With a third of Vietnamese households including children aged between 0-3, Vietnam is experiencing something of a “baby boom”. For companies that produce products for toddlers and babies, reaching parents online is both an absolute necessity and a challenge — parents are bombarded with so many different messages on social media, on the web and TV it can be hard for companies to be heard above all the noise.
But one company, FrieslandCampina — a global dairy manufacturer that’s been operating in Vietnam since 1996 — managed to do this with their growing up formula milk powder brand “Friso”.
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“We faced stiff competition, it was increasingly difficult and costly to communicate brand differentiation and get new customers at scale,” said Mark Voncken, Marketing Director of FrieslandCampina Vietnam.
Voncken realised that over the past decade Vietnamese have changed the way they consume and interact with media — Voncken decided it was time that FrieslandCampina Vietnam changed the way they connect with consumers.
Parents, especially moms, are one of the most digitally active audiences in Vietnam; constantly researching and exchanging information, particularly about nutrition. Everybody wants their children to be well fed and grow up healthily. And Moms are constantly searching for answers – meeting their information needs “in the moment” as they search for the best care for their child, especially in moments that shape buying decisions whether it’s at home, or out-and-about in a store.
Nowadays there is no longer a clear border of being “online” and “offline”. People prefer staying connected anytime and anywhere they want. FrieslandCampina Vietnam saw this trend and looked at their own media strategy, they realised that they were operating with a split between “digital” and “traditional” media, that no longer made sense.
“A majority of people are connected throughout the day, mostly on smartphones, in an unpredictable way for us so we needed to capture them pro-actively and consistently,” said Voncken. “We saw an opportunity to test different ways of reaching our target by investing more into digital channels which are cost effective, scalable and – most importantly – measurable. Also, we needed to get our teams to work as a whole looking at our consumer’s behaviour as one across channels, especially when it came to mobile channels”
An Insights-based approach:
After understanding exactly what a mom was looking for FrieslandCampina Vietnam created a mobile-friendly website providing detailed information on nutrition, tips and tricks for parents and even a pregnancy guide to engage and give answers to questions mom’s have.
The company ran display network and search ads leading to its website by serving relevant ads next to content moms were looking for in those key moments throughout their day. By narrowing down the reach to relevant audience, we had more engaged consumers whose interest spilled into in-store buying.
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“With Google’s platform we were able to measure the campaign effectiveness in real time and reach more consumers cost effectively. Compared to the same period last year, we gained 147% new customers, site visits increased more than 4x, and engagement increased 3.5x.”
After seeing the success, FrieslandCampina Vietnam extended their strategy by placing their TV ad on YouTube to expand the brand awareness, which allowed the company to reach even more consumers — since the ads were skippable “TrueView” ads it was a savvy use of budget, FrieslandCampina Vietnam only paid if a viewer actually chose to watch the ads.
“We achieved our highest market share ever and since April 2016 Friso has become the #1 premium brand with the strongest “brand health”. In just a year, we moved up the rank to become the top-of-mind, premium brand to moms for two of our most important brand attributes: ‘digestion’ and ‘immunity.’”
FrieslandCampina’s transformation to a cross-channel approach, to connect with consumers across all platforms in Vietnam has been adopted by as a company-wide best practice.
“We’re looking forward to sharing this approach to other FrieslandCampina’s members in ASEAN countries. We want to continue to lead with digital as a core part of our strategy to connect with audiences at the right time, with the right content.”