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GroupM is the leading global media investment management company serving as the parent to WPP media agencies including Mindshare, MEC, MediaCom and Maxus, as well as the programmatic digital media platform, Xaxis, each global operations in their own right with leading market positions. GroupM’s primary purpose is to maximize the performance of WPP’s media agencies by operating as leader and collaborator in trading, content creation, sports, digital, finance, and proprietary tool development. GroupM’s focus is to deliver unrivaled marketplace advantage to its clients, stakeholders and people.

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TABLE OF

CONTENT

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PREFACE: IN RETROSPECT - 2016

MULTISCREEN BEHAVIOR

DIGITAL AD SPENDING + GROWTH

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01. LIFE The mobile era is here... 13 Everyone’s Devices used to connect in Thailand .................... 14 Commodity of convenience ................. 15 Life improvement .......... 16 Virtual butler .................. 19

02. MEDIA Consumer behavior in the digital age .................... 21 Your claim to fame ........ 23 Learn from thy neighbors ...................... 23 Unrealistic mass media .................. 25

03. VIRTUAL CURRENCY The bright outlook of e‐commerce ............. 28 Tracking behavior ......... 31 Thailand, a consumer nation ........ 33 Convenience is king ...... 35

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04. THE NEW “GOLDEN AGE” OF MILLENIALS The full mobile experience .................... 37 Short road to consumer satisfaction ................... 38 How to win the digital rat race ......................... 39

05. A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR

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PREFACE: IN RETROSPECT - 2016

DIGITAL FLASH The mobile evolution is in play. The inevitable movement towards mobile has resulted in an apparent increase of usage of smart phones, new media, and m-Commerce. With remarkable development in online ad spending, a growth of 24% in budget size took place from 9,477 million Baht in 2016 to 11,774 million Baht in 2017. As navigators of e-commerce landscapes, GroupM Thailand share their knowledge and expertise in its third annual playbook to keep marketers abreast of the crucial digital trends in Thailand.

Here is GroupM’s 3 key principles used to drive the Thai consumer experience. Key Insights Trends Macroeconomic Data

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MULTISCREEN BEHAVIOR

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Ou

ith w t

th

the Old, I n wi the New !

The modern TV can now fit in our pockets. There has been an evident shift in the way hyperaware mobile viewers consume media. Historically, Thailand primetime has always been a key factor used to determine popularity of traditional media. With new media sources, available, Thai consumers are not limited to pre-scheduled showings. Instead, they are now able to create personalized experiences offered by responsive designs that had better fit their schedules and preferences.

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DIGITAL AD SPENDING + GROWTH

WHERE GIANTS SPEND BIG Four industries are ranked top of the Thailand digital ad spending trends in 2016. These include; Communications, Non-Alcoholic Beverages, and Skin-care Preparations that had an equivalent ad spend to Motor Vehicles. This year closed with a comprehensive ad spend amount of 9,477 million Baht – a 17% increase from the prior year (DAAT, 2016). By mid2017, Skin-care Preparations

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and Communications dominated while the forenamed industries following closely behind. Dairy Products came in 5th during both years. It is surprising how the spending capacities for each industry have grown throughout the last decade. One noteworthy example is the 5-fold jump from 200 million Baht to 1,000 million Baht for the Skin-care Preparation sector.


The ideal digital media tools used by today’s Thai advertisers comprise of Dashboard, Real Time Media, and Monitoring Tools. Other tools being utilized by more than 50% of advertisers include; Programmatic; Demand side platform and Supply side platform (DSP/SSP), Social Listening Tool, Data Analytics programs such as Ad-serve and Data management platform. (DAAT, 2017)

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The relevance of the digital metrics becomes more apparent as the number of digital users climb. The data shows that the number of Thai active mobile user skyrocket from 49.6 million users in 2015 to 51.1 million users in 2016. (Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, 2016) With these tools, marketers are able to determine benchmarks, guide their sales team and ultimately improve overall consumer experience.

