4 basic tips for your marketing in China

Published on 11/08/2021

The Chinese market offers many opportunities. But you should know how to run good marketing campaigns in this giant country. More importantly you should know how to run digital marketing campaigns, which are constantly evolving, especially in China.

Do you want to export your products and optimise your marketing campaigns in the Chinese market?

In this article you will discover tips and useful information for a successful marketing strategy in the Asian Giant.

1. The typical Chinese consumer profile

The typical Chinese consumer profile

According to the UN, China's population was estimated to be 1.44 billion in 2020. You probably already know this, but the one-child policy has resulted in a relatively low rate of under-25-year-olds.

However, if we take the 15-64 age group as a whole, it represents 70 % of the total population.

Regarding the target audience for your campaigns in China, you should bear in mind that the most consumer-friendly population group is between 20 and 35 years old. In fact, this group tends to spend more money on leisure activities. Also they tend to prefer quality over low prices.

Of course, the consumer behaviour varies from one geographical area to another. The consumption rate is much higher in large urban areas, such as Beijing, Shanghai or Shenzhen. This behaviour can be explained by the high per capita income and purchasing power in those areas.

2. Consumer trends in China

Consumer trends in China

For a good marketing strategy you should keep in mind the widespread Chinese nationalism. Especially among young people it is a deep-rooted feeling. Do you know why?

Because, unlike previous generations who experienced hardship and deprivation, young people live in a powerful and prosperous China. This has strengthened their attachment to their homeland.

As the purchasing power of these young people is significant, many international brands have learned to adapt themselves to the Chinese culture. They do everything in their power to fulfil their needs and win them over.

Moreover, foreign products are very much appreciated in China. As a result, luxury brands are betting on this market. To give you an idea: it is estimated that 45 % of Chinese luxury consumers are around 35 years old or younger. You could obtain a significant part of your turnover from this age group.

3. How to reach Chinese consumers

How to reach Chinese consumers

3.1 Social networks

China has around 904 million internet users. A total of 99.3% of them are connected via smartphone. Therefore, smartphones are a very important channel for brand and product promotion. They could become the cornerstone for advertising campaigns.

Young people play a key role in the future of digital marketing in China. They don’t hesitate log into forums and sharing their opinion on the quality of a product or service. Their opinions are very important to other consumers and can also have a strong impact on the company itself.

They usually turn to the inevitable WeChat messaging system as well as Weibo to read other relative's opinions.

Chinese people also tend to directly purchasing goods off those social networks. These Chinese social networks lead to e-commerce platforms such as JD.com for WeChat. Also the specialised beauty products platform Jumei or Alibaba for the Weibo network.

However, a recent survey showed that two apps were more effective in winning internet users than WeChat: Douyin and Toutiao.

Toutiao will probably not tell you anything. In China however, it is a very popular platform for smart content distribution. There are mor than 120 million users who spend an average of 74 minutes on this application.

It uses artificial intelligence to recommend news to its users. By placing ads on this platform, you can increase the visibility of your brand.

As for Douyin, the name probably doesn't tell you much either. But if I tell you that in Western countries this application is better known as TikTok, that's a different story. This social network allows you to post short videos on a variety of topics. It now has more than 500 million users and 70 % of them are under 24 years old.

3.2 The importance of influencers

In general, influencers or KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) are a very effective digital marketing strategy to promote a brand. Influencers or opinion leaders are celebrities or bloggers who share content on their social networks.

By publishing content on a regular basis, they win their subscribers' trust by giving them advice. Most Chinese influencers strive to be transparent with the products and services they present. This allows them to remove all doubts and convince their subscribers.

4. Integrate Chinese holidays into your marketing calendar

Integrate Chinese holidays into your marketing calendar

The Chinese holiday calendar is much more complete than the English calendar. As consumption increases during these special periods, it would be a good idea to integrate all events into your marketing calendar. By doing so, you can attract a lot more customers.

Here are the most important holidays, which I will explain in more detail in a future article. Start as early as possible to include the most relevant holidays into your company calendar.

  • Spring Festival / Chinese New Year: this festival is similar to Christmas and brings families together for two weeks
  • Qingming Festival: traditional festival to commemorate ancestors and sweep the tombs
  • The Lantern Festival: A night-time festival where people visit places decorated with lanterns on the 15th day of the first lunar month.
  • Valentine's Day, or should I say Valentine's Days, because China has 5!
  • China’s National Day: Chinese people usually take one week off work. 
  • And much more!

Of course, to boost your marketing campaigns in China, it is essential to work with professionals to translate chinese marketing content. If you need translations from Chinese to English or viceverse, I strongly advise you to turn to native Chinese speakers to communicate authentically and accurately with your target group. 

Sana Tayssir's picture
Sana Tayssir

Marketing and sales assistant at AbroadLink Traductions. Sana Tayssir is currently in her second year of a Master's degree in English at the University Jean Moulin Lyon 3. She also holds a Bachelor's degree in English language, literature and civilization.

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