Product marketing strategy in China: Case study

product-marketing-chinaOften times we get emails or inquiries from clients, asking how to market their products to the huge Chinese market.  The answer is not fixed, the strategy might vary from industry to industry, but the basic concept is the same.

We will use the following proposal as a case study to show how to develop an effective product marketing strategy in China. The client is a big multi-national corporate(manufacturer) with offices located all around the world, they want us to help them to develop and implement marketing strategy in China. Considering the leadership image of that company in their industry, the marketing strategy focuses on both the Branding and Conversion(lead generation).

Below is the marketing strategy for that company:

In trade industry, online marketing campaign normally focus on conversion and lead generation. The major platforms or channels that buyers use to find suppliers are: 1) trade portals; 2)search engines. For Chinese trade portal, Alibaba is dominant and effective, they have both organic ranking algorithm and pay per click program. Compared with baidu and google PPC, alibaba PPC has lower click cost(which is still undervalued at the moment) and far superior click quality(as the visitors to alibaba.com are mainly large quantity buyers).

Search engine is the other major platform buyers in China use to research and find suppliers. Comparatively, baidu will bring more traffic and the conversion rate for google PPC is normally decent, even though the traffic volume is not on a par with Baidu.

It is a trend that buyers are get used to using internet to research and find suppliers in China, so online marketing has big influence on online marketing result as well. End users will google to see what products to buy and which dealer to buy from. Distributors will research online that how many products and suppliers in this industry that they can contact and get dealership.

So I think another focus, if not the main focus of your online marketing campaign, is about branding, positioning, market awareness improvement, in some case, market education.

We will use our online marketing strategy to send out a message to all potential dealers, wholesalers and end users that we are the leader in this industry, and we are now entering China, and how they can get in contact with us for business.

Talking of branding, we have to mention the power of social media. Social media marketing is the best media for branding and word of mouth marketing. Normally, social media networks include consumer review site, social networking site, video sharing site, blog, forum, microblog, Q&A site, wiki site etc.

So we would like to suggest the following online marketing strategy that we tailor made for your company:
1.trade portal
We recommend Alibaba only(china.alibaba.com).
a.buy trustpass membership on alibaba
b.launch PPC campaign on alibaba to cover all keywords from major to long tail.
c.We don’t recommend to buy their gold exhibitor position(at right side, each keyword is sold at something like RMB10,000+).

2.Search engine marketing
a.Baidu PPC
-search engine paid listing (Baidu phoenix)
-content network (baidu union)

b.google.com.hk(google has closed .cn domain) PPC
-google adwords
-google content network

c.search engine optimization(both baidu and google)
-on page optimization
-link building
Note: the biggest mistake of SEO is spending months of time and thousand of dollars to rank for the wrong keyword. I would suggest to launch the SEO campaign 2 weeks later than PPC campaign. So we could analyses the data of PPC campaign to find out what keywords people like to search, what they like to click, so we will know what keywords we should focus to rank well.

Search engine optimization need to be done naturally, in a balance. Normally it will take 3 to 5 months to see the results.

3.social media marketing
a.Social networking site
create group on major social networking site like douban.com, 360quan.com, kaixin.com. Noticeably, we can’t create group on 51.com, renren.com, where we will actively post, follow conversation to promote our website.

b.Press release
Buy some soft article on authoritative portal websites like sina.com, sohu.com, 163.com is a great way for branding. It will be convincing and it is about company image.

c.Microblog
create account on sina and promote the account. Supplementary, create accounts on second-tier microblog websites like sohu microblog, 163 microblog. Sina is leading the game, but other microblog sites will catch up. The one Fanfou you mentioned has been closed already.

d.Consumer review site
We will create a good profile of our company on koubei.com and dianping.com, the leading consumer review site.

e.Q&A site
Site like baidu zhidao, tianya wenba, sina iask has large user base, they also enjoy high ranking in search engine.

f.Video sharing site
Create video on tudou.com, youku.com, 6.com, video.sina.com, etc.

g.Forum
identify top industrial forums and follow the conversation actively there. Forum is still the most used social media in China.

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