How Do Myanmar Migrants Choose a Smartphone?

Posted byThwe Win Posted onMarch 23, 2023 Comments0

There are around 2 millions of registered Myanmar migrants in Thailand by working as construction workers, agriculture workers, factory workers and ​​doing other different types of  domestic works by not including undocumented migrants.  This is a numerous market size, especially for necessary product like smartphone. If you’re in a smartphone industry, it’s time to explore about smartphone for Myanmar migrants, how they choose it, how they buy, and what their behaviors are like.

What you will get in this article?

Smartphones are daily essentials nowadays for each and everyone. Accordingly, smartphones are important to Myanmar migrants in Thailand because they provide,

  • A tool for communication
  • Access to informations and news 
  • A way to stay connected with their families and friends back home
  • A means of entertainment such as gaming and using facebook for a way to pass the time for migrants who may experience social isolation and cultural barriers
  • Able to perform financial transactions, such as sending money, which is very important for many migrants who receive financial support through remittancesImage credit:

Given the fact that smartphones serve as a primary source of information, entertainment and communication  for Myanmar migrants in Thailand, it presents a substantial opportunity for businesses in the mobile phone and gadget industry to tap into this target market and companies can reap the benefits of serving a large and growing customer base. 

In this article, we will present the results of a survey conducted by our company to gain insight into the understanding of Myanmar migrants regarding the procedure they follow to select and purchase a smartphone. 

Understanding the Market Segments of Myanmar Expatriates in Thailand 

University Students and Office Workers

One group of Myanmar expatriates in Thailand consists of university students or office workers who are proficient in English and may also have a basic knowledge of Thai. This group has minimal communication barriers for businesses, and can be engaged like other English-speaking expatriates. However, utilizing the influence of fame from Myanmar influencers could be a strategic advantage for brands targeting this group.

Labor Workers 

The majority of the Myanmar expatriate population in Thailand consists of labor workers who do not usually speak English.  A particular group of labor workers in Thailand may have some verbal proficiency in Thai, but may have limited reading abilities in the language.

Thus, for effective marketing, it is essential to communicate with this group in the Burmese language. This particular demographic of Myanmar migrants who work in construction, agriculture, agri-business, garbage, housemaid and food & beverage in Thailand who use smartphones will be the primary focus accordingly.

The Process of Selecting and Purchasing a Smartphone by Myanmar Migrants

  • Price

When considering the selection and purchase of a smartphone, cost-effectiveness and durability are top priorities for Myanmar migrants. They seek to find a phone that fits within their budget and aligns with their lifestyle, ensuring that their investment is both financially and practically sustainable. 

A  50% which is a majority of Myanmar migrants allocate a moderate budget for buying smartphones which is between 5000 – 8000 THB, 30% Opt for 8000 – 10000 THB. 

  • Brand

When it comes to smartphone brands, Myanmar migrants generally prefer affordable and readily available options. Vivo, Oppo, Samsung, Realme, and Huawei basically androids are the most commonly used brands among this demographic, offering a range of features at a reasonable price point.

On the other hand, usage of the iOs devices is relatively rare, as these devices tend to be more expensive and less accessible to this target group.

  • How do they buy

Myanmar migrants have a preference for purchasing brand new smartphones as opposed to used or second-hand phones. They tend to buy their devices from local physical stores or through popular online platforms such as Lazada.

As obtaining a credit card can be difficult for migrants, they prefer to make full payments rather than opt for installment plans. This makes the payment process simpler and more convenient for them.

Key Features Desired by Myanmar Migrants on a Smartphone

To effectively target Myanmar migrants through marketing efforts, it is important to understand the key features they look for in a smartphone. Here is an overview of their online habits:

  • Engaging in online gaming
  • Entertaining with video contents from online platforms such as Facebook, TikTok and Youtube
  • Connecting with loved ones through messaging apps like Viber and Messenger

Key Takeaways – Marketing Strategy for Myanmar Migrants

  • Marketing campaigns that involve activation can be one of the effective approaches. Given that Myanmar migrants tend to purchase smartphones from nearby local stores, it highlights the impact that physical marketing can influence their buying decisions. To increase brand awareness, setting up a promotional booth around their community and offering games or activities would be a great idea.
  • Using digital platforms to increase brand awareness and establish customer loyalty over time. Start with some influencer marketing campaign. There are several Myanmar influencers living in Thailand. The next step is to create content on your brand channel in the Burmese language, since this will enable you to gather better online insights and provide you with more ideas and options on your channel.
  • Installment promotions do not have much appeal to Myanmar migrants as the majority of them do not have access to credit cards. They normally tend to save up and pay in cash. A key factor in their buying decision is affordability, discounts or collaborations with network providers can be added. Convenience also plays a role in their preferences. Therefore, if you provide a full package including both the phone and network services with a great promotion would be most desirable

Looking for a Marketing Solution?

Happio is a creative digital and activation marketing agency that specializes in serving Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam markets. With a focus on creativity and an understanding of these new and growing consumer groups, Happio is dedicated to helping Thai and other International brands to achieve their marketing and business goals. Our company has the perfect solution for all your marketing needs.

Whether you’re looking to increase brand awareness, drive online engagement, or connect with your target audience, Happio has got you covered. With our activation marketing, you can reach your target market in a more personal and interactive way, leaving a lasting impression. Our online marketing services will also help you build a strong online presence. And with our influencer marketing services, you can maximize the power of social media influencers to promote your brand and reach a wider audience. Elevate your brand to the next level with Happio Digital Marketing Services.

Sample of Happio activation marketing reaching Myanmar migrants

Feel free to contact us to see our full portfolio including digital marketing.

If you are interested in reading this kind of blogs and know more about Myanmar migrants insights, please kindly check these out.

Top 10 Digital Marketing Agencies in Myanmar and How to Choose The Right One For You
Myanmar Media Landscape 2022

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