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Rising Giants e96: Socheata Bun on Key Trends Impacting Digital Influencers in Cambodia & The Challenges Faced by Women Entrepreneurs

Rising Giants e96: Socheata Bun on Key Trends Impacting Digital Influencers in Cambodia & The Challenges Faced by Women Entrepreneurs

Cambodia Investment Review

In episode 96 of Rising Giants Podcast, Socheata Bun Chief Operating Officer of 8TEEN Communication – Cambodia’s first influencer firm specializing in digital marketing sat down with hosts Max Thornton and Dom Kalousek at the RG Studio located at Phnom Penh’s Choice Accelerator co-working space.

The trio talked about Socheata’s journey in the digital marketing space, the competitive nature of the beverage industry, and the income earned by influencers. They also discussed the ‘Beyond the Games’ campaign, the key trends impacting digital influencers in 2023, and the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs.

Read more: Rising Giants e95 – Sopheak Chheng on Podcasting & Monetizing Content Creation in the Cambodian Market

Socheata’s journey into the digital influencer marketing world began with a love for photography and the arts. “I was born in love with the camera,” she said, reflecting on her high school years. Her early passion led her to assist friends in the industry, finding locations and sponsors, and eventually making a name for herself as a producer.

When asked about her transition into the business side of creativity, she emphasized her strength in merging the creative and business aspects. “I have always been aiming to merge between creative and business side, and there was my strength,” she explained, doubting her ability to work solely in artistic roles.

Building Successful Business Skills

Socheata’s entry into the advertising sector was driven by an interest in technology and creativity. “A major interest for me has been technology and creativity,” she said, describing how she started her business by creating Facebook pages for coffee shops to test how social media could drive sales.

Reflecting on the early days of social media marketing, she noted that most business owners failed to see the correlation between social media and sales. “There were very low expectations for what social media could do 10 years ago in Cambodia,” she commented.

Socheata Bun Chief Operations Officer of 8TEEN Communication.


Socheata’s foundation in various aspects of digital marketing and production, including hybrid advertising, prepared her for her business success. “My journey, it has been a 360 experience,” she said, learning the importance of brands ensuring they were across all aspects of advertising.

One of her most formative experiences was working with the Chip Mong Group’s Khmer Beverages company. “I had enough budget to put into action all the ideas that I had been thinking of for such a long time with such well-known brands as Cambodia Beer,” she said, describing the learning experience with both local and international talents.

The Influencer Economy in Cambodia

When asked about the beverage industry’s role in the influencer economy, Socheata revealed that beverages, especially beer, spend the most on total marketing & advertising budgets but not the most on influencers. “Cosmetics probably are the most spend for influencers because they typically rely more on testimonials,” she explained.

Read more: RG & CIR Start-Up and Innovation Festival 2023 – Cambodia’s Expanding Creator Economy

The entrance of more regional brands into the market is changing local marketing practices. “These brands were expanding the scope for Cambodian consumers as well as the marketing industry,” she said, emphasizing the importance of overseas brands listening to locals.

Socheata Bun Chief Operations Officer of 8TEEN Communication.

Discussing the key trends impacting the influencer industry in Cambodia, Socheata highlighted the emergence of senior influencers focusing on motivational content. “A common trend is motivational content – while before they were just doing beauty products, they are now also doing motivational or positive content,” she observed.

She also spoke about the “Beyond the Games” campaign to support Cambodia’s hosting of the 2023 Southeast Asian Games, emphasizing the campaign’s positive and united message. “The most impactful part of the campaign was to be positive and united,” she said, describing the ‘love hand gesture’ established during the campaign.

Women Entrepreneurship and Personal Insights

Reflecting on being a woman entrepreneur in Cambodia, Socheata acknowledged the challenges but also noted the improvements in culture and society. “It’s hard, but back to the culture and society in Cambodia has improved a lot,” she said, emphasizing that both men and women face challenges.

Her daily habits, including early rising and regular time off, help maintain her productivity and mental health. “I wake up very early sometimes around 4am to get a workout and see the sunrise,” she shared.

Concluding the conversation with personal insights, Socheata shared the best piece of advice she had ever received from her mother: “If the problem doesn’t cost your life, there is nothing you can’t solve.”

The episode provided a comprehensive and insightful look into the influencer marketing industry in Cambodia, highlighting both the opportunities and challenges faced by those in the field. Socheata Bun’s experiences and perspectives, shared in her own words, offer valuable lessons for aspiring influencers, marketers, and entrepreneurs in the rapidly evolving digital landscape. Her story is a testament to the power of passion, creativity, and perseverance in building a successful career in a competitive industry.

Listen to the full episode here.

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