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Features of digital marketing in China

Features of digital marketing in China

Features of digital marketing in China.

China has the biggest population in the world; it includes 23 provinces each with its own dialects, traditions, and peculiarities of consumer behavior.  Highly competitive environment is normal here. Do not try to enter the market following the European standards. 

What should one start digital marketing in China with?  Lets consider it step by step.

Whats in a name? Naming

The first step is translation or transcription of the name of your company, products, and services. The specific of the Chinese language is that each hieroglyph has its own meaning.  That is why it is very important that hieroglyphs should be easy-to remember and trigger good customer associations (separately and in combination). 

Digital mix

Competent promotion of goods and services in China starts with the collection of market information. It is important to analyse it in details: your segment, its share, the specifics of operation in it, competitors, customer behavior, consideration of current trends, and development prospects of the entire Chinese market. 

China is a huge country where mobile phones are used more often than desktop computers.  The technologies are developing; the market is changing rapidly and drastically.

Nowadays 642 million people actively use internet, 629 million people have accounts with social media and 565 million of them go online using mobile phones. Digital marketing is one of the key tools of marketing mix in China. 

What to select from millions of web-sites and variety of social networks 

Classic selection, top 5:

WeChat is one of the most popular platforms for promotion of goods and services in China (570 million users a day). This program enables not only to communicate by means of voice, text, and video messages, but also, create personal blogs, news feeds, internet stores, share your location, and subscribe to news.  Most business meetings in China are started not with the exchange of business cards but rather with the exchange of QR codes in WeChat and creation of groups for business communication. The program has an integrated translator enabling to communicate with partners directly even if you dont know the Chinese language. 

WeChat also has a function of mobile payments, which simplifies the process of buying and mutual settlements. On holidays and week days friends send to one another red envelopes (Hong Bao) with money for payment of goods and services through WeChat. 

Weibo is a micro blog, a Twitter counterpart, the second most popular social media in China (note: Twitter and Facebook are blocked in the territory of China). As distinguished from Twitter and Facebook, in Weibo it is possible to publish images and video directly in posts and leave images, links to web-pages, and video in comments. For instance, main foreign CEO (Bill Gates, Bobby Brown, etc) have their own accounts with Weibo for interaction with Chinese fans of their brands.

QQ Tencent video and Youku are the most popular services for viewing video files. QQ Tencent video is integrated in WeChat, which makes it easier to view video through the own social network increasing the audience.

Working on the creation and content of your accounts with social media, dont forget to create a web-site of your company. It is important that a Chinese version of your web-site must be based in China. Search network Baidu dominating the Chinese market indexes pages in the English language and web-sites located on foreign servers much worse. Baidu also offers an excellent choice of own tools: Baide Baike (百度百科) a Chinese Wikipedia, Baidu Zhidao (百度知道) user forums, Baidu Yun (百度云) cloud for downloading of information.

Analyse the market, study the peculiarities of processes, get adapted to changes, and go forward.   In practice, you are sure to meet an exception to each of the rules (this is China), so treat my recommendations critically.  May success attend you! 

Pohlmann Julia, specially for ChinaMama


  • 03.05.2016
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