The Jon Russell blog has some commentary about an online advertising forecast from MagnaGlobal that says Thailand will be the country with the fastest growth in online advertising this year. Part of the reason Thailand will be a leader is that the current base is fairly small so a large percentage growth is possible. But it also a reflection of the rapid increase of Thai internet users, particularly those in target demographics who are accessible online.
The blog post highlights that Google dominates in global search marketing but no statistics were cited comparing Google to other search engines in the Thai market. From my experience Google clearly dominates and for very good reason. I have been running some ppc campaigns in the Thailand, using Adwords exclusively for one very important reason – language. When I investigated using Yahoo search marketing I began the signup process for their Yahoo Southeast Asia search marketing product and was stopped in my tracks when I got to the part where they said ads can only run in English. As if there aren’t enough reasons already that Yahoo is one big fail. Seriously Yahoo, you don’t allow advertising in the local language? Then why even roll out your product in this market?
I have not investigated Bing Adcenter yet. Perhaps they are not so thick. But I do have a rather poor impression of them from a user point of view because for some reason they always try to redirect me to MSN Korea when I use Hotmail or some of their other products. So they seem to be doing geo location detection, but doing it very badly, or do they not understand that Korea and Thailand are very distinct and very different countries? So if I really feel the need to branch out a little I might look into Bing but I don’t have high hopes for them.
Google Adwords works quite well for search advertising in Thailand. The user interface handles multiple languages just fine so I can control things in English but pick keywords and run ads in Thai. And they have good Thai language search volume. I see quite a few ads popping up for Thai companies offering ppc campaign management. That will probably help fuel a lot of the growth since many Thai businesses really don’t have a clue about how to run a successful ppc campaign.