What CEO should know about Chinese Marketing

This article is for Marketers & CEO that want to learn more about the marketing in China. You will find the top 10 trends in marketing that you should know.


Nowadays, content is the most important key to optimize your marketing strategy .

Because Chinese customers are not patient and are really selective, if they don’t like it, they will just pass it.

If you have an efficient content, you will not only attract your customers but you will make him buy and even make him become loyal to your brand (even if this point is really hard since Chinese customers are not really loyal customers, if they find something better, they will change).

You can optimize your content with a lot of interesting tools: interactive experience, storytelling and even use some celebrities to gain in brand awareness.

Chinese people are really digital people, they like to interact with technology. Another important point is storytelling, building a story around a brand.

Took the example of marketing campaigns on Wechat for the Chinese New Year in 2016. For example the brand Pizza Hut let you enjoy a discount on its beverage if you can make a screenshot of the drink picture before red envelope closed.


The number of Chinese videos users is constantly increasing year after year and this number is also due to the booming of smartphone users and booming of digital era.

According to ChineinternetWatch, in 2012, 49, 4% Chinese users watching videos on their smartphone and now they are about 76.7%.

Video is willing to be more and more efficient and especially due to the efficiency of the support. It is not only watching movies, short movies films or music clip videos, you can deliver a message, target a customer, engage your customer and make him buy.

It is an all in one tool gathering pictures, texts, audio, that is the reason why it is a really efficient tool.

One brand has succeed to do it is Tiffany’s brand always working on the image of a strong woman in everyday life. In Tiffany’s video, we can see the story of Ms liu Wen drawing its life and career in New York City. This video is actually mainly focused on storytelling of this woman life, where most of women can identified themselves in the video.

Here there is an interesting video about Chinese online video market: The Chinese stream


Wechat is one of the must have if you want to succeed your marketing campaign because it has a really strong position on mobile. Wechat is on the way to become the most powerful app in the World.

However it is not an easy social media to enter in, Wechat is not based on exposure or influence but more on a one to one personalized and dedicated communication with user.

Wechat is perfectly understanding the huge success and booming of mobile and is actually taking advantage of it by offering to the brands to combine social aspect and commercial one. The app is tend to be what we can called “social e-commerce plateform” enhancing social media and e-commerce plateform.

The app has perfectly understand the benefit to take from the booming of mobile wave.

To give you an example, JD.Com has launched mobile Wechat shop, if you want to buy some good on Wechat, you can access directly to JD.com mall interface by clicking on the tab Specials.


M-Commerce is clearly booming, because Chinese are spending a lot of their time on their mobile device. The place to reach your customer is on their mobile, since they will feel more convenient and more willing to receive advertisement.

M-Commerce is just at the beginning to know a bright future in China. Especially Wechat which is on the way to become the future M-commerce platform in China.

To give you an example Taobao backed by Alibaba is owing about 80% of the e-commerce market in China and has created the strategic tool called “Xiaopu”.

What is Xiaopu? It’s actually offering a wide range of easy features access to the vendors with storefront access with a QR code allowing them to easily dispatch products on the Xiaopu interface.

Here a really interesting figures about the booming of retail-M commerce sales in China.


You have probably heard millions of times about o2o, it is the new trend these years that you need to optimize of you want to succeed your marketing campaign. Connection between online and offline seems to be closer than ever. You are discovering the products online, making a selection of the products that you like the most and you can experience it offline by going directly to the showroom or to the stores.

The brand Tag Reuter has lead a really successful campaign o2o by inviting visitors to see the exhibition, the idea is let them scan QR code on TAG Heuer’s page and use it as guideline all along the exhibition show. The goal is to find a treasure with keys and some of them were flash drive keys giving the opportunity to the users to know more about the brand.


Because of the huge amounts of marketing campaigns, you have to focus on our customers’ sensibilities, experience and you have to understand your customer’s needs and get them live a real experience. However, the point here is to be creative, you have to engage your customer not only by sending them keys messages but also with self-expression and individual participation.

More and more brands are turning their consumers into designers or brands representatives.

For example, Ferrari asked participants to compose themselves a poem representing well the brand. At the end of the competition, three of the best poems will be selected and would be able to be awarded of Ferrari watches.

Multiple screen integration

Ipad, smartphone, computer, TV…etc. Consumers are using multiple devices. The idea for a brand is to optimize all these devices in order to generate more traffic and to engage the consumer. How? The point is not just to be present on all devices but to link your advertising campaign among those devices.

Most of the time, TV shows are really efficient for these kind of marketing campaign and especially the famous “The Voice of China” which has succeed to take advantage of all the devices. First, people watch the TV show, second they will comment on official social media page of The Voice of China, at the same time they can vote for their favorite singer through the mobile application and they can see more exclusives videos online on their Ipad or others.

The most interesting point is to push the user to use all the devices and to make him be engaged in your advertisings. It is part of one more challenging aspect for the brands.


Mobile advertising is cleary booming these years, according to Chinainternetwatch, mobile ads platform market in 2012 was 1, 26 billion yuans and in 2016 it expected to reach 10, 54 billion yuan!

The digital era is obviously the era of mobile but also creativity. If you don’t have any creativity or ideas then, you might find some difficulties to compete with others. Coca Cola has made a really interesting campaign by keeping enhanced the happiness side. Here, each bottle of coke has a QR code and when someone scan on it, he can actually enjoy watching video clip of Coca Cola.

An article about Rapid jump of China to mobile advertising; click here.


We cannot really called social media a trend now, it is a must have. Most of the brands are present in social media, what is actually the trend now is to know how to link the advertising campaign to the social aspect.

There is one really good example of a brand which has succeed to optimize the social media tool in the advertising campaign in a different way, not only by communicating on social medias support but by integrating this social aspect in the marketing video campaign.

The brand which has success to do it is Under Armour in the video below with Gisele Buncher.

After each time, she hit the punching ball, some words appeared behind “She’s too old”, and “She’s nothing special at all”, critics that actually makes her keep hitting the punching ball and going to the end. Why is it a social media campaign? It is showing the rude social life of women and her constant fight in life.


The last point but not the least is to focus on local marketing strategy. You may have probably heard this millions of times, but focus on local doesn’t mean that you will need to completely change your products tastes and preferences to local ones. The idea is actually to understand customer’s needs and adapt it to your product by not forgetting the main core product’s strategy.

For example have you ever tried those colorful burgers of KFC, a pink spicy hamburger? Yes you can actually tried it at KFC, roasted cheese spicy chicken with a pink bread.

Further readings