Tag Archives: Vietnam

The Rise of Mobile Gaming in Vietnam: Taking it to the Next Level

by Jade Hoang Business Development Manager, Vietnam, Nativex

The COVID-19 pandemic may have negatively impacted some industries, but others have experienced remarkable upticks in growth. In particular, mobile gaming has seen a notable surge, as extended stay-home restrictions have increasingly opened up pockets of time for consumers to play online games. This is especially significant in regions such as Southeast Asia – where 90% of individuals use their mobile devices to access the Internet, and spend over four hours a day on mobile applications. In Southeast Asia, strong growth in mobile gaming is still anticipated, with a forecasted 250 million mobile gamers in the region by 2021, led by Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Vietnam, in particular, has shown unique characteristics and untapped potential for developers and advertisers alike to reach in-market gamers and consumers. 

Vietnam’s mobile gaming landscape 

With a quickly-growing economy and youthful populace, Vietnam has seen the number of internet users in the country triple over the past decade. Similar to other countries in Southeast Asia, Vietnam’s mobile-first population sees 72% of adults in the country using a mobile device every day. In Vietnam, there are approximately 3.99 million gamers, and over 60% are between 18 and 30 years old. With COVID-19, online gaming in Vietnam spiked, with a 40% increase in mobile game downloads before and after the 2020 Tet holiday in Vietnam (compared with no increase across the same period in 2019).

Chinese-themed online games have also proven to be highly popular in Vietnam due to cultural similarities. In 2017, all but 15 of the 293 games released in Vietnam were launched by Chinese developers. Additionally, data from the Vietnamese Ministry of Information and Communications revealed that 69% of legal massively multiplayer online (MMO) games in the country in 2020 were released by Chinese companies. In the same year, Vietnam also ranked second in terms of mobile video gaming experience in Southeast Asia, behind only Singapore. The high quality of mobile experiences available in Vietnam enables local gamers to enjoy games that demand more powerful graphics and processing systems – such as midcore and hardcore games. 

Midcore and hardcore games

Midcore and hardcore gamers are defined by distinct behaviour and characteristics, setting them apart from softcore or casual gamers. Understanding these motivations and responses are critical for developers and companies to attract the right customers and grow their user bases. 

Midcore gamers still enjoy video and online games, despite busy schedules, and are more invested in gaming than softcore or casual gamers. Correspondingly, midcore games are more challenging than casual titles, usually offer competitive modes, and require strategy and skill to reach milestones and climb rankings. Comparatively, hardcore gamers play to win against other players, test and build their skills, and even complete a game to fully experience the in-game universe. Several steps up from midcore games, hardcore games demand significant time investment, for players to learn game mechanics and immerse themselves in storytelling. Hardcore titles span massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBA) and first-person shooters, many of which are used in competitive esports arenas. 

Esports has proven a lucrative and extremely popular activity across Asia, generating $519 million in revenue in the region last year – representing half of global esports revenue in 2019, and by far the highest figure out of any region in the world. As COVID-19 continues to compel people all over the world to stay indoors, similar strong growth is anticipated in the immediate to medium term. As a result, mobile game developers are in the optimal position to leverage digital channels and reach out to key demographics, to acquire new users for up-and-coming midcore and hardcore games. 

Reaching the right audiences 

To reach the right users for midcore and hardcore games, and maximise acquisition especially during the initial launch phase, developers must carefully analyse consumer behaviour, and tailor advertising strategies to complement these preferences. A key concern for midcore and hardcore titles is around audience targeting – these games do not need to acquire a high volume of downloads and players, but rather need to build a qualified volume, with a high lifetime value – where downloads are made by the right target users who will continue playing a game for an extended time. 

One key strategy for developers is leveraging up-and-coming social channels for maximum impact. This method of increasing large-scale visibility with the target user profile is especially effective in Asia, where social media is constantly used by a large base of young, digitally savvy individuals. In particular, hashtag challenges on TikTok have proven to be especially successful. Hashtags are situated at the app’s top entry points (such as in-feed ads and challenge pages), and are supported by a constant flow of user-generated content – both of which greatly increase visibility. 

Developers have also used playable ads to successfully drive acquisitions for midcore and hardcore games. Playable ads showcase midcore and hardcore games from multiple perspectives, including mechanics, characters, skills and combat. For example, interactive ads from the launch campaign of fantasy MMORPG Dragon Raja allowed the target audience to personalise character appearances and costumes. This in turn helped spotlight highly unique in-game elements, and enabled viewers to directly experience gameplay in an immersive, engaging manner. 

