A new series of articles on the Marketing to China blog.
Here we interview seasoned, native Chinese marketing professionals with a deep understanding of this market and what it takes to succeed.
Firstly let us introduce Jynn. She has 8+ Year’s Experience Managing & Implementing campaigns at GMA for both Chinese & foreign brands and also spearheads digital business development. A talented marketer with unique insights to offer.
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So Jynn, what led you to a career in Chinese Digital Marketing ?
I wanted to set up a Taobao Store to develop my own e-commerce business, I set out to create & run a successful store but it failed.. after that I had a strong desire to understand effective digital strategy and how to drive sales.
I looked to find a digital agency to grow my own store.
Localising and adapting to Chinese social platforms
What are the most important traits for a successful business in China?
You need to love competition, China is very competitive and difficult often in the short term, you need to have a long-term vision.
A lot of foreigners think that you just put an ad out and people click in/buy products, every year more & more brands want a share.
With fierce competition, you need to spend on necessary ad costs and determine the most effective strategy.
I know a store keeper who sells wedding dresses, she spends 100,000 RMB on Weibo ads per month. This is normal, she knows you have to spend money to make money.
Another trait is your product or service needs to be Interesting, you need to keep thinking of different ideas and putting out fresh creatives that are localized for the Chinese market.
You’ve worked with many brands on E-Commerce development, what’s your top advice for brands developing their Web Presence here?
It’s all about details, difficult is difference & difference makes brands. Marketing is about building reputation over time, you need to win trust.
One way of doing this is through KOLs, it’s not necessarily about the highest price, rather high value KOLs that have targeted, niche communities for brand engagement.
Testimonial Platforms such as ‘Little Red Book’ are also a key element, I like this approach because it is people focused, users use, try and review products.
They then share this on testimonial platforms. Our role is to manage this relationship and what type of feedback is coming back for brands, you definitely need to learn and adapt.
Another top tip is to send KOLs, Resellers and even notable consumers your product, allow them to test it and write reviews on the product.
Our work is to ensure you only have good reviews of product.
Reports/good reviews can be used for online PR articles to further push a positive brand message.
It sounds obvious but Chinese consumers need to be placed at the heart of your strategy.
Little Red Book Official Logo – A Powerful Testimonial Platform
Any particularly effective E-Commerce campaigns come to mind?
My most successful campaigns are really engaging Chinese users, it’s real stuff,
Smooto, a Thai Skin Brand was a really effective campaign. It was branding and sales combined. They had a strong message when it came to skin care, great content and were adopted a super interactive approach.
They invested in online PR, consumer forum reputation and quality WeChat account in terms of re-posting user content on-top of their weekly service account posts.
Working with Vogue was also a highlight for me, our role was to localize their message and manage social media, a big name like this generates a real buzz, I remember it was a very busy period.
What’s your favourite sector to work in and why?
Definitely Female Products, I understand this sector. Ladies are the most active consumers on social media, they are also highly emotionally engaged in China.
Chinese women can get aggressive if people talk about a product they don’t like, or on the other hand, they can purchase easily.
It is good to control the sentiment of lady buyers online, I find it fascinating.
Guys for me are not as engaged, guys easily change products but winning ladies over equates to a very loyal following.
Avid Chinese female shoppers
What are the problems for Advertisers in China?
Only having good products is not enough, if you want to advertise in China you need to understand it’s a long-term battle.
Ad Spend is more expensive as you need to cut through. Don’t lose faith though, keep digital.
Also keep focusing on details. 3 months is not long enough, after 6 to 10 months you will start to see results, you can’t instantly see results if you are new to this market.
The other problem is that the digital sphere is crowded, people are more tired of online ads.
Therefore you need to adopt a more consumer lead approach. Get consumers talking about you and you have a more powerful strategy, its coming from them, not just you.
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