Analysis by The Demand Institute predicts that China’s consumption has the potential to hit US$67 trillion over the next decade. Retailers and global brands should be rubbing their hands at this figure and expecting to benefit from this huge growth in spending power. The question then is, what steps can international marketers take in order to tap into this huge potential market? How can they make sure that your voice is heard and that your activities are effective?
Identifying the right audience is always the first step to success and the use of big data analysis plays an important role in this process. The rise of e-commerce has provided more and easier access to the “right audience”. But with opportunity comes challenge and it’s true to say that the emergence of digital technology and the omnipresence of mobile devices adds degrees of complexity to marketers’ tasks, as they follow the digital contact points of these individuals.
Consumers’ digital footprints can be traced across multiple channels including online ads, search, social and e-commerce, real-time data maps and past campaign data analysis. These aspects have become equally important to marketers who need a comprehensive and accurate audience analysis. Managing the data to spot the needles in the haystack is a new skill-set, and one which requires that marketers partner with experts in the field to ensure success.
Nonetheless, data analysis alone is not enough when it comes to reaching the right consumers. The rapid growth of internet users, spreading from urban to rural communities, and the highest smartphone penetration in the world has made cross-platform marketing ever more important to marketers who desire to gain access throughout China. Chinese consumers these days surf and shop from laptop to tablet to smartphone throughout the day. To capture such a big and mobile group of consumers, marketers need to to get peoples’ attention and viewership, not just impressions. Habits are continuing to evolve in line with a shifting consumer base, with technology becoming more available, more affordable and more adopted. Those marketers who aren’t able to evolve and react quickly will lose out.
Building on robust analysis and a versatile cross-channel platforms, advertisers also need to find ways to improve their advertising performance. They need to be able to show clearly the direct value that can be gained from their spend. Programmatic marketing is certainly the way to go in terms of dynamic audience targeting and demonstrable higher ROI delivery. The manner in which it is able to follow consumer buying habits and trends, across platforms and devices, provides a level of effectiveness that makes it stand out for brands.
China is poised to become one of the largest digital advertising markets in the world to match consumer habits, and programmatic marketing is changing the advertising landscape by delivering higher levels of relevance, efficiency and impact. Companies have much to consider to effectively tap this opportunity and finding the right technology partner might be the key.
The writer is Sammy Hsieh, Co-Founder and CEO, iClick Interactive Asia.
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