The Importance of Quality Digital Marketing Content: Some Negative Role Models

digital marketingI have the opportunity to look at a lot of digital marketing produced by educational institutions and am sorry to say that most of it is of subpar quality.  Sometimes, I’ll even take a screenshot of an unimpressive example and send it to the colleague from the offending institution with a diplomatic suggestion or two for improvement. 

Here are a few examples of how not to use digital marketing, which result in a waste of precious time and marketing money.

Facebook Ad in English:  Since this is Viet Nam, it makes sense to have your ad in Vietnamese, if you want Vietnamese netizens to click on it.  If you are using the same ad in many countries, you might want to consider a country-specific approach.  One size does not fit all in marketing, as in many other areas involving different target audiences.

In addition, parents are the key decision makers and very few are proficient in English.  Most decide where their children will study and, in the case of higher education, what they will study.  In a discussion about hard copy promotional materials, I once had a US colleague tell me her institution expected a certain level of English proficiency, e.g., 79/80 TOEFL iBT score.  My (obvious) response was it’s more for the parents, who control the purse strings. 

It’s also a good idea to make it easy for young people to understand the information – easily and quickly.  They’ll have plenty of time to perfect their English, if they complete the long path from application, to admission, to visa issuance, to arrival in the host country, and your school.

Unspiring Text and Photo:  The quality and appeal of both the text and photo are key determinants of whether or not someone will click on it to obtain more information.  I’ve seen barren photos that are unlikely to motivate a Vietnamese student or parent to click for more.

Landing Page in English:  Even if you have excellent text in Vietnamese and an exciting photo, the process may end abruptly, if the link takes them to an English language landing page.  It’s best to have that information in Vietnamese or both languages.

For all of the above, you should solicit in country feedback from members of your target audience using a focus group.  At worst, it’s back to the drawing board,  Or perhaps only a few minor edits are required.  This could very well mean the difference between effective digital marketing and so much virtual pissing in the wind, to coin a phrase.  

Peace, MAA

Genzilla – They’re Coming – Get Ready!

genzilla cover

The times they are a-changin’ in the world of marketing.  You’ve heard a lot about Millenials (Generation Y), those born between 1976 and 1994.   The focus is beginning to shift to Generation Z, those born in 1995 or later.   According to a new report from market research company Epinion and OMD that looks at GenZ in Vietnam, all 14 million of them, they have an average monthly disposable income of 112 USD, which is considered to be significant in this emerging market.

most comfortable method of contact with friendsThe results of the survey reveal that GenZ is quite different from GenM or GenY.  For example, 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.  Bui Tieu Vy, Epinion’s Senior Marketing Executive, noted that…

“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.”

If you’re interested in learning more, read one of both of these articles.

Digital Savvy but Shy: How Vietnam’s Generation Z is making brands work harder (28.7.15, short)

Vietnam’s Gen Z happier communicating via chat apps than face to face in the real world, finds study  (7-15, long)

If you’re REALLY interested in this topic, download the 26.6.15 PDF report from Epinion and read all 62 pages of it.

Genzilla Summary (p. 60)

  • Digitally popular, physically awkward
  • Mobile is a must
  • Digitally responsible
  • Socially conscious
  • Over-parented
  • Smart and in the know
  • Content followers

They’re Here.  They’re Ready.  They’re Coming to Get You.  Are you ready?  🙂