Updated: May 12, 2019
Credit from Jeff Rajeck
Vietnam, with a population just shy of 100 million, is one of the largest countries in Asia and one of the most attractive markets for growing global brands.
Until recently, though, Vietnam was in the digital ‘dark ages’. According to World Bank figures, as recently as 10 years ago a mere 25% of the country was on the internet, less than a third of the percentage of UK citizens who online at the time (78%).
Since then, however, the country has progressed considerably and now around two-thirds (63%) are online, with projections that the country will reach Western levels by 2025.
Because of its size and digital sophistication, marketers in the country are becoming increasingly interested in marketing technology innovations, such as omnichannel. But just how far along are they? And what barriers to further progress are they facing?
To find out, Econsultancy, in association with Resulticks, recently surveyed marketers in Vietnam about their marketing technology priories and progress. The results, combined with responses from marketers across Southeast Asia, are available in our recent report, The Omnichannel Imperative, available to download.
Below are a few highlights from the report about the progress marketers in Vietnam have made with omnichannel marketing and how they compare with other marketers in the region.
1) Vietnamese marketers work for firms with sizable revenues
Even though it is classified as an ’emerging’ economy, Vietnamese companies have revenue figures which compare favorably to medium and large businesses in the West. In our survey, the smallest companies represented have revenues of around VND200 billion (US$8.6 million) annually and 1/3 take in more than VND500 billion (US$23 million) per year.
So, while market conditions are considerably different in Vietnam than in other, more developed markets, marketers in Vietnam have comparable budgets and marketing technology stacks to other marketers globally.
2) Marketers in Vietnam use all available data for their digital marketing
When asked about whether they agreed that their company is taking an integrated approach to customer engagement data and leveraging 1st, 2nd and 3rd party to do so, most marketers in Vietnam either ‘Strongly'(33%) or ‘Somewhat’ (37%) agreed with the statement.
While 18% in total disagreed (5% ‘Somewhat’, 13% ‘Strongly’), the ratio of respondents who agreed to disagreed for this question in Vietnam (3.8 to 1) was much greater than in neighbouring Indonesia (1.8 to 1).
3) In Vietnam, marketers are most enthusiastic about real-time marketing and omnichannel marketing
When asked to choose which three marketing concepts are a priority for them and their company in 2019, more marketers in Vietnam chose ‘Real-time marketing’ (57%) and ‘Omnichannel delivery and engagement’ (56%) than the other themes listed.
These percentages were largely in line with regional averages (65%, 52% respectively), but the overall enthusiasm for real-time marketing was considerably less than it was for marketers in Thailand (71%) and Indonesia (90%).
So, while the ability to connect with consumers across devices and in real time is important to marketers in Vietnam, it appears to be slightly less urgent than for other marketers in the region.
4) Vietnamese marketers are more likely to face data challenges than technology issues
When asked about the main challenges faced when carrying out omnichannel marketing across channels, marketers in Vietnam were more likely to respond that they had ‘too much data to manage’ (41%). This percentage is greater than region overall (38%) and from marketers in Indonesia (26%).
Vietnamese marketers, however, were less likely to say that they faced ‘technology or software limitations’ than the regional average (36%) or marketers in Indonesia (57%).
This result indicates that, in Vietnam, marketers may be more up-to-date with the current omnichannel technology but are struggling with the amount of data required to power their systems. Marketers elsewhere in the region, however, may be slightly ahead in deploying omnichannel and hitting the limits of their current technology stack.
5) Data issues in Vietnam may be related to the current vendors
To discover possible causes for their current woes, respondents were asked to rate their current solution against a variety of criteria. Survey-takers in Vietnam were most likely to rate their omnichannel systems as ‘poor’ at ‘data integration / unified view of data across all channels’, higher than the regional average (19%) and countries such as Singapore and Malaysia (15%, for both).
They were, however, much less likely to have issues with multi-touch attribution (10% indicating their solutions were ‘Poor’) than regional average (23%). Interestingly, multi-channel attribution is one of Indonesian marketers’ biggest problems, with 33% of respondents rating their vendors as ‘Poor’ in this area.
Additionally, the ‘ability of platform to scale’ was much less of an issue for marketers in Vietnam, with only 10% rating their current solution as ‘poor’, compared with 19% overall and an astounding 45% in Indonesia. Again, these disparate results from neighbouring countries may indicate that Vietnam is slightly behind Indonesia in rolling out omnichannel and, soon, will face similar attribution and scaling issues with omnichannel marketing.