Having a deep understanding of target audiences and personalising campaigns based on these insights have also proven particularly effective. With Dragon Raja, which was launched in February 2020, Twitter and Snapchat were selected as the key social channels to run the launch campaign. These channels were deliberately curated to cater to the target markets of the US, Canada and Germany. To enhance targeting and ad relevance, key user demographics (such as gender and areas of interest) were also identified, and customised creatives were delivered to these specific groups via the selected social channels. As a result, Dragon Raja managed to surpass 2.7 million downloads within the first 30 days of launch.

The future of mobile gaming

While different regions and countries bounce back from COVID-19 at different rates, mobile gaming will continue its strong positive growth – especially for mobile-centric countries such as Vietnam – and is forecasted to reach a potential $98 billion in revenue by 2024. More and more consumers look to playing online games as a form of release, especially in a time where physical travel is all but impossible. In this situation, developers are well-positioned to actively build and scale their user bases, as the overall target audience base continues to grow. They hence need to be especially savvy about evolving demographic trends and preferences, and tailor strategies to showcase emerging games at the right place and the right time, to the right individuals – to ultimately attain conversion and user acquisition. 

Vietnam: Digital Trends & Consumer Landscape Overview

With a population of more than 96 million, a median age of 30 years, and internet penetration standing at 50 million, or just over 54% of local population, Vietnam is a young and dynamic market representing a huge commercial opportunity for brands, marketers and investors. Vietnam digital trends emerge fast in this exciting consumer space.

Since 2013, the last time we took a detailed look at Vietnam’s digital market landscape, so much has changed in terms of digital trends. Most notable has been the rise of mobile as a channel, driven by lower handset costs and faster 4G connections. The mobile internet experience now dominates in Vietnam, with consumers naming mobile as the second most important source of news after TV, the most important “big ticket” purchase and their second favourite daily activity after spending time with family and before hanging with friends.

Digital technologies and online connectivity promise to be a key driving force in the growth and transformation of the Vietnamese economy over the coming decades, with the IT industry expected to contribute up to 10% of the country’s GDP by 2020. Ho Chi Minh City is being touted as the Silicon Valley of Asia with blockchain, fin-tech, health-tech and digital accelerators playing a key role in the emerging start-up, hipster coffee shop and co-working space culture.

Below we’ve collected a series of takeaway resources covering the key digital trends in Vietnam.

Mobile Ecosystem Report Vietnam 2017/18

Vietnam mobile ecosystem and digital sizing report from Group M and the MMA.

Digital in Vietnam 2018

Key data covering the Vietnam digital landscape.

Digital Marketing Agency & Marketer Landscape in Vietnam

Vietnam digital marketing overview from an advertiser and agency perspective.

Vietnam Digital Landscape 2017

Detailed overview of digital stats and consumer internet data in the Vietnam market.

Vietnam Digital Trends 2017

Trends to watch out for across the Vietnamese consumer internet.

Vietnam ICO & Blockchain Market

Overview of the emerging blockchain and ICO scene in Vietnam.

Vietnam Today – The Digital Economy

In depth report looking at the future digital transformation of Vietnam.

PWC Vietnam Spotlight

Deep dive into Vietnam as an investment opportunity and information technology driven market.

Vietnam Esports Market Report 2018

Insight into the growth of Esports in Vietnam..

In terms of other resources, check out Vietcetera for wider coverage of Vietnam, Tech In Asia for tech news, or Geektime and ICTNews for tech news… if you speak Vietnamese. Finally, you can find out all the practical information you need to know about the start-up scene in Vietnam at this Google Doc.

Sales increase for 51% of online retailers in SEA and Taiwan over past year

Fashion is the biggest ecommerce category, while payment methods and delivery issues are the biggest concerns for online retailers and marketers in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, according to a new report from Econsultancy and Shopee exploring challenges and opportunities in ecommerce across the region.

The results revealed that 51% of online retailers and 41% of marketers saw their online sales rise, but for 28% of online retailers and 29% of marketers, online sales remained the same relative to the past year.

Fashion and accessories was the most popular category on online marketplaces, with 23% of online retailers and 16% of marketers active in it. Health and beauty was the second most popular category, with 17% of online retailers and 15% of marketers offering choices in it.

The survey also revealed that marketers in Vietnam (11%) were the most active in the computers, camera and mobile phones category, edging out Singapore (10%) and Taiwan (10%).

