Tuesday, February 17, 2015

CMOs: 3 Keys to Successful Digital Marketing in China


China is a big market and everyone wants to get a piece of this large cake; However, the dynamics and rules to succeed and survive are quite different from what make things happen over here in the western media world. As a graduate student in Northwestern Medill IMC program with an interest in digital marketing, I have found two articles you might be interested in.

How Western Companies Use Weibo to Seize Market Opportunities in China” from MavSocial, it introduces one of the main social medias in China, Sina Weibo and why it is important to use. It has about 160 million monthly active users so businesses across the Asia-Pacific region have been tailoring their social media marketing campaigns to reach and engage with this vast audience. The article then talks about why some multinational companies like Durex, Unilever, Lancôme can do online marketing successful in China. For example, by providing useful information to users, such as beauty tips or health related information, followers are more likely to interact with the brand.  




WeChat testing ads in its News Feed” written by Rocky Fu on China Internet Watch, mainly talks about how WeChat is finding new ways for advertising on its platform. WeChat has become one of the largest fast growing social media apps that Chinese use in the past 4 years. It has more than 468 million monthly active users as of the Q3 2014. Despite using the social communications function of WeChat, each user on average reads 5.86 articles per day with 80% on WeChat Moments, a place where each user can personalize and share articles, music or post photos that your friends can see.  And now, besides being able to have ads in WeChat official accounts, WeChat is now testing ads in its Moments starting in January 2015. But for the first phase, only Fortune 500 brands will be accepted for the first phase Moments ad testing in WeChat.

After reviewing these two great articles, here are three key parts that I recommend you keep in mind when doing digital marketing in China:
  • Develop Deep Consumer Insights - Knowing what users like & their preferences helps determine messaging and communication channel preferences
  • Generate High Quality Content - Generating localized content with graphics or videos that is interesting or has deep thought in it is more likely to be shared among users
  • Keep Consumers Engaged - Developing a social media strategy that interacts with users on a daily basis can increase traffic and visibility
Today, being customer-centric is the key to growing market share and profits. In planning your marketing programs, develop the insights which allow you to create content and use channels that will best connect with your high value markets. You will definitely grab a decent share in the dynamic and complex Chinese market.



Phebe Shi studies Integrated Marketing Communications at Medill in Northwestern University. She has done internship in Ogilvy & Mather for almost a year. Phebe is particularly interested in digital marketing, branding and content strategy. She is expected to graduate in December 2015. Phebe also holds a B.A. in Advertising from Peking UniversityYou can connect with her on LinkedIn.





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