CHINA MARKETING GUIDE
Find the latest insights for marketing in China on this page, including the challenges and opportunities of entering the Chinese market, as well as the differences between marketing in the West and in China. We will also provide you strategies to successfully market a product in China.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MARKETING IN THE WEST AND IN CHINA
China’s market is very segmented, with huge regional differences
Unlike western markets, which are usually consistent inside one country and the same marketing logic can be quickly replicated, success in one city in China does not mean you can replicate the same marketing tactics elsewhere, meaning it is important to know your target audience.
China has its own unique digital ecosystem
Unlike the West, which is dominated by Instagram and Facebook, China’s mainstream Internet platforms are Chinese companies. Understanding digital consumer behavior in China is crucial, as it is fundamental to understanding the Chinese market. Brands must be constantly aligned with this ecosystem with marketing flexible enough to adapt to it.
Content marketing trends
Chinese consumers’ reading behavior is more selective than in the West, oriented toward personalized content and short content. With the trend of “content first marketing” taking hold, China’s major news platforms and social media platforms are giving more priority to precise content creation and delivery. Platforms deliver interest-based content to users, powered by algorithms and machine learning to optimize their reading experience.
Even niche markets are full of potential
A niche brand positioning in the West may serve only a very small number of customers. But China is a huge market, and even with very niche marketing, brands are talking to at least a few million people.
Relevant market and competitor research in China is important
Knowing key brand and marketing trends, Chinese consumers are more willing to accept localized products/services. Chinese consumers have power and voice, are rising rapidly in income and education, and are more willing to say what they think about products directly. Don’t be afraid to improve your product or adjust your marketing strategy even if you receive some negative reviews.
STRATEGIES TO SUCCESSFULLY MARKET A PRODUCT IN CHINA
Definition: Almost all digital marketing channels as well as some offline traditional marketing channels
How to operate e-commerce marketing：
Intelligentization, localization, electronization (three directions)
Co-branding marketing in China
There are three main forms:
brand + celebrity
brand + big IP
brand + brand
Why use a joint marketing strategy?
1. Improve brand awareness and topic degree.
2. Cross-border complementary, increase the premium.
3. Derivative functions (non-product functions).
4. New SKU is added to meet consumer demand for new products.
Brand reputation management
For maintaining a good reputation:
Promote the positive
Clean up the negative
Perform social listening.
Niche marketing in China
How to implement the niche market strategy?
Step 1: Find a specific audience
Step 2: Create brand differentiation (identify your niche)
Step 3: Quickly connect with your target customer group and discover your niche
Part 4: Product Mass Innovation (enhancing user engagement)
It’s never easy to enter a new market, especially when it requires understanding the sentiment of a new group of consumers and their communication channels. By working with us, you can be sure that:
- Our team will help you not only with WeChat account set up and management but with the most important step of all – developing a marketing strategy. We can help you use WeChat to build highly effective communication with current and potential consumers and, with 9 years of experience, we know the best tactics, tools and design solutions for clients from a variety of industries.
- We’ll help to verify and customize your official accounts, write articles, set up your menu bar and create a visual feel for the account
- We have a team of dedicated writers and creatives who will make sure your content pops and delivers results.
- We work closely with the WeChat internal team and often know of new functions and updates first.
- We have experienced campaign managers who use the latest campaign formats, know which influencers are most suitable for your brand and know which ad tools are needed to achieve your goals.
- We’re also experienced at building and managing WeChat private pools, integrating CRM systems and managing WeChat mini programs.
- When you work with us, we will continue educating you. You’ll not only understand Chinese consumers better, you’ll also learn key functions of WeChat, see how these fit into your marketing strategy and see first-hand how good strategy drives profits.
- We’ll assign you an experienced account manager, who will be in touch with you to ensure that we reach our goal together. Transparency and efficiency. Your success is our success.
As each project is unique, we also organize consultations on how to improve your WeChat marketing performance by auditing your current activity and giving expert advice. Contact us and we’ll help you turn your business goals into real outcomes.
