom in 2020 especially through established e-commerce marketplaces in Thailand such as Lazada and Shopee. A study has revealed that Thailand leads Southeast Asia in social media e-commerce with nearly $11 billion in annual sales and growing, presenting golden opportunities for local entrepreneurs and global businesses.
Promoting and selling key products through Facebook or Instagram Live is a great way to drive in visitors for limited time offers. Why is this a marketing strategy that will continue to succeed? It stimulates FOMO (Fear of missing out) amongst consumers. Generating hype and buzz for an offer that is only available for a limited time, and on top of that, having to tune in live to learn more about a special offer or promotion is a fantastic way to sell, and on top of that hook audiences to engage with your brand.
Local brands and marketers can also leverage live commerce through the use of influencers to be the host of a ‘live’ promotion. To take it a step further, gamifying this process through live quizzes is another way to stand out of the crowd to generate engagement and hype for your brand.
It important for Thai marketers to capitalize and learn from these trends early on, plan the resources necessary to execute such exciting campaigns and explore ways to integrate both online and offline marketing efforts to fully capture their audience’s attention in the ever increasing noisy world of digital and social media marketing.
*Dell is a Vero client and Vero supported the launch of the Alienware x Carnival collaboration.