Business and Market Overview on Thailand

ECONOMY. Thailand has a pro-business market economy driven by strong foreign investments and export oriented manufacturing especially in electronics, foods and automobiles. Thailand’s exports account for 60% of the country’s GDP. Thailand experienced strong economic growth prior to the Asian economic crisis of 1997 with GDP growth averaging 9.4% annually. However, the crisis adversely affected businesses in Thailand and saw the value of the Thai Baht decline by more than 50% against the US dollar. Since the crisis, the economy has grown on a growth path.

Thailand’s GDP was US$163.5 billion with a GDP per capita of US$2,537 in 2004. Thailand’s GDP grew by an average of 4.6% annually from 2000 to 2004 driven mainly by exports of high technology products mainly electronics. Inflation remained below 2.0% from 2000 to 2003 but increased to 2.8% by 2004. However, unemployment showed a declining trend from 3.6% in 2000 to 1.8% by 2004.

Nearly 60% of Thailand’s workforce is involved in the agriculture industry but contributed to only 9.8% of the country’s GDP in 2004. The services industry contributed towards 46.1% of Thailand’s GDP and manufacturing 44.1% during the period. Major industries include tourism, electronics, textiles and garments, processed foods, beverages, agriculture produce, jewellery, furniture, plastics, vehicles and vehicle parts and mining of tungsten and tin. Major agriculture products include rice, tapioca, rubber, corn, sugarcane, coconuts, soybean and milk.

DEMOGRAPHY. Ethnic Thais account for 75% of Thailand’s 65 million population and another 11% are Chinese or Sino-Thais who have assimilated into the Thai culture or are from mixed marriages. Minorities include Malays who lived mainly in southern Thailand and account for 4% of the population. Others include the Mon, Lao, Khmers, Puan and Karen minorities and immigrants from India. Nearly 95% of the country’s population are Buddhists while Malays in Thailand are predominantly Muslims. Thai is the national language while languages used by the minorities include Malay, Isan and Khmer. Schools teach English but proficiency is low and generally, the educated elite are more proficient with the language.

The majority of the Thai population still live in the rural communities though the proportion of the urban population is increasing. Thailand’s urban population increased from 22% of the total population in 2000 to 31% by 2004. Thailand’s capital and major city Bangkok accounts for nearly 8% of the country’s total population. Other major cities include Nonthaburi, Pak Kret, Hat Yai, Nakhon Ratchasima, Chiang Mai and Udon Thani.

Thailand successfully reduced the poverty level from 27% in 1990 to 10% by 2004. The proportion of the population categorised belonging in the low-income household is estimated at 60% while middle and high-income households account for 30%. The average household income in Bangkok is twice than the national average.

INFRASTRUCTURE. Telecommunication services to the general public are overall adequate. Internet broadband services are mostly concentrated in Bangkok. Cities and towns are well connected by roads but lacks super highways connecting Thailand’s cities and major towns. Cities the major towns are served by airports and well connected by buses and rail system.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE. Thailand’s major trading partners include Japan, US, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan. Main exports from Thailand include electronics, vehicle and vehicle parts, textiles, garments, footwear, seafood, processed foods, rice, rubber, jewellery, electrical appliances including computers. Main imports include machineries and equipments, raw materials and finished products, consumer goods and fuels.

CONSUMER USAGE OF TECHNOLOGY. There were nearly 17.3 million installed fixed-line telephones in 2004 giving a penetration of 40% of all Thai homes installed with telephones. The penetration of mobile phones increased from just 7% of the population in 2001 to 42% or 27 million mobile phones by 2004. The penetration of computers is still low but increased from 5.1% of the households in 2001 to nearly 12% by 2004. The number of internet users reached an estimated 8 million in 2004 but most of the internet users are concentrated in Bangkok and the major cities and towns. The penetration of television in homes in 93% indicating many low-income homes have televisions.

