Friday, March 6

WANTED: Digital Advertising Sector. How to fix the digital ad market in Vietnam

The digital ad market in Vietnam is in desperate need of fixing.

A growing digital content sector has an abundance of eyeballs everyday. There's good content (and bad), there's web 2.0, there's online gaming, there are communities, there's a little, little e-commerce...

But, I am afraid to say, the ad sector is still broken. And the longer it's broken, the longer everyone must wait for the digital $$s to come.

Here's some ideas on what WE (all of us) need to do to fix it.

1.) Adopt some standards. International IAB digital ad formats would be good. But failing that, Vietnamese own standards for ad sizes, file sizes, technologies. Anything really. Just some standard sizes.

Imagine trying to rescale a Pepsi ad across for 20 sites, each with different sizes, shapes and formats.

2.) Adopt a currency. UUs, PIs, CTRs, CPA, CPC... this may not make sense right now, but it is the currency of the web. So let's not fight it. Adopt it. Because it works, worldwide.

3.) Educate. Clients don't get it. Even the big global brands here really don't understand it. Because it's not their core competence. It's not their game, it's just another media. So WE must help them. Let's teach them its' (our) value. Let's give them some simple standards and a currency to judge us by. Then they'll say "hey, you mean I can reach more people than TV, with 20% of the budget? and do some fun creative stuff with it".

4.) Provide statistics. Who are our users, how many, what do they like. Advertisers cannot make decisions without this. Clients cannot understand your site without this. They simply don't have time to care about it. Make it easy.

5.) Stop fighting. As an industry we really better start working together. Ad networks, marketers, publishers - how can we speed up the education process (clients and agencies). I can't do it on my own. Nor can VCcorp, IDG, Tho Dia, Skydoor or anyone else with a single vested interest. We need a common voice, a common story. Because there are thousands outside of our geekytechnodigital world who really don't understand what we're telling them

6.) Accept. We need to accept that we don't have to reinvent the wheel. The digital ad industry here is truly behind other parts of the world, so lets catch up, and do it fast. I placed more ad dollars last year in the UK market for one client than the entire value of the Vietnam industry. That's not boasting, it's just saying...we need to develop more value out of the +20m people online here!

7.) Be positive. The money isn't there now. But it will be. Where eyeballs go, ad dollars follow, eventually. So let's be positive and drive it forwards. Chris Tran and the guy's at New Media (ad network - now part of AdMax) pushed very hard to make it happen. They did lots of great groundwork. Now it's our turn too.

Thanks for listening. I'd love to hear your views on how to fix this thing. If you feel strongly about it, please feel free to contact me, lets work on this together.

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