Chinese Marketing Strategy
China has been in the news a fair amount over the past few months as growth has halted for the first time in a long time but innovation is still rife and their approach to marketing has been an interesting one. China now has around 580 million social media users on mobile phones; this is an increase of 15 million in the last year. Furthermore, the total amount of social media users has nearly reached 660 million, a figure that is bigger than Europe and the US combined. This throws up some interesting questions about Chinese marketing but how does their market differ?
Currently, the best-selling chat apps in China are mostly made up of private opportunities that offer users one-to-one communication or within small groups. This differs to the Western world where wider audience apps are more popular such as Facebook and Twitter. To really excel in this market, companies will need to look for ways to share highly engaging content organically as opposed to average content to the many.
China Is Unique
Many marketing strategies can be similar when it comes to marketing a product in the US and then Europe, however, China requires completely different branding. There are many technological differences in China as well as the way that social channels are used. China is unique and so the marketing strategy has to reflect this as what works in the Western world may not work in China and many companies have made this mistake in the past and it can only lead to failure.
Word Of Mouth Is Key
When a small business first launches, it thrives off of word of mouth recommendations as it looks to build a reputation and China is no different to this; it could even be seen as a more important factor as a result of the regulated media that is in place. Social networks such as WeChat and QQ could be vital for a company’s success as reviews are posted and can greatly affect a shopping decision.
The biggest spending days of the year are generally well-known in the Western world and include the period around Christmas, Cyber Monday and of course, Black Friday which has increased in popularity in recent years. In China, however, this calendar doesn’t apply and there are different days to look out for. Singles Day (November) is one of the main shopping days and targets those who are single and it gives them a day to treat themselves. Sales on popular e-commerce site, Alibaba, surpassed $9 billion last year and numbers are widely expected to exceed $10 billion next November.
The amount of mobile sales is higher in China than in both the US and UK and so the market has adapted to this. QR codes have been introduced which means that when coupled with a WeChat wallet, items can be bought from physical stores without using a card or cash. Alibaba has also launched visual codes that can be scanned and allow consumers to receive information regarding discounts and recommendations.
Many companies have tried and failed to launch products in the Chinese market even during the economic boom and so it pays to conduct research to give a product the best possible chance of success.