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At present day, there are about 51.1 million mobile users in the Kingdom of Thailand who are subscribing to 3 major service providers: AIS (40.7 million users), TrueMove (25.8 million users) and dtac (24.3 million users). It is clear that there is a greater amount of subscribers versus mobile users. Often times, users will demonstrate multiscreen behaviors by subscribing to more than one provider while owning multiple devices. This year being the exceptional ‘year of mobile’ Thailand has exhibited astonishing nationwide user growth. (AIS, dtac, True 2017)

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01 LIFE

“There has been an ongoing switch in preference from PC/laptops to mobile devices” 12

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THE MOBILE ERA IS HERE Marketers will want to place priority on mobile as it gains popularity.

It is no surprise that smartphones are quickly becoming the number one mobile device choice with price, brand, battery life and app variety influencing Thai consumer’s decision-making. With reasonable payment options like; no commitment pre-paid plans that offer flexibility or post-paid plans for the frequent caller/internet user. Typically, the post-paid subscribers fall in the ‘higher spending’ category that seek prestigious customer service and access to loyalty

discounts. What’s more, with price tags of under 1,000 Baht, many are opting to own a second handheld. There has been an ongoing switch in preference from PC/laptops to mobile devices. Recent data proves that an influx of Thai users are primarily using mobile phones to access the net while there is a substantial drop in tablet, laptop, and desktop users in comparison to last year. (Nielsen IMS, 2017)

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DEVICES USED TO CONNECT IN THAILAND

The digital native millennials have been raised in a media pervaded world where their first experiences are on a tablets or smartphones. Despite all options, more than 97% of Thai users are choosing mobile phones as means of being social, staying entertained and up to date. The younger generations are the clear leaders of this usage trend with the elders ages above 60 demonstrating rapid growth of 1,040% within

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the past 6 years. Thanks to the availability of internet access, a clear transition from 12/7 to 24/7 mobile activity is taking place in Thailand. Source: (Neilsen IMS, and GroupM FOCAL 2017)


COMMODITY OF CONVENIENCE

HANDHELD EMPOWERMENT Life can be tough at times but with the new phenomenon of life improvement platforms, it doesn’t have to be. Recent technological advancements have enabled Thais, especially urbanites, to command multi-functional virtual assistants that make life easier and offer limitless convenience to which many are seemingly addicted. If you’ve tried to taxi hail during rush hour in Bangkok, you’ve probably experienced drivers who either don’t see you, ignore you or deny their services if your destination is not convenient for them! Now with applications like Grab and UBER, there is no need to wait and pray. You know exactly when your partner driver will pick you up, get a good sense of travel time estimates and be asked only to pay fair prices. Another time saver is QueQ, an application with which customers can be free to go shopping and avoid boring line-ups at selected restaurants. Don’t like cooking? LINE MAN, Grab Delivery and Food Panda are on-demand food ordering applications that are helping busy individuals skip the dishes and gain access to hundreds of popular food spots. Booking movie tickets can now be done from the anywhere using smartphones. Applications created by Major Cineplex and SF Cinema make

it easy for movie lovers to reserve tickets and seating through mobile platforms within seconds. Payments can be made through the AirPay applications, an alternative to traditional credit cards, where Thais can also electronically transfer amounts due for home utilities like electrical and water bills. Other financial technologies like E-banking applications save customers countless visits to ATM machines and bank offices. They are able to conduct everyday m-banking tasks such as transferring money, checking balances and accepting payments al l f rom t hei r mobile phones. All platforms aforementioned are continually being improved upon with the help of behavioral analytics that can help brands and companies predict how consumers are likely to act in the future. It’s no surprise why Thais have a deep connection with their smartphones! THAILAND DIGITAL PLAYBOOK 2017

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There are 4 major categories of life improvement platforms that Thais are incorporating into their everyday lifestyles:

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Personal Pleasure; Garmin, Fitbit and Starva are personal fitness applications that encourage users to be active through dynamic metrics and gamification.

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Career; T he T h a i P o l i c e Departments, Hospitals, and many other local professional industries are now assimilating social media applications such as Facebook and LINE Messenger to create private chat groups that streamline internal communications.

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Personal Skill; Self-education has never been easier. YouTube and Facebook have become the go-to virtual tutors where Thais can develop skills like; cooking, playing the guitar and video editing at any pace they wish.

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Business; On demand services like Food Panda and LINE MAN empowers users to save time, have food delivered to their doorstep and hire a personal helper within seconds. Facebook is considered to be a one-stop shop alongside Asia’s eCommerce titan, Lazada, where consumers can purchase their favorite product and find reliable reviews.

