Thai firm now has full global coverage after earlier deal with Google's Adwords
Thai website service provider ReadyPlanet has been appointed by Chinese giant Baidu as a Search Engine Marketing (Baidu SEM) official ads reseller in China, where there are some 550 million Internet users.
Chief operating officer Burin Kledmanee said ReadyPlanet is the first Thai company to be made an official reseller to help the search-engine powerhouse to sell advertising – both searched ads and display ads – through the Baidu Union ad network in China, which comprises around 600,000 Chinese-language websites.
Potential advertisers for ReadyPlanet are Thai businesses that target Chinese customers. The three priority target industries for using Baidu SEM are the hotel, hospital and retail sectors, he said.
“These three industries have Chinese people as the key target customers. There is huge demand [from companies] for marketing to attract Chinese people to use their services when travelling to Thailand. Around 4 million Chinese visit the country each year,” he added.
ReadyPlanet has built up the know-how for conducting search-engine marketing for many years, and also has several years of experience in marketing in the Chinese environment, he said, adding that its expertise and readiness were the key reasons that Baidu selected it as an official partner.
“At the moment, only a few Thai businesses have websites ready for Chinese. Therefore, they require consultancy, and some might need a ready-made website, as well. We can provide them with total services. If they want to expand their business to China, they should think of us,” said Burin.
ReadyPlanet has three main business units: a ready-made website templates business; an enterprise business providing consultancy; and an online marketing business, which partners with Google’s search-engine marketing in the English language.
“The three units contribute 40, 15 and 40 per cent of our revenue, respectively. The remaining 5 per cent comes from training business,” said the chief operating officer.
ReadyPlanet is a Google’s Adwords reseller in Thailand, providing both a searched and display ads service on Google’s search-engine marketing across English-language websites around the world, except in China.
The partnership with Baidu therefore fills this market gap.
Baidu is the largest search-engine service provider in China, with a market share of about 86 per cent.
Thailand is the second country into which the giant has expanded its Baidu SEM business outside China, the first being Japan.
Baidu’s Thai goals
Baidu’s SEM with the new Thai partner forms part of its 2014 business direction in the Kingdom. Another objective is to introduce the Baidu search engine in the Thai language this year. It is currently working on a Thai version.
Having entered Thailand in 2011, Baidu now as eight services available for Thai users. Four of them – PC Faster, Baidu Antivirus, Baidu Spark Browser, and the Hao123.com Web navigator – are for PC-based users.
The other four – PC Faster’s Du Speed Booster, Baidu Browser, PhotoWonder and Du Batter Saver – are for mobile users, mostly on the Android platform.
Baidu Thailand general manager Paul Chen said that more than 65 per cent of Internet users in Thailand were currently using Baidu’s eight localised products.
“Our ongoing goal is to improve our understanding of how computers and mobile devices fit into peoples’ lifestyle in Thailand, and to enhance our products through relevant local partnerships that meet the needs of our users,” he said.
The Thai unit has also partnered with 45 trusted content and service providers in the tourism, advertising and IT industries as part of its effort to build the Baidu product ecosystem in the Kingdom, he added.
Baidu PC Faster is a simple, one-click optimisation utility that helps keep users’ PCs fast, clean and secure. With four cleaning modes and more than 300 PC optimisation checkpoints, it improves boot time, memory utilisation, disk usage and system performance.
Baidu Antivirus is an easy-to-use program with proactive protection, real-time security and automatic definition updates, while Baidu Spark Browser is a Web browser that has built-in support for mouse gestures, flash-video downloading, and screen capture.
Spark Browser is now available in Thai, English and Portuguese, said Chen, adding, “It was only introduced in the final quarter of 2013, and now there are over 1 million users using it.”
Hao123.com, meanwhile, is an online directory with easy access to many types of content, including news, videos, music, games and apps.
Currently, around 900,000 UIP (unique Internet protocol) visitors access the directory, compared with the previous level of some 700,000 UIPs, as more people are using it for getting news about the Thai political situation, said the GM.
As to Baidu’s other localised products, DU Battery Saver is a battery optimisation app for Android phones that offers one-tap power saving, visualisation of battery usage over time, smart charging and customisable battery skins.
DU Speed Booster is a speed optimisation app for Android phones that has many features including one-tap speed-up, a game optimiser and a junk-file cleaner.
Baidu Browser is an ultra-fast mobile browser for Android phones that is available in many languages, and includes built-in support for gesture navigation, full-screen browsing and voice search, as well as a customisable home page.
PhotoWonder is a photo customisation app for Android phones with fun features such as the ability to add filters and stickers to photos, and to share your creations with friends.