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Total consumer experience in the digital era

Jun 26. 2016
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MARKETING and media experts have suggested that in the digital era brands should adopt online-to-offline (O2O) marketing strategies to attract digital consumers by creating a total consumer experience.

“Online media is playing key role in Thai consumers’ lives. Daily time spent on the Internet is a key indicator in this regard,” said Wisut Ua-anant, assistant vice president for online channel management at telecom giant Advance Info Service (AIS).

Wisut said that according to GlobalWebIndex’s survey of Internet users aged 16 to 64, in the fourth quarter last year Thailand was ranked No 4 in the world in terms of the average length of time spent using the Internet per day.

Thais sent an average of 4.7 hours per day on the Internet, behind Brazil (5.2 hours), the Philippines (5.2 hours) and South Africa (4.9 hours).

Wisut said the time Thais sent on the Internet continued to rise, particularly via smart phones.

“Social media is the first touch point for customers. Therefore, AIS is developing a digital store bundled with our physical stores to create a total experience for our customers,” he added.

To cash in on this O2O marketing trend, LINE Thailand is transforming itself from a chatting platform to a business gateway.

Nam Do, commercial director of corporate business for LINE Thailand, said that Thailand was a mobile-first country, meaning most online activities were done via smartphones.

Interestingly, Nam said 60 per cent of web-browsing was for e-commerce and as such e-commerce was evolving into mobile and social commerce.

Dangjaithawin Anantachai, chief executive officer of Intage Thailand, a marketing research agency, said via the O2O approach brands should collaborate with customers and deliver a total consumer experience to create long-term engagement with target groups, particularly the new generation.

John Smurthwaite, Asia-Pacific ambassador of the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research, a global association, suggested that because of advances in digital technology brands should collect real actionable data that helped them find the right way to analyse consumer insights, leading to data-driven customisation.

In line with the rise of Internet use in the Kingdom, the Digital Advertising Association (Thailand) said that advertising investment was not only used to publicise brands but to boost sales.

Siwat Chawareewong, vice president of the association, said that Thai consumer behaviour had rapidly changed in the past two years following the launch of 3G/4G wireless broadband Internet. “Thai audiences always loved watching online videos. But now they have become online shoppers,” Siwat said.

Siwat, who is chief executive officer of mInteraction, a digital media agency, explained that his company was witnessing an increasing number of clients that had added budgets for e-commerce on top of publicising their brands and products, particularly for dairy and hair preparation products, food delivery, and financial and insurance services.

In line with this increasing demand, major retailers in the Kingdom are also jumping on the bandwagon by making their products available online for consumers. Banks are also improving their mobile-banking services to support financial transactions between retailers and buyers. Those quoted in this article shared their insights about how to deal with challenges amid changes in the marketing ecosystem, as well as how to gain a better understanding of coming trends, at a forum last week entitled “What’s Coming Next: Thailand’s Future Trends”. The event was organised by the Thailand Marketing Research Society.

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