Thailand has long been known as a place where people clung to old-world values. People there were conservative with finances. They chose stable government jobs over high-risk, high-reward entrepreneurial opportunities. They adhered to tradition.
No longer. In the past decade, the nation has lived through upheaval both natural (the tsunami in 2004, the great flood of 2011) and manmade (the 2006 coup d’etat was, astonishingly, the 11th in the past 81 years). At the same time, technology has exploded, permeating the culture with an uncommon thoroughness. The nation today has a mobile penetration rate of about 131%. Bangkok is unofficially both the world’s No. 1 Facebook city, with more than 8 million accounts out of a population of 10 million, and the top Instagram metropolis. Thai people are much more willing to take chances with their livelihoods—pursue a way of life that appeals to them rather than one that seems safe.
What does this mean for people looking to sell things? That can be summed up in one word, according to our research by Dr. Jens Niedzielski and Sasipa Mongolnavin: opportunity. Thailand is a place where now, more than ever, people live for the moment, and marketers who are fleet of foot, embedded in mobile commerce, and nimble with social media will be in an ideal position to strike quickly.
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