Digital Marketing in Covid-19 Vietnam: Looking Back at 2021

2021 has been a whirlwind year for all regions in the world, and Vietnam is not an exception. After efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the fact that the pandemic struck Vietnam this year resulted in a slew of remarkable challenges in not only social issues but also the business sector. As a consequence, Vietnam enterprises have to quickly respond to the changes of consumer behavior because of the long-term constraints of lockdown. It means all the marketing activities and strategies have to go digital to get an approach to their audiences. 

From Offline to Online Event and Virtual Experience

Offline events are undeniably good tactics to build relationships with the consumers and encourage them to experience the products and services. However, during the social-distancing period, marketers adapted big shifts to create impressive online events due to human safety including online workshops/webinars, virtual exhibition, conferences, etc. Moreover, swinging cuts in the marketing budget made it the best solution to substantially reduce costs in comparison with a full-fledged show. 

In addition, virtual technology has been recently utilized to facilitate immersive experiences with the application of VR and AR. Here are some outstanding examples of how brands in Vietnam conduct online events:

In order to promote their Super Sale campaign, besides normal activities such as online ads or PR Booking, Shopee Vietnam held a special online fan meeting with the participation of Twice – one of the most popular K-pop girl groups. The show was recorded in Korea and live streamed on Shopee app where their customers can directly access and interact with their idols. (Source: Shopee Youtube Channel)

OPPO online launch event to officially introduce its new product, OPPO Find X2, was organized instead of face-to-face conference (Source: OPPO Youtube channel)

Johnnie Walker Vietnam put on a 360-degree virtual exhibition and event to showcase their collections of products. (Source: Johnnie Walker Vietnam Facebook Fanpage)

Vietnam International Fashion Week held an online auction event to support the hospitals during the outbreak of COVID-19. (Sourcer: Harper Bazaar Vietnam)

Filter Game AR of Kenh14 was released in 2020, encouraging people to take care of themselves and avoid the virus.  (Source: Kenh14)

As a pioneer dairy brand in Vietnam, Dutch Lady Vietnam is famous for its bonus merchandise attached to the product. Their AR application called “Nong Trai Bay” or “Flying Farm” was released to support the summer campaign. Users only need to use their phones and scan the product packaging as well as the attached gifts to enter the virtual world created by the brand. The campaign drove more than more than 40,000 downloads and 19 percent uplift in sales revenue (Source: Marketing 24h)

The Boom of Short-Form Video

Since 2019 when TikTok started their penetration in Vietnam, 15-second short form video has become a game changer in the content production and marketing industry. Why? Millennials and Gen Z who contributed to the majority of app downloads have goldfish-like attention spans (We Create Content, 2021). It is measured that the average human concentration dropped to eight seconds due to the wealth of information available on the Internet they can access (Entrepreneur, Asia Pacific, 2017). Correspondingly, this has become an addictive format to the youngsters. In competition with TikTok, other social media platforms also released their own short-form video features. Instagrams launched Reels in 2020 while Youtube is testing its Youtube Shorts. What is more, when it comes to paid ads, Youtube Bumper Ads is also a vital video format for a marketing campaign.

In the context of the pandemic is raging, consumers prefer to spend their time staying at home and surfing this type of content more than ever. Reaching the Vietnamese youth demographic, many brands successfully generated buzz with their campaigns following the formula “short-form video + catchy song/jingle”.

Maybelline won their customers’ hearts with their TikTok hashtag campaign #MấyBéLì (Stubborn Girls) which attracted 173,000 million views and more than 73,000 user-generated videos. At the same time, its campaign raised the revenue for the SuperStay lipstick up to 790 percent (Brands Vietnam, 2021)

Shopee carried out its Tet 2022 Campaign with Vietnam National Soccer Team which is conducted on cross-border platforms including Youtube & Facebook.

The “Viettel ++” campaign by Viettel – one of the leading telecommunication suppliers, was a huge success in 2021 when it first launched the new customer program. With the two main macro-influencers and 100 micro-influencers on Tiktok platforms, “Viettel ++” gained 38 millions views along with around 5 millions engagements (MarketingAI, 2021)

Conclusion: Unprecedented investment in digital marketing

Ever since the Internet was developed, digital marketing has played an essential role in any promotion campaign, and its importance is getting more and more pravelant than ever before during the pandemic. At the moment, lock-down orders were lifted in Vietnam, after 6 months of social distancing, consumers are getting used to the “new normal life” and shaping new consumption habits. Brands are required to figure out how to respond to the changes in order to survive in the competitive marketplace.

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Bao Chau Duong Ngoc

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