Not many markets are as enticing to global brand marketers as the new consumer-driven China. This new market with a population of 1.3 billion and 854 million internet users holds huge potential for properties, luxury products, customer goods, and services.
According to data obtained in 2018, China was the largest trading partner of Australia with a total trade of 214,608 billion Australian dollars.
Each year, approximately $8.2 billion has been invested in Australia. In 2018, people from China made 1.43 million short-term visits to Australia and up to 6% in 2017. In addition, over 180 thousand Chinese International Students are enrolled to study in Australia each year. As a result, Many companies including universities in Australia have started to restructure the methods they advertise to the Chinese-speaking markets.
But, are we ready to seize the opportunity in this blue ocean?
Marketing and advertising to these potentials will be different from others. This not only requires a presence on social media channels such as Weibo, WeChat, and Baidu. It helps to understand motives, culture, languages and customer behaviour.
Before advertising to Chinese customers, here are some points that should be considered:
Language Interpretation and Translation
The official language of the Chinese population is Mandarin, also known as Chinese, which is widely spoken in Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and even in the United States. An interesting fact from ABS the 2016 Census states that Australia is home to more than 1.2 million people of Chinese ancestry.
Chinese has been considered as the hardest language in the world, not to mention it has a variety of dialects and colloquial jargon used across Asian countries. Therefore, hiring qualified translators who have a good understanding of the language and business culture is crucial.
Chinese Consumer Behavior and Motivation
There is a saying from the Art of War: Know yourself and know your enemy, and you will never be defeated. This Ancient Chinese saying represents the importance of customer behaviour research. Understanding customers is a crucial step in advertising and marketing. Nevertheless, due to the language barrier, it is hard to prospect insight into consumer behaviour, business trends, value, and motivation.
A good example is that Chinese customers value things differently from others in terms of purchasing properties. Chinese customers generally prefer purchasing new houses that are located in good school districts. This property also offers a country lifestyle with city convenience and distance to big shopping malls. Moreover, these properties should have a high ROI rate.
Culture and symbolism need to be considered as well when marketing and advertising to Chinese customers. Symbolic meaning has played a significant role in the lives of the Chinese. For example, red is a colour, symbolizing luck, joy, and happiness, that is often seen and used in the new year and weddings. Moreover, the numbers such as 6, 8, and 9 have a positive meaning. When marketing products in China, Australian businesses should also consider these points mentioned above.
Chinese Social Media
As we mentioned above, social media has played an important role in building brand awareness and loyalty between customer and business activity. However, do we really understand what these social media channels are, and how they work? The following are several social media platforms and apps that are widely used in China.
A multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment app.
Launched: January 2011 by Tencent (腾讯), one of the world’s most valuable technology companies.
User Statistics: With 1.3 billion monthly active users, it is the most popular app in China. (Q2, 2019)
Primarily a messenger app, WeChat features multiple functions from sending messages, paying bills to book a hotel. It is not only an app that can be used for the individual, but businesses also can create WeChat official accounts to interact with their customers and share promotional information.
Sina Weibo (新浪微博)
A Chinese microblogging website
Released: August 2009 by a Chinese technology company called Sina Corporation (新浪)
User Statistics: 465 million active users a month, (Q2, 2019)
Weibo has been the most popular blogging website in the world, although it is often being called the Chinese version of twitter. Weibo nowaday has been utilized by many celebrities across the world and businesses to introduce products and services and build up brand awareness. Like Wechat, businesses can register Weibo official accounts.
Another instant messaging app developed by Tencent.
Released: February 1999 by Tencent (腾讯)
User Statistics: 707 million active users a month, (Q2, 2019)
QQ is another instant messaging software service developed by Tencent. It also offers services such as social games, music, shopping, microblogging, movies, and group and voice chat software. QQ does not require a smartphone to register an account and its desktop version is widely used for internal communication among Chinese companies.
TikTok is a social media video app for creating and sharing short-form spontaneous, and genuine.
User Statistics: 188 million active users a month, (Q1, 2019)
Tiktok has been popular apply among younger audiences. This video app provides a platform where people can share videos and promote businesses. Interestingly, more and more companies such as NBA, Guess and Chipotle have started to use this platform to engage with their audience.
In order to boost sales, well-designed advertisement strategies, as well as traditional and digital marketing aimed at the Chinese market is necessary. Targeting Chinese customers in both Australia and China can be a daunting job due to the cultural differences and the language barrier as well as unfamiliarity with the social media channels.
If you still do not know how to start to design comprehensive marketing strategies, give us a call we will be glad to share our experiences with you.
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