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“Mobile devices are becoming invaluable personal assistants.”

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EVERYONE’S VIRTUAL BUTLER SOMEONE YOU CAN ALWAYS COUNT ON Today’s online Thai users are regarded as ‘highly social -digital users’ whom are in many ways being ‘spoiled’ by virtual butlers. Each consumer develops a ‘Digital Personal ID’ that is associated with their browsing behaviors. Through the help of cookies, an arbitrary piece of data sent by a web server that is embedded on a user’s web browser, brands could collect behavioral data that is later used to create uniquely personalized experiences for their customers.

Mobile devices are becoming invaluable personal assistants that can recognize their owners via fingerprint recognition or voice command. They can also be used as a financial manager, tour guide, mini-theatre, DJ or even a personal chef. The conveniences of smart devices seem to be limitless. No longer must Thais endure the harsh weather of the pouring rain. Instead, the comforting shine of their backlit screens is all they need! However, a question must be posed - is laziness a result of such convenience?

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02 MEDIA

“62% of Thais spend more time on digital platforms.”

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CONSUMER BEHAVIOR IN THE DIGITAL AGE

Nowadays, word-of-mouth and bite-size videos are by far the most influential ad-creatives that help Thai millennials justify spending habits. Le t ’s f a c e i t , t ra d i t i o n a l advertisement just doesn’t cut it! Everyone with a mobile device is just one click away from instant access to an endless supply of information and peer reviews. In fact, 83% of Thais select YouTube as their first choice of access to content broadcasted on TV. Noticeably, proper branding styles help create consumer loyalty and to stay relevant, companies will want to offer flexibility to the consumers. Recent reports

show that 85% of Thais are persuaded to think positively about a brands after watching a related commercial online. In addition, alert advertisers will take note that 62% of Thais spend more time on digital platforms as opposed to watching traditional TV. Evidently, marketers should adapt their approaches to Thai consumers via digital media streams such as; YouTube, Drama Series, TV Programs, LINE TV and JOOX accordingly. (TNS and YouTube, 2017)

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YOUR CLAIM TO FAME SELF-MADE ICONS

Digital media can expedite the road to fame for self-made celebrities. There is no limit for anyone to exercise their imagination and attain viral status with their self-created content. A popular lifestyle tour series aired on ‘GMMTV’ with more than 300,000 followers, is thriving in the digital media world with the help of Thai hosts and their infectious personalities. The LGBTQ TV series is a group of self-proclaimed net idols that share stories derived from personal life experiences in their quest for true love.

LEARN FROM THY NEIGHBORS

THE MULTITUDE OF NEWS SOURCES In addition to the traditional ne w s p a p e r, r a d i o a n d magazine news feeds, social forums like Pantip, Facebook and LINE Today are acting as unconventional newscast mediums. Thais from all social classes can easily become captains of the drama/news frontier and be part of the information simply by clicking the ‘share’ button while including

t h ei r p ersonal op i ni ons. L e ad ershi p i s b ei ng b or n everyday through social media. Social police Facebook page where locals can discuss major topics and provided help in solving national issues. Furthermore, the need for professional advice fades as entrusted information originates more from peers.

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UNREALISTIC MASS MEDIA

PASS TIMES AND PREFERENCES

Entertainment values have changed with the recent revolution in mass media. There is a clear difference in behavior and preference between the urbanized Thais and the upcountry (UPC) folks. On one hand, we have Thais located near the city center are going crazy about the Korean adopted singing TV shows, mainstream celebrities, and international pop-artists. On another hand, those in UPC re g ion s a re c l u e l e s s o f centralized city trends and would place their attention on Luk-Tung (infamous UPC music), traditional singer and the Miss Universe Competition, well known for its patriotic contribution. Due to lack of storage on budget devices, many UPC individuals will go to the extent of replacing favorite media mobile apps like JOOX or Instagram with

others like the Miss Universe app, just to exercise their patriotism. Once events such as these have finished, they will quickly re-download deleted apps just to stay in tune with the latest trends. It is amazing what some would do just to keep up! Adaptive recognition marketing platforms allow for the smooth integration of native ads within most digital media sites. While Thais are listening to music, reading news articles, or browsing the net, they are being drawn by flashy pop-ups located within the real estate of their screens.

