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How to do Marketing and Advertising in Thailand? Top 7 Tips

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Are you wondering how a business can succeed at marketing and advertising in Thailand? Thousands of marketers are asking the same question. Marketing and advertising in Thailand is a delicate process because you can’t just use the same proven techniques as everywhere else. It is important to understand the differences between Thai consumers and consumers of other regions.

Fortunately, we are here to give you the best tips to succeed in the Thailand market. In this article, we asked Mr Arthur Sabalionis and Mr Joon Kim — founders of AJ Marketing — for their 7 best practices in marketing and advertising in Thailand. These tips, tactical insights, and advertising methods will be a great tool at your strategic disposal.

How to do Marketing and Advertising in Thailand? Top 7 Tips | News by Thaiger

Let’s take a look and let’s get your business noticed by the Thai audience.

7 Tips for Marketing in Thailand:

  1. Do Your Homework: research your audience and build a connection
  2. Defeat the Language Barrier: understand your audience and make them understand you
  3. Ride the Wave of Digital Marketing: turn your business digital and ride with the emerging trend of online retailing
  4. Know Who They Trust: collaborate with personalities whom the Thai market already knows and trusts
  5. Find Your Perfect Match: choose the right influencer to represent your brand
  6. Always Dig Deeper: consider all aspects of the influencers’ personas, and look into Thailand’s political climate
  7. Find Yourself a Local Partner: having someone on the ground is key to succeeding in a foreign market

Tip #1: Do Your Homework: research about your audience and build a connection

How to do Marketing and Advertising in Thailand? Top 7 Tips | News by Thaiger

To kickstart your marketing and advertising campaign, you first need to ask the right questions. How do your services fit in the life of the Thai population? How should you approach them? How can you keep them coming back? Every culture is different, and the 70 million people of Thailand are also distinct from the whole world.

A marketer like you would know that the audience is everything–you have to know their lifestyle, culture, mentality, and everything about them in order to be successful. Your products and services would mean little to nothing unless they match your audience’s needs. This is why you have to do your research and you have to do it well.

For example, one of Grab’s successful marketing strategies in Thailand revolved around knowing which music Thais liked, which musician is most popular, and which song would most probably be a hit. After doing this research, Grab collaborated with BKN48 and was able to reach more than 2.6 million views on Youtube.

Everything becomes much simpler once you understand Thai culture. AJ Marketing founders stated that building a connection with the Thai people is the most crucial to your marketing campaign. Now, the question is, how can you easily do this? How do you do on-the-ground research and integration with the Thai market? The founders recommend partnering with a local marketing agency.

Tip #2: Defeat the Language Barrier: understand your audience and make them understand you

How to do Marketing and Advertising in Thailand? Top 7 Tips | News by Thaiger

Although the Thais are fairly proficient in the English language, 97% of the population of Thailand are Thai speakers who treat Thai as their primary language. In order to succeed in the Thailand market, you have to make sure that you are understood by the largest chunk of the population. You also have to understand the nuances in their language.

To be successful, you need to go further and beyond general communication. Marketers and advertisers must also learn people’s humour. Once you understand the Thai language and comedy, you can dive into the depth of Thai social media where you can foster authentic interactions and conversations with the Thai audience.

One piece of advice the AJ Marketing founders shared on how to do marketing in Thailand is to use social media and do influencer marketing. The founders believe that social media marketing is key in creating relationships and fostering effective communications with the market.

Tip #3: Ride the Wave of Digital Marketing: turn your business digital and ride with the emerging trend of online retailing

How to do Marketing and Advertising in Thailand? Top 7 Tips | News by Thaiger

More than 70% of Thailand’s population have at least one Facebook account, and their online activity is relatively high. Facebook’s popularity in Thailand gave birth to the most unique way of selling products in the country: through Facebook live merchants.

These merchants are practically influencers in their respective markets. Businesses can hand them their products, and the influencers will basically sell it for them. Now, you might think that this strategy seems normal, that it sounds like the job of a regular salesperson. However, the difference lies in the way they sell.

Selling through Facebook live is like a physical shop simulation. First, the merchants broadcast their live streams. They showcase the products and verbally describe the features and benefits. Then, the buyer will state which product they want to buy through the comment section. After that, the team behind the camera will send a direct message to the said buyer. This way, the buyer can privately place the order and provide the delivery information.

Since some products on the live stream are limited, the buyers need to be fast to place orders, else, the product will run out. This is what makes online live shopping so addictive. The 2021 data even shows that Thai internet users search, visit, and purchase from online e-commerce platforms at a rate of 74% and above.

How to do Marketing and Advertising in Thailand? Top 7 Tips | News by Thaiger

Aside from using influencers as your online merchants, you also need to boost your business’ social media presence. You want to make sure that your social media page gains as many followers as possible to make your brand heard by Thailand’s millions of internet users.

Of all the marketing tips in Thailand, “work on your social media” is arguably the most important. You would not even need an official Thai website if your digital social channel is strong enough.

Tip #4: Know Who They Trust: collaborate with personalities whom the Thai market already knows and trusts

How to do Marketing and Advertising in Thailand? Top 7 Tips | News by Thaiger

It is a fact that there are millions of social media users in Thailand, which means that online strategies for businesses continue to spur.

