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4G era, AEC to invigorate online marketing

ONLINE MEDIA are on the rise as businesses in Thailand respond to consumers in the 4G era. Offering insights into the 2016 online marketing outlook, Kampol Tanapanyaworakhun, chief executive officer of iTopPlus, said that this year's implementation of the Asean Economic Community and the widespread introduction of 4G wireless broadband services would make online marketing even more vigorous.

Kampol, whose firm provides fully integrated online marketing services, said iTopPlus’s online advertising business in Thailand was worth Bt9.87 million last year, and was growing by 50 per cent annually.

Around 60 per cent of the clients are small and medium-sized enterprises, with online media purchases by SMEs increasing by about 30 per cent from the previous year.

The figure indicates that Thai SMEs are now embracing the online advertising trend, which used to be limited to larger corporate clients, he said.

Google now has many more tools and techniques suitable for different types of SME businesses, he added. For instance, keyword searching can be refined based on analysis, making each word appropriate to the business to help reach the right target.

Keyword bidding is designed to ensure your budget is well spent, besides which negative keywords help businesses save the cost required for modifying searches.

Google’s AdWords advertising average position, meanwhile, is aimed at yielding the ultimate outcomes.

Users of these tools can see searches displayed in foreign countries, hence expanding their customer base, he explained.

"At the same time, content on SMEs’ main websites must be provided in two more languages, Chinese and Japanese, while businesses should prepare for expansion of online marketing to meet the above-mentioned demands.

"iTopPlus is well-prepared to serve as an assistant to Thai SMEs to develop online advertising media to strengthen clients and help them use their full creative capability so that they can become a vital foundation of Thailand’s economy," the CEO said.

Thailand has around 3 million SMEs. Given such a total, there should be about 1 million websites run by these enterprises, but the real number is only 300,000 to 400,000, he pointed out.

In other words, only 30-40 per cent of all SMEs are online, which spells opportunities for substantial further growth in online marketing in Thailand, he suggested, adding that the top three businesses with the biggest spending for advertising per client are finance, education and health.

For SMEs, online media are suitable and can be the main platform for helping to increase sales and expand the customer base; reaching the right customer groups and matching buyer behaviour at a time when more people are searching for information and doing their shopping online; and helping to prepare businesses to adopt e-commerce transactions and to engage with the AEC, he said.

Moreover, online media also serves as a more accurate and accessible platform for every business, owing to the low budget required and measurable outcomes.

For example, businesses can see how many advertisements have been posted, how many people viewed their websites, and how much the profit per advertisement is.

In addition, they can instantly know the amount of merchandise sold, advertising fees per day, and how many clients made contacts.

These types of data provide opportunity for business growth, he said.

"It also helps in reducing costs, from retail-space rent to brochure printing, because many buyers no longer shop in stores," Kampol said.

The online media that are the most popular among SMEs are Google, with 30-per-cent growth; websites, with 40-per-cent growth; and Facebook, with 100-per-cent growth, the chief executive added.








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