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VIRTUAL CURRENCY

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IN FINANCIAL TECHNOLOGY VENTURE CAPITALISTS TRUST 21st century transactional innovations have lead to the creation of ‘FinTech’, a blend of the words ‘Finance’ and ‘Technology’. Thai consumers are now paying with virtual cash and are no longer required to be face-to-face with vendors. Historically, forgetting a wallet at home would make anyone feel anxious and hopelessness. Luckily, today’s virtual money and finance applications are the cure. By being able to send an e-transfers via mobile, they are no longer need to carry physical banknotes or cumbersome coins. While e-commerce continues to mature, the inevitable gain in m-Commerce (Mobile Commerce) popularity has consumers enjoying the luxuries of comfort and mobility it offers. Thais can conduct in-depth research on products or services easily without leaving their beds. Skeptical buyers are put at ease with instant access

to glowing reviews and testimonials. Clearly, the ever-growing conveniences of m-Commerce in Thailand are being driven by 3 key factors: Mobile Internet, Virtual Money and Market Platform. Each Thai consumer has their own set of values; thus, advertisers are best to adapt their marketing styles to the following 4 types of digital shoppers that are looking for instant services with the added satisfaction of flexibility: 1. The Invisible Shopper – “ghost shopper” that prefers to be incognito and has specific and rare needs. 2. The Progressive Leader – early adopters who are first to experience new products. 3. The Price & Value Seeker – money conscious shoppers who prioritize price and benefits. 4. The Self-Spoiler – impulse buyers that crave instant gratification.

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THE BRIGHT OUTLOOK OF E-COMMERCE

TRIGGERS THAT LEAD TO SALES According to e-Marketer, Social Media and Shopping applications ranked 2nd and 5th, respectively, in the top five Thai consumers mobile download trend in 2016 Local businesses are using LINE messenger as a primary customer relationship management (CRM) system to drive website traffic and guide marketing efforts in pursuit of online

sale conversions. Moreover, small and medium sized Thai businesses that lack established e-commerce infrastructure rely heavily on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook as alternatives. Recent reports show that 36.1% of Thai e-Commerce shoppers visit online stores daily while 20.4% of them will frequently browse 5-6 times per week. (Nielsen IMS, 2017)

Top 5 smartphone shopping apps used recently are Lazada (62.7%), Kaidee (9.4%), Shopee (7.1%), We Love Shopping (3.9%), and lastly Zalora (3.1%) last year.

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Key drivers that influence Thai impulse shoppers are the low prices and substantial discounts in comparison to offline stores, attractive advertisements, unique products available only online and on-demand speedy delivery times. Several factors that most likely influence Thai shoppers on a new e-commerce website are close friends and family (52.4%), bloggers (16.1%), social networks (15.1%), traditional and digital media (8.2%), and discussion forums (8.2%) in April 2017. THAILAND DIGITAL PLAYBOOK 2017

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In July of 2016, a startling 14.6 million internet banking agreements will have been established - 20,384 transactions valuing at 2,407 billion Baht. A clear changeover to mobile is

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taking place as a greater number of agreements (18.1 million) was established during the same period – 51,263 transactions valuing at 457 billion Baht. (Bank of Thailand, 2017)


TRACKING BEHAVIOR

TAKING THE CONSUMERS’ PULSE Success can be found within metrics. Tracking behaviors and interests is essential for identifying audience types and the effective advertisements that lead to product allure and sales. Thai companies are learning a great deal through big data collected by programmatic tools such as; cookies, pixels tags, and other technologies. This information helps vendors gain insights that save them valuable money and time. There are 2 personas manifesting among digital Thai shoppers; ‘Presumers’ (a linguistic blend of Presume and Consumer) will self-search for a third opinion to avoid being cheated and ‘Instant fare fair’ customers will conduct price comparisons both online and offline to verify cheapest prices. Marketers should be going beyond the e-commerce platforms and create predictive campaigns with essentially customized ad content that matches the habits of the Thai demographic. In other words, the right ads at the right time for the right person. With the surplus of metrics available it would be wise to follow the “8 Golden Rules” to optimize return on investment. (Xaxis, 2017)

1. Align metrics to campaign objectives. 2. If your campaign objective is sales, measure as closely as possible to the point of conversion. 3. Avoid metrics that do not capture impact meaningfully. 4. Have a consistent source of data where you can benchmark yourself against and improve on it. 5. Where possible, use independent third-party vendors. 6. Build up partnerships. 7. Advertisers should work with their agency partners to ensure full alignment to goals. 8 . Ta k e a st aged ap p roach depending on your maturity.

