Marketing in Thailand is no easy task. The marketing and advertising industry in this country is one of the most competitive in the world. Thai advertisers have a lot of creative, dynamic, and fresh marketing ideas. Meanwhile, the Thai consumer behavior is shifting, putting pressure onto marketers to avoid hard-selling strategies. If you're a new brand and you're worried about how you're going to stand out, then this article is for you! We compiled trends you should look into before you create your marketing campaign.
Before we dive into it, it is essential to know which places Thai consumers go to when they do brand research. In 2022, the top platforms they use are search engines, social networks, blogs, and reviews. This is essential to note because most of the advertising trends you need to watch out for happen in these venues. For example, influencer marketing and video content marketing often take place on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.
Aside from influencer marketing, trends in K-pop culture, affiliate marketing, and highlights on collectivist culture will also bring you immense success. Read on as we explain these local marketing approaches that can arm you with enough ammo to compete with Thai local businesses. Let's get into it!
Top 9 Trends in Thailand ⬇️
1. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has been a dominating marketing trend in Thailand over the past few years. It is not surprising, considering that 81% of the Thai population are social media users, and one of the most-followed account types by the Thais is influencers.
Key opinion leaders and social media creators are actively engaging with their audiences through various platforms. Consistent content sharing builds relationships with Thai audiences, making millennials and Gen Z in Thailand trust in social media influencers.
Facebook ranks first as the most-used platform by influencers in Thailand, followed by Line and TikTok. You might consider all of these platforms for your marketing campaign. Meanwhile, Instagram is the winner in terms of highest engagement rates.
Influencer marketing is effective in various industries, but it is mostly executed in the industries of fashion and beauty, arts and entertainment, food and beverage, travel, and gaming.
There is one important aspect that you should take into account when determining which influencer to choose. Each opinion leader and social media creator has their own niche and follower demographics. By understanding this, you will be able to spend your budget wisely on the most relevant influencers.
2. Korean Pop Culture
The Korean wave is undeniably an impactful phenomenon in the Asia-Pacific. K-pop or Korean pop has become something more than just a music genre. K-pop stars often are trendsetters in various settings, from fashion, make-up, diet habits, to daily lifestyle. Not only in Asia, K-pop is also popular and well-received internationally. This makes many international brands acquire K-pop stars, idols, and celebrities as their brand ambassador.
The same also goes in Thailand, where 45% of the population acknowledge K-pop as a very popular trend in the country. Korean drama, TV shows, and pop music have been a popular entertainment option in Thailand. People recognize Korean idols because they see them appearing on every screen.
In Thailand, the Korean wave doesn't seem to be fading anytime soon, especially since there are several renowned Thais who are K-pop idols. For example, there is Lisa from Blackpink, BamBam from GOT7, Nichkhun from 2PM, and Ten from NCT, who have built successful careers as K-pop idols. The existence of these figures make the Korean wave even more rooted in Thailand.
3. Humor Advertising
Thailand advertising clips often go viral on social media due to unique, unimaginable storylines. The marketers are able to come up with interesting (and sometimes weird) ideas that could keep the audiences entertained within 4-minute advertisements. Funny and controversial concepts work for any brand, from insurance company, to beauty products. Slipping in some humor could make your commercial ads stand out.
For example, take a look at this commercial advertisement from Siam Commercial Bank. The key message intended through the advertisement is that SME loans in Siam Commercial Bank only take few and easy registration steps with competitive interest rates. However, this simple message is converted into an entertaining story of a man struggling to find a loan to build his “Fish Flop” business.
Inserting humor in marketing content helps in stealing the attention of your audience and making your commercials more memorable. Humorous content creates a positive mood to the viewers, which increases the acceptance of the information. Thais especially prefer this type of content, as they despise hard-selling content marketing.
4. Collectivist Culture
Asian countries are often known for their collectivist culture, marked by the society's behavior that highly values relationships with community, family, and friends. This culture is also deeply cultivated in Thailand. Thais adopt the collectivist culture in their daily lives, as they invest in devoted long-term relationships.
Collectivist culture spillovers into social rules, regulations and marketing campaigns. Most of Thai commercials feature a group of people acting as friends, neighbors, or family members. The implementation of this concept works well on various products, such as beauty, food, and insurance products.
