There’s no denying the fact that digital is growing in the Philippines. Everything from the booming smartphone market, to Filipinos having one of the biggest number of Facebook users in the world, to local traditional businesses making the move to integrate old marketing and new media campaigns, all point to the fact that digital is a big deal in the Philippines, and it will keep on growing in the years to come. I want to give you an overview of where the industry is going and what challenges it has to face to advance.
Factors that Work For Digital
What makes the Philippines ripe for a digital revolution is actually a collection of factors that work together to form a strong base for a growing digital market. These include:
- The number of talented designers and programmers in the country is growing very quickly.
- The Philippines has a large smartphone market. It also has the eighth largest population of Facebook users in the world, with over 30.2 million members.
- Filipinos, particularly the youth, are fluent in English, which is useful especially in business.
- The market is not yet saturated with digital experts; therefore, there is relatively low competition compared to surrounding countries.
- The outsourcing industry makes up 8% of the country’s economy. This is expected to rise to 10% and bring in $25 billion in three years’ time.
Challenges Faced by Digital
Despite the factors that work for the growth of the digital industry in the Philippines, the country still needs to address specific challenges in order to achieve the same level of success in digital as the other countries in the Southeast Asian region. These challenges include:
- There is an imbalance in supply and demand – the demand for digital services are constantly increasing, but the supply of skilled workers in multiple competencies are not enough to meet these demands.
- Local funding and support needs to be increased in order to allow start-ups to grow and develop. Demonstrating local support in the digital industry will motivate more foreign investors to follow suit.
- The Philippines needs to host more training programs and events educating digital marketers on different methodologies, trends, and skills needed for the industry.
- Provinces need to gain access to the internet. Only one-third of the population has online access to this date.
- Many businesses still separate their traditional and digital marketing efforts. Some still stick to the traditional norms and do not see the value in digital marketing, while others keep their campaigns separate because they feel a lack in proof that the method works.
- Security issues need to be addressed, such as hacking and malware infection, protecting the IP and other network systems.
Taking Steps Towards the Rise of Digital
In order for the Philippines to continue to have a bustling digital industry, the following needs must be met:
- Education and training for digital specialists, including forums, hands-on experience, and advanced learning programs for those already in the industry
- Gaining more “T-shaped” people: People with broad experience in the digital industry, and with enough in-depth knowledge and experience in a specialized field
- Wider internet connection reach
- Lectures helping businesses understand the impact digital can make when integrated into their marketing campaigns
It’s also important to note that because the competition for digital is low, and the digital literacy is not yet up to par with their Asian neighbors, startups opening up shop in the Philippines will find more success by taking the elements that worked in other countries with successful digital industries and adapt it to the local scene.
Our role as one of the leading digital marketing agencies in the country is to help you understand the industry and its processes more as changes happen. We dedicate ourselves to helping you understand how the current digital marketing trends can improve your business. Talk to us today to learn more, and keep checking our blog for other digital marketing news.