5 Chinese Digital Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2017

It’s hard to believe that 2016 is already coming to a close. As we look forward to and begin to prepare for another exciting year filled with promise and opportunity, it can be helpful to have an idea of what things we can expect to occur over the coming months. If your 2017 plans include marketing to the Chinese consumer demographic, here are a few important things to keep in mind that will help you better prepare for a profitable new year.

A shift toward a more customer-centric and personalized approach.

Gone are the days when mass marketing to entire culture was effective. Over the past few years, there has been a noticeable shift toward a more personalized, customer-centric marketing approach that strategically targets smaller segments of each market. This allows marketing professionals to create a more relatable and therefore compelling message that speaks to the unique needs and preferences of each prospect. Expect 2017 to continue in this direction.

Content will continue to be king.

Chinese consumers – like most other consumer markets – are seeking to establish meaningful relationships with the brands with which they do business. This starts with and continues to be nurtured through the development and procurement of great content. If you want to reach, connect with and convert Chinese customers, you have to focus on consistently providing them with quality, interesting and varied content. How you deliver that content will also need to be adaptable and integrated so that it can be consumed on any device at any given moment.

The growth of M-Commerce.

Mobile device usage is at an all-time high and will continue to experience growth in 2017 and beyond. The more people use their handheld devices, the more activities they’ll be performing on said devices, including interacting with brands and making purchasing decisions. This so-called m-commerce provides consumers with the ease and convenience of being able to shop whenever and wherever they prefer – something that is expected to grow even more popular in the near future. If you’re not investing in your mobile marketing and m-commerce strategies for the Chinese demographic, you’re going to miss out.

More social media opportunity.

Social media isn’t just popular in North America. It’s absolutely astronomical amongst the Chinese population – both on the mainland of China as well as with Chinese consumers living elsewhere across the globe. Developing strategies to establish and strengthen your company’s presence on these popular social media networks and applications (like WeChat, Sina Weibo, Momo and Tencent QQ) will become absolutely essential if you are going to realize success in 2017.

The rise of the social influencer.

Screenshot of ParkLU’s front page

Recent studies have revealed that 88% of today’s consumers trust the online opinions of others as much as they do the personal recommendations they receive from friends and family. Couple this with the fact that 66% of Chinese consumers say they would gladly spread the word about a brand with which they had a positive experience and it’s easy to see why the concept of influencer marketing has become so widely embraced. Companies that focus on exceeding customer expectations and rewarding loyalty in 2017 will emerge at the front of the pack.

There is certainly no way to predict with 100% certainty how the coming year will pan out and which areas where businesses will ultimately realize the most success. We can, however, use past and present trends to forecast with relative accuracy what 2017 will likely have in store. If you’re in the process of developing your Chinese marketing strategy for the New Year, keeping the above predictions in mind should help you hone and improve your approach to make it even more effective over the coming months.

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