Marketing Abroad; Vietnam

Stunning landscapes, a welcoming culture and mouth-watering cuisine are just a few of Vietnam’s enthralling qualities that have made the country one of 2016’s travel hotspots. New cultures, delicacies and experiences are what the team at GEM MEDIA thrive on and content manager, Sophie, recently made the journey to see exactly what Vietnam had offer, on the way gaining insight in to how South East Asia does commercial marketing.

Firstly, when talking about marketing in Vietnam it is important to understand that Vietnam is, technically, still a communist country with a one party state and restrictions on free speech and media. However, after joining the World Trade Union (WTO) in 2007 and having sanctions lifted on trade, Vietnamese citizens now have the freedom to start their own businesses and make their own money, creating more of a Capitalist economic culture. Vietnam is, in fact, one of the fastest growing economies in the world! With the freedom to trade, business is booming, most noticeably in the bigger cities of Hanoi, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh. In these cities, a consumer retail culture is becoming apparent and is being driven by a new, younger, inclusive generation.

Throughout our marketing abroad blog series a prominence of online marketing has been prevalent, and whilst less apparent in Vietnam, the Internet is becoming a catalyst towards Vietnamese marketing. Facebook has only recently been allowed in Vietnam yet there are now 14million Vietnamese Facebook users. This number is increasing and the Internet is becoming much more prominent within Vietnamese marketing, not only targeting local Vietnamese people but also tourists. For example, a Halong Bay trip aimed at the younger travellers has a large social following and provide images and videos of the 'castaway island' trip in order to market to social media users.

This is also helped by holiday booking sites such as and Expedia, which market and advertise hotels across the country. In fact, something that really stood out was the presence of wifi – absolutely everywhere. There are more free wifi connect points across Vietnam than in the UK, they even had free wifi in extremely rural service stations! This is an example of the pull towards the Internet, which will result in greater access to marketing for business purposes.