Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for 97 per cent of the total number of enterprises and contribute more than 45 per cent of Vietnam's total GDP. In the face of market changes due to digital transformation, how can SMEs turn challenges into opportunities?
The change in online content consumption habit of Vietnamese users fuels the trend of short-form video advertising
Vietnam's digital transformation has led to a boom in new communication methods, which opens up countless opportunities for businesses to promote brand awareness. According to the We Are Social report, Vietnam has a total of 72 million active social media accounts (an increase of 7 million over the same period in 2020), equivalent to a penetration rate of 73.7 per cent.
Despite COVID-19, total digital ad spending will still increase slightly by 9.2 per cent to $290 million in 2020. The explosion of digital transformation and new platforms has unintentionally become a pressure for SMEs which do not have the capacity to compete and keep pace with large firms.
Based on data bythe latest report on digital transformation, up to 96.9 per cent of SMEs think that digital transformation plays an important role. However, 57.6 per cent of SMEs in Vietnam do not possess sufficient resources to deploy digitalisation into their business operations.
Commenting on this issue, experts say that SMEs are still too busy running and sustaining their businesses. They do not have enough time to take advantage of the benefits provided by technology. In fact, many businesses share that they need a certain time to familiarise themselves with digital tools before deciding to invest in an advertising solution on the platform. This situation is also quite understandable when most of the online advertising platforms in Vietnam do not have a Vietnamese team to directly support businesses.
From barrier to driver
Obviously, there are still many barriers hindering the digital transformation of businesses. However, there are still ample opportunities if SMEs take a proactive approach and get timely support. Phan Bich Tam, executive director of the Mobile Marketing Association in Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar, said that, “The smaller a business, the more it must take advantage of the tools available in the market to unlock the potential. If they do not adopt these tools, they are likely to miss valuable business opportunities which are offered at very low cost, even free. We can create TikTok, Zalo, or Facebook accounts for free. The problem is how businesses can reach the target audience as accurately as possible.”
To address problems about costs, technology and marketing strategies for businesses, TikTok, the leading global platform for short-form videos, has recently announced a commitment to heavily invest in innovative solutions for SMEs in Vietnam when they deploy advertising activities for short-form videos. TikTok is the first global platform with a commitment to investing resources and innovative solutions for Vietnamese businesses.
|TikTok has signed a strategic partnership with the Vietnam E-commerce Association (VECOM) to support local companies |
Unlike other online platforms in Vietnam, TikTok’s team of Vietnamese experts will be available 24/7 to promptly answer every question of the local businesses that are in the process of setting up and measuring advertising efficiency. This will help businesses catch up with the market demand in special occasions such as the Tet Holiday. TikTok’s expert team will triple in 2021 to support the boom of SMEs in the digital marketing playground.
In addition, TikTok develops resources to empower SMEs in actively seeking information and learning with the launch of Small Business Resource Center. TikTok has also been implementing a series of webinars throughout the year to enhance advertising knowledge and expertise for SMEs. Overall, brushing up skills is the only way for SMEs to accelerate digitalisation.
Digital transformation is a long-term process, depending on each business and sector. However, to operate effectively, SMEs should take a proactive approach to new tools as an important long-term investment. As experimenting and growth opportunities have great potential, business owners need to keep an open mind of market change, especially from a technology perspective to increase business efficiency in a smart way.
SMEs can get real-time assistance from TikTok marketing experts based in Vietnam