5. Senior Influencer
Nowadays, millennials and Gen Zs are not the only generations actively engaged on social media platforms. The elderly also began to make use of social media as their source of information. Furthermore, they do not hesitate to express themselves through online media by sharing their daily activities. For instance, "Fashion Grandmas" is a group of elderly influencers from China who actively share fashion contents and positive messages about aging.
In Thailand, these elderly influencers also receive positive sentiments from the citizens. This creates a new trend in Thailand: silver content creators. The fact that Thailand has more senior citizens opens a new market opportunity. Many brands acknowledge this, now working with senior influencers to make their brand relevant to the elderly population.
This current marketing trend also appears to work well for the younger generation. This is because the silver-haired content creators are considered to be unique and entertaining. TikTok dance challenges, daily vlogs, cooking channels, and other types of content that involve elderly figures successfully steal the attention of many viewers.
6. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a fast growing marketing strategy because it is cost-effective and trackable. Basically, it refers to online marketing through representation. Anyone could be the affiliate as long as they have the credibility and ability to influence the audience. Most affiliate marketing practiced by innovative brands partner with micro-influencers, product reviewers, and KOLs, because these figures already have connection with their targeted market.
The reason why affiliate marketing is one of Thailand's popular marketing strategies is because it is a key driver for acquiring new customers and leads. Promo codes or referral coupons are examples of affiliate marketing practices. You can easily find them as referral links on the social media bio or description box of creator’s YouTube videos.
This marketing effort often gives remarkable results, benefiting from the relationship of the opinion leaders with their followers.
Launched in 2020, Clubhouse was initially marketed to high-profile celebrities, influencers, and public figures. Nevertheless, it has become a popular social media platform with more than 9 million downloads in Thailand in 2021.
As usual, each social media serves different purposes. Thai Clubhouse is often used by authoritative figures and opinion leaders to have discussions about particular topics. For example, Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a Thai scholar and politician, talks about political issues in the country.
Many Thailand influencers also join this platform and actively collaborate with each other to bring together people with the same interests. By partnering with a relevant creator, you could reach an audience already engaged in your niche. For instance, collaborating with beauty experts could bring a positive image towards your cosmetics brand.
That being said, this platform could be an effective market entry strategy for your brand in Thailand. An early-adopter always gains the most benefit. You can start to step in the game by finding the industry leaders fit with your brand values and target consumers.
8. Executive Influencer
The next Thailand marketing trend is the use of executive influencers in brand campaigns. The opinions of industry experts, business professionals, and entrepreneurs have a strong impact in shaping Thais' perception towards brands.
Take Jirayut Srupsrisopa for example. He is a founder and CEO at Bitkub Capital Group Holdings (BCGH). As an expert in the cryptocurrency and fintech industry, he is often invited as speaker in several events, which made him gain trust from Thai societies who are in the same field. Another example is Srettha Thavisin, chief executive of real estate developer Sansiri, who often posts professional insights on her account.
These authoritative figures could play a huge role in promoting and building trust on your brand, as they are already acknowledged as an expert in a particular field.
9. Video Content
A noticeable shift in the Thailand consumer behavior can be observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a significant drive in Over-the-Top TV (OTT TV). Video streaming services such as Netflix, iFlix and YouTube have become more popular than ever, pushing Thai media to adapt in order to keep their existence.
This means that video content marketing is an absolute key to every marketing campaign today. People are more engaged in video content compared to static promotional banners. Video content marketing works well in various platforms, and is effective in leading the traffic. According to Cisco, 79% of total mobile traffic is predicted to come from video by 2022. Make sure that you take advantage of this trend in your future advertising campaign.
Thailand offers great value as an international market, with its robust economy and massive population. However, this also means one brand must compete with thousands of others. Marketers in Thailand already know how to navigate this stream, creating dynamic and unique advertisements of their own. But, for a new brand entering this market, making an entrance can be a problem.
In this article, we listed the up and coming marketing trends in Thailand that you have to watch out for. The list includes variations of influencer marketing, video content marketing, Thai collectivist and humor culture, as well as the use of Club House. We hope this list has given you insight on how to go on about your next campaign.
Implementing strategies based on the trends above may be harder than it looks. To get help from local marketing experts, you can check this list of 17 Best Marketing and Advertising Agencies in Thailand by Thaiger.
If you need more information on marketing and advertising in Thailand, you can visit the AJ Marketing Blog.
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