Maximize Marketing Impact in Vietnam: Unleashing the Power of Social Media
Before social media was used for marketing, businesses relied on media such as newspapers, radio, and television. Companies had to spend a lot of money if they wanted to reach a broad audience, and even then, they couldn’t use the platforms to monitor, respond, amplify, and lead consumer behavior. The advent of social media has created a trend for the emergence of new marketing strategies that focus on combining different buying objectives to maximize results. Now we see the emergence of digital brand marketing, and performance marketing in almost every business.
However, brand building on social media suffered from metrics - such as "awareness" and "advocacy" - There's no clear and direct link to financial performance unless you use the service of a social listening company, otherwise SMEs business will be difficult to see the efficiency of the top of the funnel. For this reason, its accountability as a business contributor - especially in the short term - is often considered weak, undermining its perceived value. For performance marketing, because it's associated with sales numbers and revenue, it's easier to track and people tend to focus on those metrics. Gradually, this creates an invisible trap for companies that we often refer to as the growth trap.
According to a digital report in 2022, Vietnam has 70 million social media users, 71% of the total population and 89% are 18+, it's a significant number and shows how potential Vietnam is for a company to expand its business in e-commerce or digital marketing.
To understand why Vietnam has potential, let's dig deeper into the data. With the average daily use of social media at 2 hours and 28 minutes, 35.7% of people tend to use their time to find the product they want to buy, and 53.8% of people like to research or engage with the brands they love. With the support of these routines, Vietnam's digital economy will reach $23 billion in 2022 and is on track to reach ~$50 billion by 2025; the fastest-growing market in the region due to a booming e-commerce and social media sector. To sustain and accelerate your growth, you need to build services for mid and upper-funnel customers.
At the end of the 20th century, Elias St. Elmo Lewis created a model highlighting the stages of a customer’s relationship with a business. The “AIDA” model indicates that every purchase involves:
- Awareness: The prospect is aware of their problems and possible solutions for them.
- Interest: The prospect shows interest in a group of services or products.
- Desire: The prospect begins to evaluate a certain brand.
- Action: The prospect decides whether to purchase.
When Google and Facebook were born, we define the digital objective and input the indication in each bucket, and looks it as a KPI for every objective:
- Awareness (Brand Metrics): reach, awareness
- Interest (Consideration): video views, post engagement
- Desire: retargeting (clicks, landing page view)
- Performance: conversions (sales, add to cart, etc.)
Prioritizing digital performance goals may seem appealing because of their immediate and tangible results. This is also what SEMs and mid-sized companies want to focus on to maximize profits. You don't have a big budget to compete and rush into the money war with big brands, you try to evade them and serve our niche. But no matter what, brands should also invest in awareness and consideration stages to widen the consumer funnel and increase trust. This ultimately leads to a higher volume of consumers with a higher propensity to convert when exposed to digital performance objectives. It creates a link between short-term and long-term goals to help create sustainability.
“It can be tempting for brands to prioritize performance buying objectives as results may seem immediate and satisfactory. However, brand buying objectives and consideration buying objectives ‘widen’ the consumer funnel by bringing more people into and through the pipeline. This can ultimately result in a higher volume of consumers with a higher propensity to convert by the time they’re exposed to performance buying objectives.” Fabio Giraldo, Group Director, Advanced Analytics Lead, Mindshare
Founded in early 2019, Coolmate is starting its business with a subscription box - everything in one box - which it says is its unique point. According to the announcement on the company's official website:
- Nearly one million orders successfully shipped, or 2,700 orders per day;
- More than three million products sold in 2022, equivalent to 8,200 products per day;
- More than 16 million visits to the Coolmate website.
These impressive numbers have made Coolmate one of the top 10 emerging giants in Asia-Pacific (According to KPMG and HSBC Report 2022). Coolmate is a very exemplary case study of building a business around 3 objectives: Brand, Consideration, and Performance.
At the top of the funnel in terms of brand awareness, Coolmate continuously uses social networks, influencers, and KOLs to communicate its messages and positioning to customers in different ways, giving users a clear perception of Coolmate and its differentiation. It should be noted that 2019 is considered to be the saturation point of the fashion industry in Vietnam.
In the middle of the funnel, Coolmate communicates product quality and design variety, as you can buy just about anything for the home or sportswear from Coolmate with just 1 click. Coolmate also realized that each digital channel should focus on different segments. For example, for Facebook or Google, the main customers will be office men aged 25-34, the price range can be more expensive than Tiktok, while the customer will be younger. And Coolmate did very well in the homework to solve the fear of customers by creating a clear social plan to engage with customers on social media. Coolmate gave customers a clear picture of how products are made, how they care about quality, and how customers feel positive after experiencing their service. It's a holistic view between the brand's story, the brand's service, and the brand's employees.
At the end of the funnel, Coolmate continuously brings beneficial combos and promotions to re-target users in the top and middle of the funnel in large e-commerce campaigns. Once customers like your brand, they will decide very quickly when the offer is available.
In fact, Coolmate is just one of many examples of new digital customer journeys - including those that combine different needs such as entertainment and shopping. The greatest benefits - in terms of incremental sales - were seen in a 22% synergy between brand and consideration campaigns. This was followed by an 18% increase in synergy between brand and performance campaigns, and an 11% increase between consideration and performance objectives.
Simply put, the research shows that advertisers can increase sales by combining social media efficiency and performance marketing and that they can sacrifice campaign efficiency by not adopting a comprehensive strategy.
For e-commerce, digital performance objective ads had the strongest synergy between brand awareness objectives and consideration objectives. Because we use short-term KPIs in ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) and CiR (Cost to Income Ratio) as our main KPIs, so we're afraid brand awareness is not suitable for us and it always lost money without meaning.
As Forbes reports, branded queries make up only 10% of all searches, yet branded keywords have a 100% higher conversion rate than non-branded partners. So where do branded keywords come from, and how can we expand them to maximize performance and minimize costs? The answer is simple: Word-of-mouth and social media.
Building social media and brand awareness will give companies a lot of advantages not only in performance but also in operational costs. Shopee/Lazada/Tiki/Tiktok/Amazon didn't share e-commerce customer data with sellers, it's not easy for SEMs to know exactly who is your customer and how we can best serve them when customers change every day. Maybe they buy from us today, but tomorrow they may choose our competitors with better quality or service, but we still guess it might be because of price without data. Social media can help you reduce this risk, while you can easily listen to your true customers and they are also willing to share with you your uncomfortable cause they love you. More remarkably, creating a good social group from social media also helps us to reduce a big budget to test our new product when we can use our loyal customers in social media to test.
We offer three takeaways that will help you improve your digital marketing business with social media operations:
- Overall, brand objectives tend to have a stronger impact on improving the efficiency of performance objectives, demonstrating the value of driving prospects through each purchase objective rather than just running a single performance-focused objective.
- Make brand equity a KPI for performance marketers. In too many companies, performance marketing is focused solely on demand conversion without regard to its impact on brand equity. Companies need to regularly and frequently review and set brand equity KPIs for their performance team or agency. Increasing brand metrics but decreasing conversion rates is less likely. But it can happen if performance marketing programs use some trick/black hat to meet their KPIs and don't care about the future brand impact.
- Create and connect brand positioning and activation metrics. Defining your brand's unique point is very important, it's the foundation of brand building to determine your brand's ability in the marketplace. The most successful brands, such as Coolmate, automatically and instantly communicate the distinctive benefits that they offer, to whom they offer them, and why these benefits are important. When positioning a brand, your business needs to consider four things: Purpose, Emotional Attributes, Functional Benefits, and Customer Experience.