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Older Thais growing friendlier towards tech – while youngsters grow more sceptical

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Only 50 per cent of Thais believe technology makes a positive contribution to society, according to a new survey conducted in all five regions of the country.

Conducted by Asean communications agency Vero and global market research and data analytics firm YouGov, the survey found that 50 per cent of respondents believe technology has a positive impact on society, 44 per cent are neutral, and 6 per cent believe that technology has a negative impact.

“This study sheds light on how Thai people feel towards technology and identifies segments with differing perceptions, thereby allowing brands to adjust their communication strategies to match their target audience,” said Francisco Sosa Ajates, associate director at YouGov in Southeast Asia.

The same poll was also conducted in Indonesia and Vietnam, with similar demographic diversity. The response trends were similar as well, with Thais expressing more positivity towards tech than Indonesians but less than Vietnamese.

Respondents were drawn from a wide range of social classes, education levels, and age groups, with most belonging to Gen X, Y and Z.

Its results are also segmented by generation and sex to find areas where they differ or align. For example, being older, male, and higher-income all correlate with more positive feelings about tech’s impact on society.

“At a time when digitalisation is so important to the future of Thailand, and when tech companies are playing such a big role in society, there is room for tech brands to position themselves as positive contributors in making life better for people,” said Vero chief communication officer Pattanee Jeeriphab.

Older Thais growing friendlier towards tech – while youngsters grow more sceptical

This is the second annual study Vero has conducted on the dynamics between people and technology. It asked people about their perceptions and opinions on topics such as the factors that influence them to purchase technology products, their fears and concerns about technology, and the impact of Covid-19 on their behaviours and perceptions. The complete study is available for download on Vero’s website.

Older Thais growing friendlier towards tech – while youngsters grow more sceptical

Covid-19’s impact on tech

YouGov asked a series of questions to better understand how Covid-19 affected tech use and life habits in Thailand. At the time of the survey, the infection rate in Thailand was relatively low, yet 40 per cent of respondents said that they use technology more today because of the Covid-19 crisis and 28 per cent said they will continue the habits adopted during the pandemic even after it is over.

Notably, 43 per cent of Thai respondents said they now do most of their shopping online as a result of Covid-19 while 24 per cent said contactless payment and delivery are very important to them.

Older Thais growing friendlier towards tech – while youngsters grow more sceptical

Worries about tech

The study also asked Thai people to reveal their concerns when purchasing tech products and services. Their most common concern is the likelihood of unknowingly buying counterfeit goods, shared by 48 per cent of respondents, while 45 per cent said that after-sales service is among their primary concerns and 37 per cent said the same about the possibility of data and security breaches.

Older Thais growing friendlier towards tech – while youngsters grow more sceptical

How tech brands communicate

The study also sought to understand what types of information people in Thailand want from technology companies. The majority (57%) of survey respondents said they want stories about how technology is impacting health and safety.

Nearly as many (51%) want content that teaches them to use technology, while 48 per cent said they want tech brands to share content about how they are improving society, 47 per cent want content about real people using technology, 42 per cent want inspiring content, and 35 per cent want content that entertains them.

“The pandemic has created a desire for content about how to stay safe and well,” said Jeeriphab, noting that in 2020 the most-desired content revolved around real people using technology. “It is also interesting to note that being entertained is last on the list of desires for content from tech brands. Instead, the data indicates a desire to learn and gain knowledge about technology, likely because people realise that there are great benefits to being tech savvy today.”

Published : August 24, 2021

By : The Nation