Vietnam is technologically advanced in terms of network and smartphone penetration, integrated marketing communications across multiple channels is increasingly used and prioritising mobile marketing is no longer a trend, but a must-have, a new WARC report advises.

In a WARC Best Practice paper, How to market to Vietnamese consumers, Katrin Roscher, CEO of the research technology company tetAtet, explains that the country’s youthful population is highly connected and spends, on average, nearly seven hours each day online.

This is frequently done via smartphone, thanks to a fast 4G network and the widespread availability of free wifi at cafes, restaurants and many street food outlets.

Consequently, brands are mobilising television commercials and running digital campaigns in combination with TV. Given that Vietnamese are heavy Facebook users, this is the platform of choice for many companies – and “mobilised commercials” need to adapt accordingly, shot vertically, being bright enough to view outdoors with photo ads available to use in rural areas internet speeds can be slow.

Marketers also need to consider geography: the two main cities are not only far apart in terms of distance (1,618km separate Hanoi from Ho Chi Minh City) and political history; the climate is dramatically different, with Hanoi experiencing distinct seasons with cold dry winters and hot humid summers, while HCMC never gets cold but has a wet season from May to November and very hot dry season from December to April.

These climatic differences affect consumer behaviour in many ways, from their choice of clothing to food and drink preferences. In the north, for example, coffee and tea are mostly consumed hot, in the south on ice; northerners tend to favour sour tastes while southerners use large amounts of sugar and syrup; southerners eat out more frequently at the large variety of street food stalls, but northerners are more likely to view eating together as a family at home as important.

Manufacturers might consider using different recipes for the South and North and adjust their marketing communication to go in line with the culture of these different regions, Roscher suggests.

But, north or south, highly connected Vietnamese consumers are very active in sharing their views and pictures via their smartphones. “A bad or good customer experience can spread like wildfire empowering social media over the success or failure of a business,” Roscher warns: positive reviews and word of mouth are a powerful marketing tool.

Sourced from WARC