While around a third of online retailers (32%) and marketers (33%) indicated that they did not sell internationally and had no plans to, the ecommerce market in the region is poised to grow with 54% of online retailers and 39% of marketers planning to offer their wares and services to other countries.

Full report available for download here.

The Google Consumer Barometer: Free APAC Market Research

The Google Consumer Barometer is a fantastic new tool to help you understand how people use the internet – both mobile and online – across the Asia.

It’s a rich consumer research resource available for free, based on studies done by Google and partners globally over the recent past.

Curated insights are available for Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam and many other APAC markets.

Definitely worth digging into next time you need to know the percentage of smartphone users in The Philippines, or the online population of Malaysia.

29_full_size_google-barometer-10

2015 in Review: Top 5 Digital in Asia Content

2015 was another exciting year for digital and programmatic in Asia, South East Asia especially.

There is a definite sense that individual markets are outgrowing Singapore as a regional hub – evidenced by rapidly increasing spends at individual market level, and a resurgence in agencies, both local and global, doing outstanding digital work in local markets.

In celebration of the year past, here are the top 5 Digital in Asia articles for 2015.

  1. Asian Brands Must Be More Innovative Than Those in the West

In our most popular piece of content, we talked to Joanna Kalenska, Managing Director at Razorfish Hong Kong, about Asian consumers, brands’ challenges and opportunities.

2. APAC Social and Mobile Usage Surge in 2015

The ever comprehensive We Are Social Annual Report highlighted robust growth for social, digital and mobile in the region over 2015.

3. A Quick Guide to Social Media in China

Ogilvy released the latest in their guides to Social Media in China highlighting the (mostly) differences but sometimes surprising similarities to global platforms.

4. Digital Savvy but Shy: How Vietnam’s Generation Z is Making Brands Work Harder

A report from market research company Epinion and OMD looking at Generation Z in Vietnam. Numbering 14 million, and with an average monthly disposable income of 112 USD – significant in this emerging market – these consumers are incredibly valuable for brands.

5. 2015 in Preview: Top 10 APAC Digital Trends 2015

2015 promised to be an exciting year for Digital Marketing and Media in Asia. These were the ten trends that, in DIA’s view, would change online advertising over the last year. How many did we get right?! Don’t worry, we’ll be right back very soon with another 10 trends for 2016.

 

 

 

 

Selling Beer in Vietnam, a Digital Challenge

Over the last five years Vietnam has seen its beer sales climb at more the double the rate of its GDP, making it South-East Asia’s largest consumer of beer.

In fact, in 2012 a staggering 3 billion litres of beer were consumed in Vietnam meaning there should be huge opportunities for local and international bands to market and sell here.

However, it’s not as straightforward as it should be.

Firstly the infrastructure of Vietnam’s cities, towns and villages which can be described as politely referred to as ‘disorganised’ makes it very difficult for brands to establish where or why there beer is selling well.

This is made even more complicated as many vendors will buy stock from one shop then move around so even consumers will not know where they bought the product from.

This can prove a huge hindrance for brands who want to monitor sales, establish demand for a new product or establish consumer sentiment.

Another challenge is the competition from liquor and wine brands who are looking to get a slice of Vietnam’s youthful and rapidly increasing middle class.

A recent report showed Ho Chi Minh City in the south of Vietnam has one of the fastest growing multi-millionaire populations in the world, and the thirst to match it.

Beverage companies with high-end products such as Diageo (whose brands include Schmirnoff vodka, Tanqueray gin and part own Moet-Hennessy) have been working hard over the last few years to establish a foothold in Vietnam.

While it looks unlikely spirits will ever usurp beer, their appeal is growing (though they are not really present at the street-side eating venues many Vietnamese like to eat and drink at). 

Another problem beer brands in Vietnam face is their struggles to connect with an increasingly digitalised audience.

A spokesperson from market research and insights company, Epinion said: “In order for brands to run effective social media campaigns they need to have a good understanding of who their audience actually is. Without this information you run the risk of analysing the effectiveness of digital campaigns based on falsified and biased data which is a huge waste of time and money.

“In a project we worked with Vietnam’s leading brewery Sabeco we helped them establish who of their more than 100,000 Facebook fans were ‘true’ and who just liked the page for the sake of it, then established the effectiveness of their digital campaigns. 

“As a result of our study, Sabeco gained valuable insight on how they could gain greater engagement with their ‘true fans’ and leverage further impact from future digital campaigns, reducing time and money spent on ineffective digital marketing campaigns.

