Chinese consumers are as unique as the country’s social media landscape and brands need to be mindful of these complexities when launching campaigns, according to China market experts speaking at a recent event.
The event, the secret to success in China: Understanding Chinese consumers, was hosted by UMS in Sydney, to coincide with the launch of the agency’s new office in Sydney, which marks its second location in Australia.
The event featured a keynote presentation by Coolio Yang, Chief Executive Officer of Kantar Media CIC, China’s leading social business intelligence provider, which examined China’s unique digital media landscape including social sites and KOLs, and how brands need to understand the audiences and behaviours to ensure they employ the most effective strategies for targeting Chinese consumers.
Yang’s presentation was followed by a panel discussion exploring Chinese consumer behaviours on social media and the most effective ways that brands can connect and engage with these users.
Andy Jiang, Managing Director at Andy Wilson Consulting and the former GM of Tourism Australia in China, talked about the unique attributes of Chinese consumers, particularly millennials.
“It’s important to remember that China’s millennials were born in the time of the one-child policy and have no siblings, that’s why connections and connectivity are so important to them. It’s a completely different mindset to other Chinese generations and even millennials from other countries.”
Yang, also talked about the generational differences as older Chinese consumers increasingly adopt WeChat, which is leading to younger consumers moving away from the platform. He also talked about how brands can use social media platforms to create and maintain meaningful relationships with consumers.
“Brands need to think more about how to build relationships on WeChat and less about what content they are creating,” said Yang.
This point was echoed by UMS Chief Executive Officer Jessica Miao, who talked about the power of two-way communication on social media and the need for brands to embrace a long-term strategy for digital marketing in China.
“China is a big market and there’s no such thing as an overnight success – unless you have a lot of money! It’s important that brands view China as a long-term investment and adjust their objectives and KPIs accordingly. You need to build awareness, and then trust and loyalty and that will lead to sales conversions. But, China is also a fast moving market so you need to also be flexible and open to a test and learn approach as you go along if you want to be successful.”
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