There are 58% of Vietnamese citizens that regularly use the internet for an average of 16 hours a week, according to Nielsen (2013). This is a significant part of the population that marketers must definitely consider when launching a new campaign in Vietnam. This internet activity by potential clients has led online marketing to become a mandatory dimension in any campaign. However, a developing nation and an immature internet audience do not mean that sketchy and obsolete marketing tactics should be the norm, and while flashy banners, spam emails and pop up ads are still common, we believe that online marketing today is about consumer empowerment.
Quite common in Vietnam, a webpage filled with advertisements (reproduced from phim3s.net)
Consumers today have such a wide range of resources right at their fingertips: they could be in your own store and still look, compare and buy competitors’ products right through their smartphones or tablets in mere minutes. You either have the choice to fight this behavior or accept it, but logically you should not resist the evolution of online behavior and turn it to your advantage: if you’re willing to offer relevant details about your product or services that consumers need to make an informed buying decision, they will likely be thrilled. Just remember that social influence is extremely important in Vietnam as well. In fact Vietnamese Netizens tend to believe more their friends or relatives than traditional advertising, which means that one negative customer experience could have a critical impact on your future prospects.
A solution would be that an organization must be available when its users and prospects are asking questions: softwares such as ClickDesk or Zopim are quick and easy tools to use that can perform this task, but be careful of being available and online when customers are too! Otherwise they will likely be frustrated by not getting a reply and leave and never come back. Remember also that when consumers are looking for answers online, they generally look at Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs on google.com.vn), so ensure that your Meta tags (both title and description) are relevant to what your customers are looking for. Social media (in which you can read more in details here) are another great tool to provide information to your consumers, encourage feedback and user reviews while also addressing their concerns. This is true whether your customer base is in Vietnam or elsewhere, however, choosing the right language for your social media is a crucial decision and Vietnamese language is a preferred option for local consumers.
However these solutions would be pretty much useless if you do not know how to communicate with your customers: You not only need to provide information to your customers, but you must provide it in a way that is easy to access and comprehend. The tone of your speech is a critical factor as well: There is something about the word “you” in Marketing. As the word “you” draws directly the attention of your customers, they’ll feel more interested or attracted by what you have to say.
A Call to Action (CTA) is commonly used to attract attention as well. CTA can be defined as an order or instruction to provoke an immediate response from your customers. Things such as “Grab your free copy” or “find out more” are typical call to actions. Just ensure that these CTA are still relevant to your Vietnamese audience.
Caption: Giving something free is always a great Call to Action (reproduced from quicksprout.com)
While annoying spammy email marketing campaigns (with all recipients’ addresses clearly visible to the whole mailing list and no available opt-out options), invasive pop-ups and banners are still a common occurrence on the Internet scene in Vietnam, it is critical to remember how your customers find information and buy your products online.
Vietnamese consumers have so many resources available online (we’re talking about social medias, forums, news websites…) that they are now able to perform quick informed decisions.
Now it is your turn to provide them the right information at the right time, using modern and up to date marketing techniques.