How are marketing and sales done in China?
The China market is one of the most competitive markets in the world. The country has 989 million internet users and in the first half of 2022, online retail sales reached 6.3 trillion RMB.
While online and offline marketing and sales approaches vary by industry, product or service, a strong online presence is imperative in China. Understanding the mindset of Chinese consumers and identifying the right consumer groups for your products or services are crucial for successful marketing and sales results in China. Depending on the target consumer groups, there are a variety of opportunities to market and sell products to them both online and offline.
Online sales can be done via cross-border e-commerce, domestic e-commerce, social e-commerce and via live stream. Digital marketing channels in China are very different from the West. China has its own search engine platforms (Baidu, Sogou), social media (WeChat, Weibo, Douyin) and knowledge sharing platforms (Zhihu), which provide unlimited opportunities for brand building, advertising and community building.
Schedule a call with us. We’ll help you navigate opportunities in this complex market and identify the most effective online marketing and sales strategies for your brand.
What’s the most effective marketing strategy in China?
There’s no one effective marketing strategy which can set a brand or company up for success in China. However, as the world’s largest consumption market, China needs to be perceived as a priority market that requires preparation, resources and marketing budget allocations.
Brands tapping into China also need to keep in mind that it’s not a single market. Different groups and regions have different needs and experience different trends. An effective marketing strategy in China requires a deep understanding of your consumer personas, demographics, their location, consumption power, preferences, their habits,online behaviour and factors affecting their purchasing decisions.
Contact us to discuss this in more detail. We can get you moving quickly with consumer research and marketing strategy development.
How do you enter the China market through digital marketing?
We have a step by step guide for China market entry that you can check out here.
In a nutshell, brands entering China need to first identify whether there’s a demand for their product or service. After that, they need to register their business, establish their legal presence and choose the best sales model. On top of that, they need to develop their consumer journey and create a brand presence on the right audience communication channels.
Our consumer research will help you identify the best online consumption routes for your targeted personas. Based on that, we’ll develop a comprehensive digital marketing strategy covering most suitable social media channels for your brand. Schedule a call with our team to start your digital marketing planning now.
How can my company do social media marketing in China?
For companies new to the market, we can help with the first step and help you set up your Chinese social media accounts, which your company will have full ownership of. Depending on whether you already have a Chinese business registration, opening an account and the verification process might take up to 2-4 weeks. After that, our team can help you identify the best social media platforms for your brand and create engaging content creation for them.
For companies that are already in China, we can do digital brand audits to identify improvements that will lead to better engagement with consumers, more effective content, a smoother consumer journey and help your brand prioritize marketing activities and budget allocations. We can also help you do social media campaign planning and advertising.
Contact us to learn more about social media marketing for your brand needs in China.
What’s the difference between digital marketing in China and other countries?
China has its own social media, search engines and knowledge sharing platforms. In the past, Chinese social media platforms could be summed up by comparisons with Western platforms. This can still be done with some platforms. For example, Weibo is China’s Twitter and Zhihu is like China’s Quora. However, China’s current digital landscape has platforms with combinations of integrated services that aren’t directly comparable to a single platform in the West. It also has other digital platforms that use approaches particular to China or that don’t have a direct counterpart in the West and many digital platforms in China have more advanced opportunities to reach out to consumers and establish long-term communication with them than Western platforms.
Marketers also need to be prepared for the fact that the China market is no longer cheaper than the West when it comes to advertising. In fact, to advertise on most popular platforms to top consumer groups, it will likely cost more to get strong attention for your brand and products.
Another important aspect, that many brands neglect, is localization. From brand and product names to social media content and product descriptions, content can’t just be translated into Chinese. Consumers expect brands to understand their current needs, lifestyles and preferences. They expect brands to fulfill their desires and want them to establish emotional connections.
Contact us if you want to learn how your company can get the most from a digital presence in China.