Digital ads to propel spending growth


Siwat of GroupM Thailand

Thailand’s advertising and media spending will likely grow at a 4-5% pace next year, fuelled by digital ad spending rising an expected 20%, says international ad agency GroupM.


“We expect at least single-digit growth in Thailand’s advertising and media spending in 2019, similar to this year at 4-5%,” Siwat Chawareewong, chief executive of GroupM, said at NextM’s “Next Things Now” event on Tuesday.


By the end of this year, overall offline media spending in Thailand will be worth nearly 100 billion Baht, as the first 10 months’ total stands at 85 billion. Digital advertising will be worth 15 billion Baht, up more than 20%, thanks to increased internet connectivity among Thais.


Artificial intelligence (AI) will impact marketing and advertising spending in Thailand in 2019 as the developing technology enables brands to optimise online sales channels and communicate to customers in hyper-personalised ways.


But some brands will likely cut overall advertising budgets in response to an economic slowdown, which will impact media ad spending.


The growth will likely be driven by the upcoming election from increased spending on out-of-home (OOH) media and social media ads.


“OOH media continues to grow as people have increasingly mobile lifestyles,” Mr. Siwat said.


Moreover, brands like banks, insurance, travel, automation, and retail will allocate more budget to online channels to increase sales as more AI tools help marketers and advertisers measure results and recommend new strategies.


“Brands will shift adverting budget online, as there is more data and AI to help them target advertising to communicate directly with customers, with more personalisation among mass audiences with similar lifestyle preferences,” Mr. Siwat said.


Online sales for many brands contribute 5-20% to overall sales.


AI can recommend which platforms or channels to use in each campaign, but judgment and decision-making will still be done by humans.


Marketers should also consider how to integrate AI with voice interfaces and digital assistant devices, like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home.


Arpapat Boonrod, chief executive of global market research firm Kantar Insights, specified three trends for Thai consumers in 2019. Thats will continue social sharing and posting about their lives, but they will be more concerned about data and privacy, which means brands need to ensure they are perceived as trustworthy.


Thais will also be more open to sharing their real, imperfect identity as opposed to a strict, curated feed that fits with perfectionist social norms. This will create an opening for brands and marketers to communicate with customers in alternative ways.


In addition, Thais will be more connected to the internet but find more “peace of mind” in the material world, so brands need to communicate sincerity and purpose, not just push to make sales.


In a survey, Kantar Insights found that Thai spent 4.3 hours online in 2017-18, with 91% of them using mobile phones to access the internet. Thais also spend twice as much time on social media than those in other emerging Asian countries.


Published on The Bangkok Post, dated November 28, 2018

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