Baidu, China’s largest search engine, has chosen Thailand as a base to expand its digital marketing business, citing increased Chinese tourism in the country.
Baidu & Digital Marketing
Called Baidu Access, the company’s new digital consulting and marketing service was launched in Thailand as the first country in Southeast Asia, said Paul Chen, CEO of Baidu Thailand.
Chinese Tourists in Thailand… 9.5Millions
The crowd of Chinese tourists traveling here billed at the company’s decision, Chen said, added that 8 million Chinese tourists visited Thailand last year and the total expected to reach 9.5 million this year, generating more than 350 million baht for the Thai economy.
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Thai brands and companies have also targeted Chinese travelers, so Baidu decided to establish a new equipment for service late last year.
In the first three months of 2017, Baidu Acceso’s digital marketing targets hotels and travel. Soon it will expand to banks, telecommunications, restaurants, department stores, spas, consumer goods, cosmetics, medicines and snacks.
“The Chinese choose Thailand as their first tourist destination because of a variety of points of interest, geographic location, affordable prices and Thai friendship,” said Patcharaporn Sirisapwong, marketing and public relations manager for Baidu Thailand.
Chinese tourists spend 30,000-40,000 baht per person (excluding airfare) when visiting Thailand, he said. The new services of the company will allow Thai companies to take advantage of potential market opportunities.
“Local businesses should target Chinese users because they have a higher purchasing power compared to tourists from other parts of the world where economies are declining,” said Ms. Patcharaporn
Baidu Search Engine
Baidu’s search engine is the number one in China and one of the world’s top four. In China, at least 95% of Internet users use the Baidu search engine.
Ms Patcharaporn said that Thai companies have limited access to the Chinese market because of language and cultural barriers.
Baidu & Thai Companies
Baidu can provide Thai companies better access to the market with online communities stories like web boards, social networks and chat platforms, he said.
Baidu also has 600-700 partners known as key opinion leaders (KOLs) – influential public figures who are perceived as field experts and are well-informed on many issues.
KOLS are a powerful marketing tool for brands because the Chinese prefer advertising that does not look like advertising, said Ms. Patcharaporn
She said that Baidu Access has more than 100 customers after nine months operating in Thailand.