Changes in Line Marketing
Line is the leading Chat Messaging app in Thailand. It’s roots come from Japan where the company officially started to focus on the messaging app in 2011. In 2013 the app started to take off in Thailand and today it is the #1 messaging app in Thailand with over 40 million monthly active users.
Over the past 6 years line has been testing various business models to offer to advertisers. Initially there were two main products summarized as follows:
- Line@: This product was designed for SME’s. allowing them to recruit up to 300,000 followers at a cost of 8,000 THB per month.
- Line Official Account: This product was designed for larger brands, allowing for unlimited Followers. To recruit followers, advertisers were able to sponsor sticker packs that were free to consumers if they follow the brand page.
The major problem with these two offerings is that it doesn’t provide insights into who are the followers, and even worse there is no ability to personalize the messaging for specific audience segments. This lead to the creation of a new product called Line BC, which started to take off in around 2016.
Let’s fast forward to May of 2019 when Line consolidated all their advertising products into one offering that will serve both SME’s and large brands. It will also force all brands to have the functionality of Line BC where they can target customers on a 1 – 1 basis. This new product is called “Line OA/BC”. Let us provide an overview of this product:
- All Advertisers will be forced to use the new Line OA/BC product. Line@ will migrate by the end of September 2019. Current Line OA customers will be allowed to finish out their current contract, but will be forced to adopt the new package in the renewal.
- The pricing will change. Advertisers can pay 1,500 THB per month. This gives the ability to have a Line OA/BC account with 10,000 direct messages a month. Then any additional messages sent to customers (Direct Messages), will cost 0.10 THB per follower reached.
- If brands want to do 1 – 1 personalized marketing they will have to either use Line’s CRM platform called Line BCRM, or they can select one of the CRM platforms in the market such as Salesforce. If advertisers want to capture the Line ID and segment, then this is a requirement.
In summary, it’s great that Line is moving towards this model as it give advertisers the ability to segment and target. Line will also allow brands to have some additional targeting such as Age, Gender and location. While not as advanced as Facebook, it’s a step in the right direction.