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THAILAND, A CONSUMER NATION

EDUCATION DRIVES DECISIONS Thai online retailers are faced with the dilemma of maintaining a traditional storefront or concentrating solely on e-commerce sites. Typically, products browsing, opinion gathering and purchasing was all done within the four walls of a trusted shop. However, the conveniences of e-commerce is altering these establishments into expensive showrooms where products are displayed and stored while the Thai ‘Presumers’ are gravitating towards online shopping.

In 2016, “trust” was the key factor that influenced buying decisions however this has now extended to; product variety, promotional value, payment options, delivery methods and privacy. eMarketer states that 92.5% of Thai users will browse digitally while 28.7% of the nation will proceed to buying online, 54.4% will occasionally purchase digitally and only 9.4% will proceed to offline channels. A small 7.6% of Thai consumers is remaining true to the conventional offline browsing and purchasing. (eMarketer, 2017)

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CONVENIENCE IS KING STAYING ONE STEP AHEAD With convenience as king, mobility and instantaccess are no longer optional features - they are requirements for business success. Undoubtedly, this trend has brought forth a new breed of s po i l e d P re s u m e rs w i t h heightened expectations. Food Panda, the unrivaled goliath in the on-demand food delivery arena, is fulfilling desires with countless selections, promptness, and nationwide coverage. The new phenomenon of Instant Fair-Fare is a commonality which facilitates price comparison in today’s saturated business markets. It eliminates the difficult process of comparing apples to apples and gathers the best deals on a single comprehensive comparison t a bl e s . S k y s c a n n e r h a s been victorious is forging co-partnerships with largest selection of online, full-service

retailers to create a unique experience where Thais can easily compare cheap flights, hotels rates, and car rentals. The best advertisers will commit to mastering the art of effective communication and the science behind search engine optimization (SEO) to deliver punchy ads that are easily penetrate the mobile ad-space and have Thai consumers on the short path to purchasing online. Digital media is a catalyst that helps spread information posted by Thai Social Newscasters who are privileged to publish content with minimal censorship. Brands will want to leverage these individuals as they are often considered important influencers.

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THE NEW “GOLDEN AGE” OF MILLENIALS

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THE FULL MOBILE EXPERIENCE

EFFICIENTLY EFFORTLESS CLICKS

Mobile platforms naturally offer convenience and utility. Being able to pay for bills, order food, shop and have any question answered within seconds has made mobile devices an essential part of the Thai lifestyle. Locals are being empowered by easily attainable and affordable technology that enables them to run personal errands more efficiently while enjoying the comforts of their own homes. Moreover, the next trend of digital strategies are placing focus on optimizing mobile sites where interfaces are fast, simple and

extremely user-friendly - all of which leads to the end of “full-sites� that require access via desktops. Undoubtedly, mobile upgrades will result in better customer experiences, simplify payments, and shorten the transaction pat ways - ultimately, increasing customer satisfaction and purchasing volumes.

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SHORT ROAD TO CONSUMER SATISFACTION KEEP IT SIMPLE Simplicity leads to comfort and willingness to buy. Shortening the transactional pathway that revolves around convenience is vital to any one stop-shop e-commerce business. With adaptive design features and real time interfaces, Thai vendors will be able to create personalized experiences that bring consumers closer to checkout point. Taking full advantage of local influencers is key to persuading customers to follow current digital buying trends and encourage testimonial contributions. Product variety is one of many leading factors that influence buying decisions While convenience serves a prerequisite to success, marketers will want to keep up with the ‘Presumers’ - customers with high expectations, and embrace the simplification of ‘Instant Fair-fare’ price comparison features. Furthermore, the mastery of effective communication and optimization will lead to a higher number of conversions.

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HOW TO WIN THE DIGITAL RAT RACE PERKS OF ADAPTIVE TARGETING

Everyone can benefit from people based marketing. Personalization through tailored messages across multiple devices will create a seamless experience with the utmost relevance for consumers - the right ads at the right time for the right person.

