Advertisers in Vietnam Tap Social, Search - eMarketer

Newsletters Sign-Up

Plans & Pricing

Does My Company Subscribe?

Advertisers in Vietnam Tap Social, Search

Online news sites and mobile apps were considered less useful

March 22, 2017

Firms in Vietnam that use digital marketing channels are finding the most success with social networks and search engines.

According to a survey conducted in November 2016 by the Vietnam Ecommerce Association (VECOM), 46% of businesses in Vietnam reported that social networks were highly effective marketing channels, while 44% reported the same for search engines. Only 9% of respondents considered either channel to have a low level of efficacy.

Effectiveness of Select Digital Marketing Channels According to Businesses in Vietnam, Nov 2016 (% of respondents)

Online news sites, mobile apps and text messaging were all viewed as less useful marketing mediums. Just one in five respondents thought they had high levels of utility as marketing channels, while more than one-quarter (28%) considered SMS and mobile apps to have a low effectiveness.

However, VECOM’s data also showed a decline in the percentage of businesses that used search engines as a marketing channel, with the figure dropping from 47% of respondents in 2015 to 41% in 2016. At the same time, the percentage that used SMS or email ads climbed from 29% to 36% over the same time period.

Vietnam is still an immature online advertising market: eMarketer projects digital ad spending will account for just 18.4% of total media ad expenditures in the country this year. So it makes sense that early adopters of digital advertising would first gravitate toward search, where return on investment is significantly easier to measure than branding efforts.

VECOM’s data about the gap between the perceived effectiveness of social networks and online news sites among businesses appears to send something of a mixed message about display advertising in Vietnam. However, ad spending on online news sites may be hampered by the prevalence of state-run media that does not need to rely on ad revenue, along with other complications from a communist government that tightly regulates ad content.

The popularity of social media indicates an appetite for at least some type of display advertising in Vietnam, a country where eMarketer projects that 40.7% of the population, or 39.1 million people, will use a social network at least once a month this year. Marketers undoubtedly find appeal in the targeting capabilities of such services.

However, social networks have come under fire by officials in Vietnam, which recently called on companies to stop advertising on Google, Facebook and other platforms hosting dissident-penned content deemed to be critical of the government, in violation of censorship laws.

Rahul Chadha

New Report in eMarketer PRO This Week

US Ad Spending: The eMarketer Forecast for 2017

US paid media ad spending will grow steadily in 2017, on the heels of a strong 2016 boosted by the Rio Olympics and the presidential election. A focus on mobile will fuel growth, pushing total media spend to more than $206 billion this year—a moderate increase of 6.1%. Preview Report

Not a PRO subscriber? Find out how to become one.


  • Go beyond the articles:

    eMarketer Products

    You've never experienced research like this.

  • Hear from our clients:

    Customer Stories

    Nearly all Fortune 500 companies rely on us.

  • Want to learn more?

    Contact Us

    Inquire about corporate subscriptions today.