If you are a small business offering physical products, connecting with Facebook influencers who could be your live merchants could be your best option. With their countless followers, these merchants sell millions worth of various products in a matter of hours.

For service-type businesses, traditional influencer marketing is your answer. Instagram influencers in Thailand are a big deal. If you can get them to post a picture of your services, your prospect number of customers will increase dramatically.

Influencer marketing in Thailand continues to be effective because the “idol culture” in Thailand is as extreme as that in Japan and Korea. Idol fans in Thailand are very loyal and devoted to their celebrities. They buy products their idols advertise because they trust their opinion. Fans also tend to try to recreate their idol’s lifestyle.

In short, businesses who know that the “idol culture” in Thailand exists also know for a fact that influencer marketing is one of the best ways to promote their products.

Keep in mind that influencers do not have to be literal idols. They could be anyone with high enough followers on social media. Even a gamer can be an influencer. For example, “Ake Heartrocker” is a famous gamer who became a sensation among Thai teenagers. He has a YouTube channel with 7.63 million subscribers and he occasionally advertises gaming gear and accessories.

Of course, this strategy is not without challenges. AJ Marketing founders noted that the biggest problem you might face in this strategy is looking for inside connections. It might be hard to find the best Thai influencer for your campaign if you don’t have the right network. “Working with a local agency like AJ marketing will solve your connection issues in no time,” the founders said.

Tip #5: Find Your Perfect Match: choose the right influencer to represent your brand

How to do Marketing and Advertising in Thailand? Top 7 Tips | News by Thaiger

The AJ Marketing founders agree that the most common mistake a brand makes when marketing in Thailand is choosing the wrong influencer to work with. Effective connections with the target audience would not come to fruition if you have chosen the wrong person to represent your brand.

Imagine a beauty product brand with middle-aged women as their target audience. What do you think would happen if this brand selected a young male influencer as their product presenter? Disconnect, confusion, and a waste of company resources. Even though the example might be a little extreme, it is by no means an exaggeration.

Choosing an influencer is a complex task. Aside from knowing your audience and knowing who they trust, you also have to decide whether the person they trust is actually fit for your brand. If the influencer you choose does not match your brand’s value, the results can be unremarkable at best and devastating at worst.

Let’s take a few lessons from the Advanced Info Service (AIS) 5G campaign. One of the best influencer marketing strategies Thailand saw in 2021 was by AIS, Thailand’s biggest GSM mobile phone operator. By the end of 2021, it launched this explosive 5G campaign that shocked the whole country.

Their method was simple. The strategy involves using influencer marketing in TV ads, posters, and social media posts. However, what is impressive about this campaign is the sheer number of influencers they fitted in their plan–more than 20 A-list Thai celebrities are involved in this campaign. The main highlights were Bambam from Got7 and Lisa from BLACKPINK who are both world-famous Thai-born K-pop stars. These two have an enormous fan base in Thailand and everywhere else on the planet.

As a result, AIS gained massive publicity in an instant. Although AIS’s strategy is nothing new to the eyes, it proves to be effective because of its smart choice of influencers. AIS’s brand image is futuristic, without boundaries, and modern. There were no other influencers whose personalities perfectly match this brand image other than Lisa and Bambam.

Tip #6: Always Dig Deeper: consider all aspects of the influencers’ personas, and look into Thailand’s political climate

How to do Marketing and Advertising in Thailand? Top 7 Tips | News by Thaiger

Choosing Thai influencers can be tricky because you have to go deeper than looking at their social media profiles. You have to consider many aspects of their persona, including follower count, their expertise, lifestyle, and most importantly, their political stance.

Since the political climate in Thailand is in a state of conflict, the people are practically divided into two sides. Influencers and consumers alike belong to either of these sides. Thus, choosing an influencer from one side means you will lose the audience from the other.

To avoid future problems, you need to identify your audience first. From there, you can see how to navigate through this political turmoil and select the best influencer for your prospective consumers. Needless to say, this process can be problematic without local insight. This is why you need the help of a local marketing agency like AJ Marketing. Their inside info can ensure your success in Thailand, both politically and commercially.

Tip #7: Find Yourself a Local Partner: having someone on the ground is key to succeeding in a foreign market

How to do Marketing and Advertising in Thailand? Top 7 Tips | News by Thaiger

Out of all the tips previously mentioned, nothing can be done easily, speedily, and effectively without the help of a local marketing and advertising agency. Knowing the Thai market in a short span of time can only be achieved if you have a partner who already knows them and has worked with them in the previous years.

The founders of AJ Marketing believe that they can be your best partner in Thailand. According to the founders, AJ Marketing considers a brand’s strengths and weaknesses to structure the perfect marketing strategy. “We select Thai influencers who can seamlessly convey your brand’s values, to let your audience know what you stand for.”

If you are looking to expand your business in Thailand, check the AJ marketing blog for information about local Thai market trends.

Conclusion

There are many aspects to consider when it comes to marketing in Thailand. Without local know-how, a business is sure to stumble upon many hurdles. We hope these seven marketing and advertising tips in Thailand–straight from the AJ Marketing founders–can help you out in your marketing journey.

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