Firms in Vietnam that use digital marketing channels are finding the most success with social networks and search engines. According to a survey by the Vietnam Ecommerce Association (VECOM), 46% of businesses in Vietnam reported that social networks were highly effective marketing channels for companies to utilize and 44% reported the same for search engines.
Although marketers seem to be embracing search and social networks, VECOM’s data shows a decline in the percentage of businesses that used search engines as a marketing channel, with the figure dropping from 47% of respondents in 2015 to 41% in 2016.
Online news sites, mobile apps and text messaging were all viewed as useful marketing mediums with 20% of respondents saying that they had high levels of utility as marketing channels. However, the survey also points out contradictory data. There is a very mixed message on SMS marketing with 8% or respondents considering Mobile Apps and SMS to have low effectiveness while at the same time, the percentage that used SMS or email ads climbed from 29% to 36% over the same time period.
VECOM’s data about t the perceived effectiveness of social networks and online news sites among businesses also appears to have mixed survey information and feedback about display advertising in Vietnam. Ad industry executives note that ad spending on online news sites can be hampered by the prevalence of state-run media.
State run media’s difficulties rely on two main issues, the first is the government tightly regulates advertising content in newspapers, radio and television that it controls and the second issue is that government media do not need to rely on advertising revenue and therefore there is a significant lag-time in “global media practices” being adopted by government controlled media.
Vietnam is still an immature online advertising market with digital ad spending expected to account for only 18.4% of total media ad spending in 2017. The popularity of social media indicates an acceptance of and appetite for different types of display advertising in Vietnam, a country where it is estimated that 39+ million people – 40% of the population, use a social network on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.