RETAIL MARKET. The retail industry in Thailand totalled an estimated US$24.5 billion in 2004. There are nearly 300,000 traditional “mom and pop” stores in Thailand accounting for 65% of the total retail sales. However, there are 4,500 modern retail establishments (hypermarkets, supermarkets, department stores and convenience stores) accounting for 35% of the total retail sales. Most of the modern retail establishments are located in Bangkok. Shopping in modern retail establishments is increasingly popular and more establishments expected in the near future.

FOOD CULTURE. Rice is the staple food but while those in central and southern Thailand prefer white fragrant rice those in northern Thailand prefer the glutinous variety. Thai dishes are generally hot and spicy but foods from the northern region are generally milder. Thais are less adapting to western foods even if they could afford it compared to consumers in Singapore and Malaysia. However, bakery and coffer shop chains are gaining popularity among young professionals who have adapted to western culture.

Writing Articles Will Explode Your Business And Marketing!

Article writing can certainly explode your marketing and business. It is a very cost effective method of promotion and it attracts more targeted visitors to your site, thus increasing sales. It is important to know that when article marketing is done correctly, your articles will get higher rankings in the search engines than many people are aware. So, it is important to understand these key elements.

We all know that article marketing is free, and that is why many people write articles, but it is essential to know that it is one of the most powerful, effective ways of promoting your site or business, even if you have a large advertising budget. Articles provide benefits that other means of advertising and promotion can never do, no matter how much money you sink into them.

People almost always go on the internet searching for information. When your article shows up, this provides a benefit for them. They already are going to like you. And, when your articles are loaded with value, it will make the connection that much more solid. A lot of those people will then continue to watch for your articles and information and, many will go to your site. This is a primary objective, because there will begin a valuable connection for both of you.

When you are placing paid ads, they just show up and are many times irritating and get in the way. Ads sometimes frustrate a browser as they are reading or searching. It’s not a good connection. Obviously, there are times when an advertisement will be of benefit to a potential customer, but more often than not, advertisements are annoying and get in the way.

In order for your articles to show up where targeted customers are searching, it is crucial that you focus on good keywords and phrases. Try to keep your keywords in close relation to your website or blog and the products or services you are promoting. This is essential for many reasons. It makes it easier for your articles to attract the targeted people to your article and then lead them to your site. Another important reason to focus on proper keywords is it makes it easier for the search engines to index your articles.

After choosing your keywords carefully, it is very important to write quality articles. Be sure to provide value. Don’t just throw out a bunch of garbage content. Well written pieces help grab and hold the attention of your audience. They will then want to read more about what you have to share. You are providing value to them and that is crucial.

If you continue writing articles and posting them on your blog and in article publisher sites, you will be branding yourself. This is also so crucial and very powerful. You will soon be recognized as an industry expert in your field. That provides more value than most forms of paid advertising can even touch.

Your resource box is another important thing you need to get right to make the most of each article. And, if you want to make the most of your article marketing campaign, this is key. Carefully construct each of your resource boxes. It will be connected to, shared and republished each time your articles is printed or viewed. Be sure to take time to make it right. Make it tight and brief, but include enticing information about you and what you have to offer. And, of course, always provide links back to your own website or blog.

It is a simple fact, when working with people and the search engines, that providing high-quality, valuable content, will cause you to receive more traffic. And, it will cause you to be liked more by the traffic you receive. The connection will benefit your visitors, and you will certainly reap the rewards as well.

Although article writing can be more time consuming, it is definitely the way to go if you are looking for long-term exposure and results. Article writing will continue to benefit you and your visitors for years to come! The time investment is well worth it. Soon, rush hour traffic will be heading your way!

Talking Head Business and Marketing Plans

As one frequently hired to write, edit, or review business planning packages I’ve followed the progress of current thinking on matters of plan content and size with interest.

The rapid transfer of information by online and wireless means has conditioned us
to expect talking head presentations delivered in sound byte bursts. Under such
conditions plans adhering to rigid guidelines emphasizing X pages on Y subjects
written in droll “biz-speak” will increasingly lose appeal. Thus planners must strive
to produce customized output that guides diverse audiences through engaging
stories to quick buy-ins of desired conclusions and solutions.

