Behavioural economics meets Vietnam marketing

Cimigo shares how behavioural economics impacts Vietnam marketing. Cimigo hosted a consumer choices seminar – Learn how consumers think fast and think slow – at the Dreamplex Amphitheater in HCMC. The seminar attracted 75 attendees to hear how behaviour economics impacts Vietnam marketing.

Mr. Richard Burrage, who is founder and managing director of Cimigo, welcomed the audience and outlined the main content for the event.

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The keynote speaker – Dr. Graeme Walker, Professor of Economics, Fullbright University gave a presentation on first session: The latest theory on behavior economics and how consumers do make decisions.

All pervasive thinking fast and slow

After a brief overview of behavioural economics Dr. Walker explored the connection between economic decisions and human decisions in the everyday life. Thinking fast and thinking slow is all pervasive. Our brain function can be divided into two categories, for making decisions: System 1 – thinking fast and System 2 – thinking slow. System 1 is when the brain processes information quickly, effortlessly, intuitively using; heuristics, instant associations and most strongly; emotions. System 2 is when the brain processes information slowly, with effort, often computationally, consciously and most strongly; methodically.

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Vietnam marketing and consumer bias

Participants were shown some key consumer biases stemming from theories of time inconsistency and left digit bias, with examples of how customer decision making is influenced by these. Dr. Walker presented evidence from Cimigo’s survey experiments testing just how Vietnam consumers do make decisions.

Whilst many Vietnamese consumer experiments support the theory, there are subtle differences for the Vietnam marketing community to consider. These biases often impact Vietnamese consumer decision making in subtly different ways. During the seminar, attendees were also asked to do some short experiments and then consider the comparisons to learn how customers thinking can differ depending on the context and social environment.

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Vietnam marketing applications

Dr. Walker shared some useful advice on applications for Vietnam marketing challenges including: 1) managing your customer’s experience specifically early in that customer journey and at the end of the end of that customer journey; 2) building empathy with the consumers’ perspective and 3) the clear need to experiment in order to optimise marketing, especially; price, promotions and advertising.

There are many ways to nudge Vietnamese consumers towards your desired action.  The Vietnam marketing community can prime consumers with reminders about a sensory experience e.g. images of scent.   The Vietnam marketing community can frame choices to make choices easier and nudge consumers in your desired direction.  The Vietnam marketing community can use implicit associations e.g. Japan = high quality or key opinion leader endorsements that imply a safe and popular choice. The Vietnam marketing community can imply limited availability (in time for an offer or in availability of the limited edition pack) to imply a scarcity value which will increase sales conversions.

The seminar closed with a questions and answers session. Several questions were raised concerning the Vietnamese market and consumer trends today. At the same time the speakers also emphasised the importance of experimentation, as no one theory is absolutely right when applied to the market.

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Finally, a big thank you to Dr. Graeme Walker, Mr. Richard Burrage and most of all participants for attending the seminar. Stay tuned and see you at our next consumer choices seminar for all those in the Vietnam marketing community. Please do email us at with any questions.

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