Thai SMEs face challenges when reaching out to international customers, but those who understand how to use modern marketing tools can get an edge over their competitors. Read this article to learn more!
Thailand’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are optimistic about their future. Facebook’s “Future of Business” survey asked 6,418 Thai SMEs about their growth prospects; 32% of respondents said they are positive about upcoming opportunities. However, 74% also said their biggest challenge is attracting customers.
To remain competitive in a globalized market, Thai SMEs have to rethink their marketing strategies and branding concepts continuously. In an increasingly crowded marketplace, modern marketing tools are not a nice-to-have anymore; they have become a necessity for further growth.
Social media in Thailand: Video marketing provides enormous opportunities
Social media is a key marketing tool for SMEs, not only in Thailand but worldwide. It enables SMEs to build a direct relationship with their clients and impress with maximum flexibility and world-class customer service. The ability to quickly build a personal relationship with customers is the number one competitive advantage small businesses have over multinational corporations.
In 2018, Thailand ranked in the top 10 countries worldwide regarding social media use. A study conducted by We Are Social and Hootsuite aimed to capture the social media use of Thailand’s population:
According to the survey, Facebook is the leading social media channel, with 75% of Thais active on the platform. YouTube has seen a significant rise in popularity among Thai users and ranked 2nd in the study with a penetration rate of 72%.
Moreover, 57% of respondents said they watch videos every day. Thus, creating video content or video ads, in particular on Facebook and YouTube, provides enormous opportunities for Thai SMEs to engage their audience and promote products and services.
Messenger apps: quick and cost-effective marketing tool
98% of Thais have a mobile phone, 77% use a messenger app. The Japanese app LINE is the most widely used messenger app (66%) in Thailand, followed by the Facebook messenger (55%).
Messenger apps provide a quick, easy, and cost-effective way to reach out to customers. Businesses can use messenger marketing to attract new customers but also to retain their existing customer base.
The first sale is always the hardest. Once a customer has already bought a product, businesses can use messenger apps to inform their client base about promotions and new product offerings. And what’s best? It doesn’t even cost anything.
Online platforms simplify international trade
With ASEAN getting more interconnected, Thai SME’s have more opportunities to sell to neighbouring countries. Penetrating new markets enables Thai SMEs to access new customer groups. However, international trade also comes with a different set of challenges.
The most commonly reported issues for Thai SMEs in international trade are finding business partners (71%), market access limitations (68%), and different regulations in other countries (59%).
Modern tools provide solutions: Export Portal is a comprehensive international trade hub for SMEs, with thousands of registered companies in more than 100 countries. Registered businesses can confidently trade, network, and communicate with other verified companies and experts from all over the world. The platform facilitates trade documentation and supports companies in navigating the complex landscape of international trade regulations.
Henry Ford said, “Those who stop marketing to save money are like those who stop a watch to save time.” Marketing has never been easy, but modern tools provide solutions. Those who know how to make the best use of technology will gain an edge over their competitors.