Monday, November 21, 2011
The Future of Mobile Marketing in China
As a Chinese IMC student, I am always keeping an eye on the development and the future of marketing in China. With the fast growing number of smart phone users and the falling prices of the equipments, mobile internet is probably going to be the richest land for marketers in China to cultivate on in the near future.
The expanding speed of mobile internet users is shocking in China. It took 32 months for the number of traditional internet users to grow from 10 million to 50 million, and the time for mobile was only 10 months. Back in 2002, the first 50m users of table internet are basically “internet explorers”. They were not familiar with the internet world and were curious about everything. The most visited websites at that time were the main portal websites like Sina, Sohu, 163.com, etc. What’s most important was they did not make payments online. In the contrary, the first 50m mobile internet users in the year of 2011 are formed mainly by those who are experienced and picky table internet users and have established a good habit of paying online. This group of users are highly involved in the online world and are potential influencers who will accelerate the expanding of mobile internet even more.
The low cost smart phone equipments will help increase the user base. Right now in China there are 30 million and 17 million users for Android and IOS platforms respectively. In my personal point of view, Android is going to be the leader of the Chinese smart phone market in the future. Android smart phones with prices lower than 1000 RMB (about $150) have already existed in the market. Comparing to the price of an iPhone (4000 RMB, about $650), the price of an Android is much more friendly to the huge working-class population thus making them more reachable via the mobile internet channel.
It is true that mobile internet is still at the starting point and more related laws and regulations are still needed. However, with the huge base of potential users and more accessible equipments, I am sure there will be enormous amount of opportunities for mobile marketers in China.
Steve Li Northwestern Medill IMC Twitter @IMCSteveLee