All of which can tend to leave presentation preparers struggling to find a plan for
the plan. Available tools run the gamut from experts, online examples, software
packages, informative web sites and books to courses, consultants and more. The
multitude of recommendations flowing from this resource mass can prove
confusing.

So, how does one come up with winning presentations in a period where the old
rules are outdated and new guidelines are rapidly evolving? In my opinion success
requires that responsible parties view each project with a mindset comprised of the
following Concepts and Considerations:

Concepts

End Someone’s Pain:

It’s been said before. A business needs to solve something of significance and all
plans must tell that story.

Compel:

A good story told professionally is mandatory. Stimulate your audience and cause
questions you want to answer to be asked. This should initiate verbal exchanges,
which is generally a very good thing.

Reason Why:

Always, always be sure you know the reason why you’re including something in your
plan. The reason why will always have at its heart a customer benefit.

Always Market:

Absolutely everything about a plan is a marketing device – tout them as frequently
and professionally as possible.

Simplify Numbers:

The executive summary and body of a plan should provide bottom lines only. Use
one table in the ES and as few as possible in the BP body. They must say much with
as little folderol as possible and appear simple. Your audience needs to focus on
your business case not how you did your math.

Be Minimalist:

Use clear and concise language – never overstate anything and attempt to eliminate
passive words and statements.

Be a Business:

Nothing sells like sales. If possible be in business before writing a plan – you’ll know
more when you’re operational and it shows.

Watch Your Language 1 – Tech Talk:

Stay real as defined by your audience – inside terms can go over their heads and
leave them in your dust.

Watch Your Language 2 – Sensationalism:

Let business performance or a skilled press agent create the sensational. Include the
amazing, astounding, marvelous only if from an unimpeachable outside source and
do so very sparingly.

Watch Your Language 3 – Buzz | Lingo | Acronyms:

Limit buzz, never use lingo or slang without qualification and watch out for
acronyms. Hyping the hip can be confusing and is usually just plain wrong.

Stay On Task:

Know your subject and stay with it – don’t wander.

Highlight The Customer:

Business customers are everything. Treat them like the gods they are or soon will
be.

Use Creative Repetition:

Don’t be repetitive but state the same key details frequently through creative
wording and emphasis.

Be Brutal:

Never, ever allow a senseless error to make its way into a final plan or presentation.
Become fanatic about math, logic and language accuracy.

Tie It Together:

Make sure all presentation materials are taken from a unified plan. The executive
summary, plan body, appendices and presentation slides need not tell the entire
story as stand-alones, but together must capture absolutely everything pertinent.

Ask Your Own Questions:

Know what your audience will ask and what you want them to ask. It is critical that
all key subjects are covered.

TEST | TEST | TEST:

Run your plan by as many different people as possible before taking it live.
Seriously, your mother, grandparents, kids, friends and “whoever” can help. Be
certain of what they do and do not understand.

Considerations:

Executive Summary:

Two pages maximum, 15 concise paragraphs, one key table or chart, one on-point
quotation (maybe), all of which briefly summarize the entire plan. This is your
elevator presentation and it must generate an invitation to provide a full
presentation.

Plan Body:

Eight pages that expand ES details, touch on all key subjects, provide needed
highlights and inform enough to secure audience buy-in.

Appendices:

Provides necessary support and nothing more.

Presentation Slides:

Carefully prepared set of graphics configured to subtly add color and life to a
presentation. Must be no more than 10 slides that augment, not repeat, written
materials. Extra slides should be available to cover questions or other issues that
the audience may wish to see or that you may want them to see if the “mood” is
right.

Product or Service Demo:

Go live with the real thing. Impress and dazzle with a live demo and let your
audience get their hands on what you have to offer. This must be a guaranteed
success.

Ultimately there are as many ways to prepare planning documents and
presentations as there are people or enterprises needing them. I’m hopeful the
preceding assists in establishing a proper mental checklist for potential plan
preparers before writing or selecting tools or specialists takes place.