Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Better aim for online marketing

Better aim for online marketing

A person browses a social media website at a Phnom Penh internet cafe in 2014.
A person browses a social media website at a Phnom Penh internet cafe in 2014. Hong Menea

Better aim for online marketing

Engaging online content and more targeted social media outreach are major keys for commercial success in Cambodia, whose youthful population has been identified as the world’s most receptive to social media advertising and content, a market researcher said yesterday.

Eelco Dijkhuizen, general manager of market research firm TNS Cambodia, said during a breakfast discussion hosted by EuroCham yesterday, that online connectivity was growing rapidly in Cambodia, with a third of the 15 million population and nearly half of all urban-dwellers now connected to the internet.

He referred to the findings of a Kantar TNS study, Connected Life, which found that the average Cambodian consumer spends almost two hours a day on social media networks and visits an average of 3.4 platforms a week – accessing the online content almost entirely through their mobile device rather than computers.

Given these trends, it is important for marketers to recognise their targeted audience, but also for them to understand how online users consume content on the internet, he said.

“When you look at the activity footprint of consumers, we see they mostly do instant messaging, access social networks, watch videos and read articles, and overall they spend about 3.5 hours a day online,” he said.

The study found that virtually all Cambodians who are online have a Facebook account. While this offers companies huge potential to grow the popularity of their products through targeted advertising on the platform, he cautioned that as online users receive a high volume of advertising, “it is imperative that you target your consumers properly in terms of where they are and when you target them”.

Online users still access traditional media such as television, radio or newspapers, but two-thirds of their time spent consuming media now takes places online. “I’m not saying TV is dead, but I am saying that digital is moving really quickly,” noted Dijkhuizen.

The study found that Cambodians were highly receptive to brand content on social media platforms, and 75 percent of online users share brand posts they find interesting or engaging.

“People in Cambodia look up to their peers more than they do celebrities, so using these people to activate your brand can help to spread the word much quicker because they are much more believable than a brand.”

Dijkhuizen noted, however, that firms generally should not focus entirely on digital advertising as traditional media is still very important in Cambodia – especially among the older generations.

“If you are selling a product to the mass market, you cannot just be online because two-thirds of the population is still offline,” he said. “If you are looking at more advanced products for younger people, I would move pretty much online.”

Chharoat Chhaleta, founder of Roserb, an online cosmetics and skincare boutique, said product marketing on the internet was replacing the role once served by television as a result of the rapid proliferation of smartphones.

She said while her company uses Facebook and Instagram to advertise its products, this reliance on social media was not suited for every type of business.

“Our target customers are mostly people from young generations aged from 14-25 years old because they are up-to-date in technology, and social media plays an important role to reach out to them,” she said.

“I think it’s still important to have traditional marketing as social media might be able to reach around three million people, but we also have a high percentage of the population who aren’t educated enough to get online, so products with a mass market target need both traditional and social media marketing.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted

  • Cambodia seeks probe into 'false reports' on Hun Sen's alleged Cypriot passport

    Minister of Justice Koeut Rith on September 6 wrote a letter to his Cypriot counterpart Stephie Dracos requesting cooperation in investigating and providing the truth in relation to the "exaggerative and false allegations" that Prime Minister Hun Sen holds a Cypriot passport. In his letter, the

  • 'Pandora Papers' expose leaders' offshore millions

    More than a dozen heads of state and government, from Jordan to Azerbaijan, Kenya and the Czech Republic, have used offshore tax havens to hide assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a far-reaching new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (