Vietnam’s Booming Netizens Challenge the Marketing Community to Adapt

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 Within the space of just a few years, the communication landscape in Vietnam has totally changed. Figures from the Ministry of Information & Communications show that internet penetration has grown from 4% in 2003 to 31% in 2010. There are more people online in Vietnam than Thailand or Malaysia.
Until now the Vietnamese “netcitizen” has been stereotyped as a youth who is heavily into online gaming. However, this latest study from Cimigo Vietnam, a market research company, challenges those preconceptions.

Whilst it is true that 95% of 15-24 year old urban Vietnamese are online, the profile of an internet user is dramatically changing. Two-thirds of 25-34 year olds and one-third of 35-49 year olds are now regularly online. And for marketers interested in spending-power, it is worth noting that 72% of Social Economic Class (SEC) A and 63% of SEC B are engaged with the internet.

Information, entertainment, and social connection are the drivers of online activity: 80% listen to music regularly and two-in-three have downloaded music; nearly 40% of internet users are members of a social-network and 20% have kept a blog; 73% say that the internet helps them find out about new products and brands.

There has been considerable growth in online shopping and now 27% of urban Vietnamese internet users access the internet by their mobile phone.

With the rise of internet usage across ages and wealth, significant usage of mobile internet, and with the obvious thirst for news, expression, and entertainment, the question that needs to be asked is whether the marketing community of Vietnam is ready to take advantage of these new opportunities.