Masso Consulting looks at brand and marketing trends in 2016, digital future!

Once again I have been asked to make my predictions on brand and marketing trends in Vietnam as the new year arrives, and after observing local and international marketing activities I have selected the following.

Digital-based international marketing, time for Vietnamese brands!

Vietnam welcomes 2016 with series of free trade agreements (FTA) to come, such as the ASEAN Economic Community, the EU-Vietnam FTA, and the TPP, under which Vietnamese companies will face international competition and marketing opportunities. As a consequence, brands will be forced to defend their local market share while searching for international market expansion. In this context, international marketing is a key weapon to take local brands to global consumers. In the past this has been no easy task for marketers around the world because of its high cost and cross-culture complexity.


The game has changed, however, with the development of digital marketing. Brands are now familiar with multiple digital marketing tools such as the internet, websites, mobile phones, email, and social media marketing. Vietnamese brands are therefore predicted to find effective ways to reach international consumers and investors actively. The year 2016 will be an important milestone for digital-based international marketing by Vietnamese brands.

Digital marketing keeps growing

The shift in global advertising, including in Vietnam, from traditional to digital media, will happen faster this year. As the fixed and mobile broadband universe has grown, media usage has steadily transitioned from traditional to digital. Advertisers have followed consumers, allocating more resources to digital channels. Last year I predicted an increase in digital-based marketing activities in Vietnam. My recent observations suggest this trend will continue to grow faster in 2016.

► Mobile marketing will continue to grow strongly in 2016 and subsequent years. Media access through mobile devices is the fast-growing sector in media spending. The advent of smartphones and tablets has substantially improved the mobile broadband experience, contributing greatly to the surge in mobile broadband penetration. The increase of smartphone users and the 4G mobile network to be deployed this year in Vietnam will complement this increase.

► The LOSOMO model (local, social, mobile) will continue to thrive, especially young consumers’ interest in selfies and posting their photos on social networks. LOSOMO is highly relevant with the support of KOLs (key opinion leaders), particularly celebrities who function as brand ambassadors. Big brands like Samsung and Mercedes have deployed this widely!

► Video advertising will quickly catch TV ads, particularly YouTube and other local video networks such as Zing. Facebook videos, popular in Vietnam today, will further promote video-based marketing campaigns.

Fall of traditional advertising & rise of digital integration

Daily newspapers and consumer magazines have been hurt more than other segments by the transition to digital. Over the next five years, fixed and mobile broadband subscriber bases will continue to increase and many of the new broadband subscribers will migrate from print to digital, as previous new broadband households have done before them. Print advertising will therefore continue to decline, except some dedicated magazines. However, some forms of traditional advertising still retain their position, especially outdoor advertising (OOH), which will continue to develop in Vietnam due to specific Outdoor (motorcycles) and the development of OOH technologies (for e.g LEDs).

A full consumer experience with brands throughout the buying journey should be integrated, specifically online and offline (IMC) activities. Offline marketing activities will function as online content and online marketing will amplify and support offline. Brands need to create favorable conditions for consumers in the transition between the two channels (Omni channel), which brands in Vietnam will very likely research and apply in 2016 and the years to come.

Content marketing searches for creativity   

In today’s global content competition, both the company and the consumer can enjoy a lot of free content on the internet rather than paid content. Content contributors are not just traditional publishers but also individual consumers via their social network. As a result, content volume will continue to grow, but the saturation and overload of content volume also requires brands seek an effective content strategy. Recent Tet video marketing campaigns are good demonstrations! We can easily observe very similar stories, built around family unions across big brands such as Omo, Vinasoy, and Neptune. The question is how brands compete and attract net viewers. Creative content will therefore be a decisive factor in the competition among netizens. Brands need to search for a good story to tell, an impressive format to attract, and a limited view time to keep consumers reading the whole content instead of surfing. A recent campaign by Isuzu D-MAX is a good case of creative content. The campaign explores the insight of a Vietnamese start-up man to touch the young businesspeople community via short-form video, games, and storyteller status posting on social network. Creative people at advertising agencies will therefore be required to develop creative content strategies rather than just creative artwork as in the past.


Written by Masso Consulting

Published on Vietnam Economic Times, Feb. 2016