What are the trends of Chinese Marketing at the end of 2012? Let’s see together my point of view about these market . Marketing never stops changing, and have to adapt with the consumption and the habits of chinese people.
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Will digital marketing be a big trend this year again or no? The concept is not new in China, but change seems constant.
Increasingly, brands are using digital media to reach their targets with the ultimate goal: commitment.
Marketers must understand, integrate and develop a set of skills, tools, and platforms to thrive in this “digital arena.”
How do you use the right channel at the right time, achieve a good performance and a good result? We need to know the advantage and the chances of success for the different numerical solutions to develop a specific plan for the integrated digital planning. In 2011, digital trends include social marketing, content marketing, and mobile marketing services to name a few. These will be the main discussion points for all advertisers, agencies and media owners.
1. Community Management
Brands must understand their target. Social networks are a phenomenon in China, especially companies like SinaWeibo, which is becoming the leading Chinese SNS. They boast 350 million subscribers (on about 550 million Internet users). Time spent on social networks increased 40% on Weibo and users log into their accounts 6 days a week. There has been a socialization of business on Weibo. If you are interested in that topic, you can read our article about Digital marketing in China.
How to get utilization, visibility and optimal interactivity on this platform? The pioneers were already out and took a step ahead of the laggards. There are on Weibo true thought leader by business. Today the mass population is found on Weibo, to share the ups and downs of their life, to interact with friends, with people with similar interests. Today, Weibo is more than ever considered as the primary source of information in China before traditional media.
2. Content Marketing
It is the act of giving customers useful information to facilitate their purchase or influence their decision…
Did you know that content is the most important thing in social marketing? We don’t communicate by the same way in China today. In Europe, we “product” (produce?) some good information to encourage “Weibotizens” to follow us. There exist several types of content: videos, product placement, partnerships, program Ambassadors, events are relayed online, unveil the new collection, give information on the unusual company, brand, and products, preferably for non-commercial use.
We have seen in China the development of product placement commending a big presence in the digital advertising world.
See more information about placement product of Chinese companies.
3. Mobile Marketing
Mobile marketing will be the main challenge for all Marketers this year. For the first time in China, mobile phone users top at 388 million. This number exceeded those who use their computers to connect themselves to others (380 million). Therefore China became the world’s largest market for smartphones.
The number of Internet users who watch videos via their mobile phones has exceeded one hundred million. Growth in the number of online users globally is at a lower rate than those using the mobile.
This report from CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center) (China Internet) clearly shows the strategic role of smartphones in the daily lives of Chinese people. New technologies such as location-based services (LBS) and augmented reality (AR) offers new opportunities to mobile marketing. Firms should also adapt to these techniques. The traditional banner no longer has the visual impact to catch customer’s eyes due to the limited size of the screens.
The popularity of smartphones (iPhone, Android) also raises a series of questions: Should we make applications? What to do? How to update and maintain the content? Can we use the LBS? How can we create envy(?? What are you trying to say) with the AR?
The smartphone is a very personal tool with high customization. It provides opportunities in our marketing solutions.
4. Responsible marketing
Chinese society is constantly changing. Elite opinion leader are fighting for ideals for a better China. Weibo helped highlight these people who are responsible for pushing change. Many Chinese brands have felt this wave and have developed programs. Baidu, the largest search engine has launched a vast operation: Baidu fight against hunger in China.
This trend is rising, sometimes poorly controlled, sometimes exaggerated but it could be developed in the coming years.
5. Leaders Rely on opinions
Communication via social networks is essential, which dominates social networks and opinion leaders. These are people who have a community, which is the symbol of a cause, or who are recognized experts in their domain rely on these opinion leaders, these experts has become strategic for business. The marks must now include these figures in their campaign, and try to involve them.
There are personalities “for sale” on Weibo with powerful influence on followers, with many followers whose purpose is to sell their posts to brands.
This model tends to be developing in the digital marketing world. Micro bloggers have developed accounts to have millions of fans and then monetize their posts, in the same way than the sponsored articles that had been controversial in France. Hanhan, a committed blogger has sold his image to Nescafe, Johny Walker andor VANCL.
Ambassadors: some brands have chosen to implement programs ambassadors, experts and select them to become the ambassadors of their brands.
The use of celebrities is common. Most celebrities even including the celebrities have never been present in advertising, Fan Bingbing, Yao Chen Yaoming use Weibo.
These opinion leaders are able to set trends and influence the community. They are excellent spokespeople for brands because they are followed by a large community, they have a certain visibility and they affect a community and are looked up to.
The Chinese are certainly connected, but they also like the reality. Many brands have realized that relay the Off-line, in real life online was particularly effective. It seems logical to me you tell me … but hardly implemented. In China, the events have never been so numerous, and relayed by online pictures, or videos. For instance, major luxury brands are organizing events for their VIP customers, organize parades, concerts … and sometimes relayed this information to increase online visibility. Street marketing operations that transform into Buzz on the web, this phenomenon was not new but has a tendency to grow.The QR code also develops and responds to the desire to link online to offline. Yet creating in 1999, it is now that we are beginning to see China “QRcodiser” a more or less clever.The QR code is a bar code type of two-dimensional consisting of modules arranged in a black square white background. This QR Code is intended to be read by a bar code via a mobile phone. The development of 3G in China has greatly facilitated the use of this practice.
7. Management of Crisis
China is a complex country, the pervasiveness of government in business and in the lives of Chinese citizens’ makes that foreign brands are not immune to scandal. Brands in the food industry in China have been particularly affected by crises.Increasingly, companies are implementing crisis management cells, in order to get the information quickly and to react accordingly. The best case study is Mac Donald’s; it was a perfect example of crisis management. See more details in our previous article (Mac Donalds Crisis in China)
Following a government attack on one of these stores, the company has managed to avoid the conflict and defuse the bomb before it explodes. There are monitoring tools to scan the net Chinese, and to keep alert for possible waves of criticism. Control of its online reputation in China begins to develop.
8. Western branding
In China, western branding is becoming more and more reputable especially among Chinese companies. It communicates to the origin of the brand, and ensures a certain level of the quality of the product.
The Chinese are well aware that Western brands have a better reputation, a better image quality and have a higher margin for up marketing.
Reminder: co-branding is a marketing or commercial practice which aims to promote simultaneously two separate companies.
The meeting of the two brands is presented via creation of a co-branded product mixing two products or advertising involving several brands in order to reduce the investment in advertising, and have a greater impact. Partnership “brand” or “business” is fashionable and just beginning to develop.
Here is an example of companies that have decided to join with this promotional video:
Many thinkers have developed this algorithm with respect to the Cross-Media 1 +1> 2 which means that multiple sources of communication can increase the presence, improve visibility and much more.
It would be interesting to mix traditional media and digital media, to vary the presence and reach different types of consumers in different places. But integration is not so easy and the big problem for brands is measuring the efficiency with this kind of process.
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