“Sabeco, along with other beer brands, has to embrace digital media as this is where their consumer is, but they must also know how to connect with them online.”

For more information on beer brands in Vietnam click here. 

Digital Savvy but Shy: How Vietnam’s Generation Z is making brands work harder

We’ve heard plenty about Millenials (or Generation Y), those born between 1976 and 1994. But as this generation continues to age, marketers are starting to shift their attention to the next wave – Generation Z, those born in 1995 or later.

A new report from market research company Epinion and OMD looks at GenZ (Generation Z) in Vietnam. Numbering 14 million, and with an average monthly disposable income of 112 USD – significant in this emerging market – GenZ is incredibly valuable for Vietnamese brands.

However, for marketers to connect effectively with GenZ they must recognise them as a separate entity to their Millennial (or Generation Y) predecessors.

GenZ really just enjoy being online, hanging out and cocooning at home. Their most enjoyed activity is reading news on Facebook, and most comfortable method of contact with friends through chat apps.

GenZilla

They are also fairly marketing savvy. Only 27% said they would trust a celebrity endorsement or comment, and just 13% trust online reviews.

Bui Tieu Vy, Epinion’s Senior Marketing Executive said: “Our results found that because the under 21s have only ever known a world with internet, the line between digital and physical is very blurred to them and most feel their existence is validated by their social media presence. They would be nothing without their phone, and a large proportion have more than one.

“On top of this, they have learned from their predecessors’ mistakes and are very skeptical, making them much more unlikely to fall for online scams. For brands this means GenZ is able to read between the lines of marketing ploys and will require much more convincing to connect with a brand than to simply be told it is good.”

When it came to traditional advertising, again, this is a hard bunch to impress with only 21% trusting radio adverts, 17% magazine and 15% for both TV and newspaper ads.

A surprising 72% said it was advice from their parents or experts they trusted, reinforcing the importance of the family structure in a country still emerging into the modern era.

Bui Tieu Vy added: “For brands to connect with GenZ they must utilise a strong content strategy that displays social consciousness and demonstrates a higher purpose. ”

Find out more and download the report here.

Half of APAC Smartphone Users Now Shopping on their Device

The latest MasterCard Mobile Shopping Survey covering Asia Pacific finds consumers embracing the convenience of mobile shopping. Almost half of consumers – around 45% in total – made a purchase using their smartphone in the three months preceding the survey.

Exactly 50% of respondents across Asia Pacific cited convenience as the most compelling reason for shopping on their smartphone. Other motivating factors include the ability to shop on the go and the growing availability of apps that make it easy to shop online.

Fig 1: % consumers who have made a purchase using a smartphone
2014 2013 2012
Asia Pacific 46% 39% 35%
Korea 54% 48% 40%
China 70% 59% 54%
Thailand 59% 51% 51%
Hong Kong 38% 40% 41%
Taiwan 62% 45% 28%
Singapore 37% 31% 40%
Vietnam 45% 35% 34%
Indonesia 55% 47% 55%
India 63% 47% 30%
Malaysia 46% 32% 25%
Philippines 34% 33% 21%
Japan 26% 23% 26%
New Zealand 21% 15% 18%
Australia 20% 25% 19%

In addition to using their mobile phones to make purchases, shoppers in the region are also using it to compare prices between physical and online stores. Close to half (45%) of respondents have conducted price comparisons, with a similar proportion (44%) also stating that they have conducted research online prior to making a purchase in-store.

Overall, consumers from China (70%), India (63%) and Taiwan (62%) are the most likely to shop using their smartphones with the most popular mobile shopping purchases amongst Asia Pacific shoppers include clothing and accessories (27%), followed by apps (21%) and daily deal coupons (19%).

Asia Pacific consumers are also adopting new mobile technologies, with 28% of respondents saying that they use mobile banking apps. Group buying apps (40%) and digital wallets (28%) are the most popular amongst Chinese consumers.

Increased smartphone ownership is clearly having a massive impact on the way people across Asia Pacific shop and spend. Brands and online shopping portals need to continue to develop easy and simple ways to browse and pay, as convenience remains paramount to consumers whether they are shopping on their phones or in-store.

MicroAd leads funding round for Ambient Digital in South East Asia

MicroAd Singapore today announced a Series A investment in Ambient Digital Group aiming to expand market share across South East Asia.

MicroAd will also connect its programmatic ad platform to Ambient Digital’s vast regional supply of inventory – a big win for programmatic ad buyers in South East Asia. Continue reading MicroAd leads funding round for Ambient Digital in South East Asia