Major international brands like Dolce & Gabbana and Versace have learned the hard way that you can’t be arrogant, misinformed, or offensive in your China marketing, and their costly mistakes have tarnished their brands’ reputations and damaged the image of European luxury as a whole.
365体育手机投注But even brands that steer clear of controversy find it particularly hard to stay up-to-date on China’s changing consumer habits. This is not surprising, considering that the country has many strong and distinctive consumer groups — each interacting with brands differently. Many marketers, for instance, place a lot of emphasis on younger luxury buyers while neglecting traditional demographics that could be quite beneficial to some brands. Only recently have we seen a change in trajectories where established brands are starting to focus on older consumer groups. . They recently launched a Beetle ad campaign featuring elderly Chinese citizens imitating cool youngsters and doing crazy things. Additionally, more brands have started partnering with over-50 influencers and models like the 83-year-old and the 76-year-old .
These campaigns are changing the way consumers approach brands, but when it comes to transformation in China, digital marketing is the real game-changer. Let’s have a look at some country-specific trends in digital marketing and see how emerging technologies, automated data collection, and blockchain are reshaping the future of marketing in China:
- Livestreaming is becoming the most profitable form of marketing
According to , Taobao livestreaming by daily active users increased by 130 percent to 41.33 million during this past Single’s Day. Indeed, is breaking viewership records and helping to bring in a lot of money. But according to Tingyi Chen, a co-founder of the software platform WalktheChat, “most of the livestreaming365体育手机投注 campaigns today are simply sales pitches. Content quality is not too different from the most traditional TV infomercial.”
Chen foresees a change coming to the industry where brands will partner with important local KOLs who offer high-quality content and engaging experiences to their users. She also predicts that livestreaming will see a major reboot in 2020, as charismatic idols and personalities take the place of regular livestreamers while the livestreaming experience becomes more personalized and high-quality.
- Chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI)
Alibaba is redesigning the shopping experience for global consumers, as artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual assistant chatbots move to the forefront of the Group’s new digital marketing strategy. According to , these improvements redefine and simplify the “customer’s journey” and create a highly-tailored experience where shoppers can get “uncannily precise” product search results as well as goods and services that “consumers might not have even realized they wanted.”
365体育手机投注In an oversaturated online arena where consumers no longer have the patience to browse magazines or read flashy advertorials, AI offers a unique solution — one that’s perfectly tailored to consumers’ needs while taking their peculiarities and preferences into consideration.
- Xiaohongshu/Little Red Book
365体育手机投注Xiaohongshu remains the most innovative luxury crowdsourcing app since it’s an ideal community for brands who want to engage with young, affluent urbanites. Nevertheless, we anticipate it going through some significant changes.
365体育手机投注First, Xiaohongshu will move further away from its “community mindset” and will become more of an e-commerce hybrid where user-generated content is encouraged. But, the site will keep its communication-based content flowing via product review tutorials, blog posts, livestreaming sessions, and other innovative ways to boost online user numbers. This will allow Xiaohongshu the opportunity to tap into a consumer segment that’s eager to buy products that the app is advertising.
365体育手机投注Second, their viral marketing campaigns will be readjusted, as they’ve fallen short in the past by failing to capture the experiences of younger buyers. Miranda Cui Fan stated that , with 70 percent of its users having been born after 1995. Additionally, the app’s number of female users climbed to 88 percent. In this ever-changing landscape where parameters are constantly being redefined, marketing campaigns can’t be rigid and must always be recalibrated.
- Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR)
Alibaba is already resorting to more disruptive technologies (VR, AR) to help them build closer relationships with users. Instead of crafting a boring marketing message, Alibaba creates a singular consumer experience that’s convenient, innovative, and entertaining. For instance, highlights that Alibaba’s Taobao Buy is “an AR-infused shopping experience that reimagines how you shop online with an interactive experience that looks and feels futuristic but is also easy to use.” Sci-Fi shopping is going to be the new norm, and 3-D holograms of products are something that will soon become a requirement for every retailer.
Even more engaging is the perspective presented by that shows a world where, for about 15 cents, Alibaba365体育手机投注’s Buy+ lets users buy a cardboard VR headset that connects to their smartphones and allows them to browse various garments and accessories and “even have virtual models showcase the apparel and accessories on a catwalk.”
Brands who want success in China need to keep a close eye on the local retail giants who have registered tremendous growth thanks to their approach to innovation and their ability to remain in synch with their consumers’ needs. This agility has propelled companies like Alibaba to the forefront of digital marketing as it envisions a retail universe that begins to fully .