Among the natural landscapes, mosques, museums, scenic beauty, beaches, and tropical equatorial climate which sees rainfall more than 50% within a year, Brunei Darussalam is a country of population less than a million and known for its tourist spots. Brunei has two unconnected parts, bordering the South China Sea and Malaysia. 97% of the population lives in the larger western part, while only about 10,000 live in the mountainous eastern part. Tourist agencies are the main attractions and business operations in the country. Therefore, the major target sector for any business or marketing firm is tourist agencies. The target region is the western part where the majority of the country’s population stays.
Brunei is one of the most developed nations in Southeast Asia and fifth-richest nation due to its rich oil and gas fields. A booming economy and a population of close to half a million, Brunei has one of the highest-ranking internet penetration (95%) and social media influence (94%) compared to South Asian countries like Singapore and South Korea.1 On average, an individual spends more than two hours on frequently used social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Brunei ranks as the 6th highest users of Twitter, amounting to 60% of the population.2 This is characterised by the number of mobile connections – a total of 567 thousand, equivalent to 130% of the total population.3 The majority of the population in Brunei, nearing 67%, follows the Islamic religion.4 Therefore, a major focus of targeting is the Islamic religion and the platforms of social promotions, i.e., Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Apart from the digital and social media apps, sports lovers and practitioners are known in the nation. Hence, the other segments of targeting will be sports enthusiasts, digital sports publications, sports event organisers, gym visitors, sports venue visitors, sporting goods and fitness shoppers, sports and fitness app users, sports service agencies, and sports solution providers.
Many businesses in Brunei still adopt a traditional marketing approach by using business cards, newspapers or print ads, posters, and commercials on both TV and radio. These approaches are effective depending on the market and demographic being targeted. The limitation, however, is very often the returns on investments are low. Adopting a digital marketing approach will serve your business a lot better. It is simple, convenient and will enable you to better engage and reach out to your audiences and customers.
The high internet and handphone penetration rates in Brunei make digital marketing the best platform for companies to reach out directly to the customers. The ability to have current and customisable information on websites will help in effective targeting as it would make the site more functional and resourceful for visitors to the site. Optimising the site through SEO such as keyword searches and reciprocal linking sites will raise the ranking of a website, making it easier to be found. In a digital platform, companies can choose to run creative posts or run targeted advertising on the general population or the tourism sectors.
Digital Marketing in Brunei
After knowing our segments and target audience, internet penetration at Brunei, and various channels of digital marketing, we have to analyse the online opportunities and mediums to track the Bruneian activities. There are prominent digital marketing agencies in Brunei like Inspire Asia, Activ8 BN Digital Solutions at the top, followed by other competitors like Boza Tech, Biz Digital Biz, and Adison. The top-ranking competitors have fallen and risen during their business tenure; a new company entering into the market must learn from the challenges they face.
To overcome competitor’s challenges, here are some tips. Set a proper aim, focus on the segmented and targeted audience, publish timely unique blog posts, plan a social media calendar, publish creative and impactful social media posts when your fans are active, revise digital marketing strategies on a timely basis, deliver tailor-made services with a consumer-centric approach, and follow content marketing practices to educate your audience and build a network.
Let new companies and big establishments of new technologies, data collection and analysis, online marketplaces, business consultants, content creators and editors, digital marketing, market analysis, sports institutes, travel and tourism, lifestyle sectors, and more know that your company is around to market on digital platforms. Follow niche industries of your marketing scope in Brunei, gain followers and influencers, and establish a network. Implement various SEO practices to rank higher on search engines over a period of time.
Imagine if a company has started on a particular channel, then ten people join the post and the business page follows 20 unique people to build a network to gauge the competition. Then 100 people will be in your team, the reach grows to a 1,000, and a community is formed. It is a chain of people, businesses, customers, entities, and fans of connectivity. See the ongoing difference in brand awareness and lead generation in 60 to 180 days!
Digital Marketing Penetration in the Bruneian Market
In Brunei, almost everyone seems to be on social media. Nowadays, it has become a common platform. But, have you ever wondered how social media platforms or digital marketing activities help businesses and audiences to connect? According to the Global Digital Review, 53% of the adults are found on Facebook. Instagram takes the next place and is usually accessed by 13 to 15 year-old age group. Apart from these two channels, Twitter is usually used in the urban population.
Digital marketing practices like display ads, pay-per-click (PPC), content marketing, and guest blogging reach the targeted audience as most of them are online and use social media platforms. Display ads are recommended to advertise on Brunei’s most popular regional, domestic, and international websites in order to obtain a good reach and a larger audience, whereas content marketing and guest blogging reach audiences seamlessly through the popular and high-ranking GB sites.
- AseanPlus News (10 Feb 2020). Bruneians rank high in social media usage. Retrieved from https://www.thestar.com.my/news/regional/2020/02/10/bruneians-rank-high-in-social-media-usage
- Simon Kemp (17 February 2020).: Digital 2020: Brunei Darussalam. Retrieved from https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2020-brunei-darussalam
- Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brunei#ReligionSimon Kemp (17 February 2020).: Digital 2020: Brunei Darussalam.
- Retrieved from https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2020-brunei-darussalam