What’s more, frequency management and ad-perfo mance improvement using gathered metrics is an excellent way to ensure high return on investment (ROI) and minimal ad-spend waste. (GroupM, 2017) In the last 15 years, 52% of the listed fortune 500 companies have vanished. Thriving companies such as; Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Salesforce have one commonality that place them above the rest - relationship building around personalized consumer identities. These identities are crucial when formulating consumer-centric media strategies. (GroupM, 2017)

Brands will want to utilize programmatic tools and big data to manage expectations and predict future behavior of Thai e-commerce consumers. Co-Pilot, is an ideal machine -learning platform that enables personalised marketing to; optimize ad-placements, retarget effectively, and adjust ad-exposure times using computer algorithms that improve automatically through experience. Any business would want to have this powerful tool in their hands to gain a competitive advantage.

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special advertorial

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A WORD FROM OUR SPONSORS

THE GATEWAY TO SUCCESS LINE Service Suite

The Internet is a portal to infinite possibilities. LINE Company Thailand, a subsidiary of LINE Plus Corporation in South Korea (a subsidiary of LINE Corporation) offers a suite of services that Thais use to communicate, browse media content, run businesses, hire personal helpers, and manage finances on a daily basis. LINE’s leading global platform allows users to sign up for an account where they can send free one-on-one messages and host video calls with friends anytime, anywhere! An astounding 94% of Thailand’s smartphone users has incorporated this platform into their lifestyles as it helps close the gap between them and loved ones.

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special advertorial

LINE CONTENT Essential Part of Media

The mobile movement has changed the way media is being delivered. Video and Music are primarily available online where more than 90% of mobile users in the Kingdom of Thailand can enjoy a vast array of artists and shows (source: Nielsen). Notably, Thais are dedicating portions of their day to watching videos via mobile devices 2 times higher than the global average in response to the latest digital trends (source: Milward Brown). LINE TODAY is a hub to current news and entertainment on the LINE platform, offering an easy access to latest trends and real time updates in all categories from over 80 various sources in Thailand with the great success of over thousand million views per day after the service was introduced less than a year! LINE TV offers users exclusive and premium contents via an on-demand video platform, resulted in more than 14M application downloads with +136% year-on-year growth of play-views. LINE TV’s content categories available today include drama, entertainment, beauty, sports, music, animation, and live - all of which is broadcasted in forms of original content made by LINE TV, live streaming, rerun, premier launches and on-demand video for which rights are exclusively given to LINE TV its content partners.

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special advertorial

LINE COMMERCE

The Economical Change

LINE MAN is an on-demand assistant service connecting the digital world with reality under business concept of O2O (Online to Offline) consisting of 4 solutions for all lifestyles; messenger, convenience goods, food delivery and postal. With support from expert alliances: Wongnai, Lalamove and Alpha, LINE MAN achieved a significant milestone within a year at over 500,000 users per month and became Thailand’s no.1 food delivery service with more than 30,000 restaurants and street vendors in Bangkok and nearby area. Forget your wallet at home? No need to worry, Rabbit LINE PAY to the rescue! It is a convenient mobile payment platform that offers seamless transaction and reliable security by adhering to global and industry-specific compliance standards. There is no surprise why Rabbit LINE Pay is an established FinTech leader in Thailand with over 2.5 M users and a blend of over 500 online and offline stores. Shopping has never been easier!

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LINE FINANCE is a financial assistant platform that is complimented by LINE chat bots, also known as virtual agents. It has a user-friendly interface and provides updates on topics relating to; stocks, funds and money management while sharing investment best practices. With partners like; SET, StockRadars, Jitta, and etc., LINE FINANCE is ready to revolutionize the way Thais handle money and leave a lasting impression on the economy are you ready for the change?


Editor in Chief: Siwat Chawareewong Niklas Stalberg Content: Neil Mavichak Pan Jroongtanapibarn Nathtaphat Rungniwet Commercial: Patcharaporn Pravitpinyo Natcha Porncharoen Writer: Alexander Lin Hazel Han Contributor: John Pradithavanij Supaporn Jangcharoen Pimporn Panday Š GroupM Thailand, All Rights Reserved. THAILAND DIGITAL PLAYBOOK 2017

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Thailand Digital Playbook 2017>2018  

Thailand Digital Playbook provides an insightful overview of Thailand's digital industry

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