Our research shows that 80% of Mainland Chinese tourists to Hong Kong have already made their purchasing decisions before travel to the city – largely influenced by advertisements and promotions seen on social platforms.
This is important for Hong Kong marketers to address, as the largest, and arguably most important, consumer group for local businesses is Chinese tourists from the Mainland.
The best way to target these tourists before their trip should be to embrace China’s significant internet culture. China now boasts over 705 million internet users (as of 2015) . 90% of these are logging on by their smartphones. It is apparent then that the best way to reach Chinese consumers is through their mobile screens.
The number of online shoppers is growing in China, up 3.5% year-over-year) at the end of 2015, accounting for RMB 3,800 billion (up 37.2% YoY) in sales. Moreover, a recent global survey on digital ad spend showed that investing in social platforms is seven times more effective than traditional TV platforms. However, according to the same survey, brands are only spending between 1 – 1.5% of marketing budgets advertising online.
China offers enormous potential to brands, it can also be very overwhelming, with the interests and needs of people from different parts of the country often varying enormously. Hong Kong marketers face a number of complications when trying to engage consumers in China.
First of all, many Chinese people do not read or understand Traditional Chinese or English, requiring a specialised outreach program. Secondly, brands may also need to employ different, more recognisable ambassadors or celebrity endorsements for a Mainland audience compared to Hong Kong.
Thirdly, consumers in these two markets have vastly different shopping habits, using a wide range of mobile apps and shopping websites, which are often fast changing. Finally, the sheer size of China makes it a difficult market to crack. Marketers find that it is difficult to cut through the noise and reach potential customers.
To win in China, Hong Kong marketers are advised to work with a partner that has good local insight in China, and can offer a strong network and solutions:
A good partner should be entrenched with the most up-to-date statistics and trends on user behavior, and can provide your brand with local insights can help in designing a more relevant marketing plan that offers a more appropriate approach to the market or any specific segment. .
A partner with diverse channels and a large audience base enables brands greater opportunities to reach their target audiences, even niches, and will help clients develop sales opportunities and contacts, based on referrals and introductions.
It has been proven that Chinese consumers enjoy engaging personally with brands. Partners should help brands to develop promotional materials in different formats appropriate for delivery through different channels, to win their loyalty and business in long run.
A great partner can offer a comprehensive suite of products and services tailored to address their clients’ needs for best practices, advice, and professional services that secure, optimize, manage and accelerate businesses.
With the global mobile advertising market set to surpass US$100 billion in spending for the first time, it has never been more important for Hong Kong marketers to utilise mobile for marketing, and select a partner for best results.