Digital Marketing in Thailand: Two Trends to Watch in Q3, 2016

The halfway point of 2016 has come and gone. As we enter the third quarter, businesses across Thailand are looking for ways to ramp up marketing efforts as their focus swings from end-of-financial-year madness to future growth. Here we take a look at two digital marketing trends that are set to take off as the year progresses and 2017 draws nearer.

Mobile internet use is set to skyrocket.

According to Trend Watching, the Asia Pacific region is home to more than 4 billion people; within this population, there are 3.7 billion mobile subscriptions and 1.4 billion active internet users. When it comes to smartphone ownership, Asia Pacific accounts for more than half of all smartphones in use today.

Despite the large number of smartphones in Asia, eMarketer points out that when it comes to mobile internet activity, a “key gap still remains between usage habits in the region’s more and less-developed countries”.

They also note that:

“Mobile internet is even more important for users in Southeast Asia, where issues with the technology, cost and infrastructure of traditional internet access likely make mobile networks a more viable alternative.”

mobile internet usage Caption: Mobile internet use is only set to increase across the Asia Pacific region, particularly in Southeast Asia.

GSMA produced a report in 2015 that echoes this sentiment, while going one step further to predict that around half the Asia Pacific population will have mobile internet access by 2020.

Source: GSMA, The Mobile Economy Asia Pacific 2015 report. (

E-commerce sales are also on the rise across the region and are tipped to reach unprecedented levels. Trend Watching predicts that by 2017, ecommerce sales in the Asia Pacific region could top USD $1 trillion.

So what does this mean for digital marketing?

As mobile internet usage reaches Asia’s less-developed yet highly populous regions (i.e. many parts of Southeast Asia), the reach available to digital marketers in Thailand is only set to skyrocket.

Since mobile internet will be the primary type of internet connection throughout many of these developing countries, mobile-friendly websites and mobile-accessible content is more important than ever. Social media marketing (which is highly accessible via smartphones) is a major drawcard for these markets.

Visual content is on the rise.

In a guest post for LinkedIn a little earlier this year (also featured on Mumbrella), Josh Black of GroupM Content predicted that visual content will continue to grow thanks to faster internet speeds, smartphone penetration and the brain’s attraction to anything visual. As a medium, visual content – such as photos, infographics and videos – is sharable, engaging and highly suited to cross-device viewing.

However, perhaps the biggest trend to watch in terms of visual content is the rise of the ‘silent video’ – especially when it comes to Facebook feeds. Econsultancy pointed out in a blog late last year that (according to Instagram’s European creative lead, Alastair Cotterill) text and video are set to work in unison. As an increasing number of people watch videos on their smartphones (and don’t want everyone around them to hear what they are watching), subtitles on videos are becoming popular.

visual content sample
Caption: Content producers, such as the Huffington Post, are turning to subtitles in a bid to capture the attention of Facebook users who prefer to watch videos sans sound.

Videos that auto-play on Facebook feeds need to be visually arresting from the get-go to suck people in without them first having to click on it. Text allows this to happen as it is another medium through which to capture attention and convey the video’s message without the need for immediate sound.

Think of it as a reimagining of the silent movie!

Caption: Digital marketing trends in Thailand and across Southeast Asia are constantly evolving.

It’s time to set your sights on 2017

Digital marketing in Thailand – as with most other parts of the Asia Pacific Region – is forever changing. New and evolving strategies provide businesses with fresh, exciting opportunities.

Headed by an increase in mobile internet uptake across Southeast Asia and the increased demand for highly visual content, digital marketing trends for Q3 and beyond look set to benefit those who are ready and willing to take the next step!