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Cambodia – Market Entry Strategy

5 must-do and doable strategies to market your brands in Cambodia.

My country, Cambodia, is on the Indochina mainland of Southeast Asia. It is largely a land of plains and great rivers and lies amid important overland and river trade routes linking China to India and Southeast Asia. Phnom Penh is our capital city where all sort of businesses are connected and spun across the entire country.

Since the host of The World Economic Forum on ASEAN in 2017, Phnom Penh becomes one of the most attractive cities in ASEAN for most investors who are looking for opportunities to expand their business. Thus, I would you to share with you 5 must-do and doable strategies to market your brands in Cambodia:

#1: Your brand should be transparent and accessible. Brand transparency not only will help to attract new customers but also helps to retain existing ones. How? It builds trust and increasing lifetime loyalty. If you wish to hit the Cambodian market in a big way, you must be authentic and honest. The locals want to know everything about your brand, the products they are buying, where they came from, what they’re made of and so on. You need to spark an internal culture of transparency in order to succeed here. Your management teams must also pave the way for this in order for their employees to do the same and the customers to appreciate it.

#2: Optimize content for social media. I observed that marketers are familiar with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) at some level. Using the reach of search engines like Google or Bing to fuel your marketing campaign is a worthy strategy to adopt. At the same time, the influence of social media also grows as one of the top platforms to reach consumers out. In other words, a new approach when it comes to digital marketing has emerged. One of the strategies used by businesses looking to maximize their reach online here in Cambodia is Social Media Optimization (SMO). Recently best practice is captioning good quality videos that nail the first ten seconds of content to hook the viewer on social media; in particular, Facebook will get you greater attention from your the customers.

#3: Establish a sincere relationship with influencers. Influencers are those who are highly popular among their friends. They are also recognised by their community with a capability of influencing people around them to do or buy something. This strategy draws inspiration heavily from Customer Relationship Management (CRM) which is about managing interactions with customers. Based on my experience and observation, the customers are trusting more and more of the feedback of these influencers on products recommendations, and they are willing to consider trying those products introduced.

#4. Do not just sell your product or service to them, sell your purpose first. The most successful company do not only just sell a product or service. They sell something different and unique. For instance, Steve Jobs famously said that the iPhone was not a product, it was a lifestyle. Apple marketing went on to sell the idea of owning an iPhone and living the iPhone lifestyle. It was a product that became more than a phone: It became a statement, about those who owned it. You need to focus on what makes your clients feel different.

#5. Focus on word of mouth. Word-of-Mouth Marketing is very critical in a company long-term success here in Cambodia. By ensuring all clients are highly satisfied with the products and get the best experiences at all times, our survivability will definitely be ensured as the words get around at a very fast pace. In this part of the world, the people here love to ask their relatives and friends for recommendations before buying a product or service. Once their experience is flawless, good words will definitely get out.

As a Pro ASEAN Marketer, I do believe that this simple but critical 5 steps will enable you to market your brand here in Cambodia. If you need more information, data and reference, I would be very much happy to assist you.

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Lun Borey John
Written By

He is a Pro ASEAN Marketer and CEO of 3G Agent co., Ltd, a professional business consulting firm. Among its core competencies are developing strategies and talent development to help SMEs moving effectively into the corporate level. His areas of expertise are Marketing, Sales Management and Leadership. Follow him on LinkedIn.

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