Marketing Strategy For China: Building A Brand For A Chinese Audience中国的市场研究

How can you adapt in order to really make a connection with your Chinese audience? How do you build or refine your marketing strategy for the Chinese market? In this article, we’ll show you how!

Research About The Chinese Market As you may have heard before: the Chinese market is special. It’s not just the culture; the whole environment is unique. Building a marketing strategy is a learning process. Understanding the market you are targeting is the first, and therefore the most crucial step in the process. Overview of the Chinese market Understanding the Chinese market is no easy task. However, they are some key facts you must know about the digital environment and the consumers that inhabit it. China Is A Digital Economy As the West is increasingly coming to realize, the Chinese market is now digitalized, and marketers need to be aware of this fact when building a marketing strategy for China. Mostly Mobile According to a January 2021 report by Hootsuite, 96.3% of the Chinese population owns a mobile phone. Around 1.61 billion mobile connections cover 111.8% of the population. On the other hand, only 50.2% of Chinese consumers own a computer. Therefore, it can be safely said that the Chinese market is primarily mobile. A Connected Population About 70.4% of the Chinese population had used the Internet in December 2020, up from 64.5% in March 2020 - an increase in penetration of 5% in only 9 months! The Chinese market is clearly evolving fast, and becoming increasingly connected. Also in 2020, digitally-enabled payment transactions reached a total of US$ 901.7 million, with digital ride-hailing services accounting for US$ 237.8 million, and online food delivery orders for US$ 410.8 million. Rural Areas Are Catching Up Nor is this trend restricted to urban areas. China has a significant rural population, representing 39% of the total, or 552 million people as recorded in 2019. Since 2014, rural areas have seen increases in internet users of 43%, reaching 285 million people in June 2020. Social Media Is Widely Used In China China counts 930.8 million active users on social media, an increase of 12.9% year-on-year. A typical Chinese user has 7.4 social media accounts on average, and is spending around 2 hours and 4 minutes per day on social media platforms. Social media is therefore an important part of the Chinese consumer journey. The most used platforms are WeChat (73.2%), Sina Weibo (47.1%) , Kuaishou (45.1&%) and Douyin (41.1%). In addition to spending more and more time on various platforms, users are searching for products and answers. In 2020, 34.3% of online search was conducted via social media. WeChat, the main social platform WeChat is the most popular social media platform in China, boasting 1.21 billion active monthly users in November 2021, or 19.9% of the entire Chinese population. Each quarter, WeChat welcomes 7 million new active users. WeChat – or Weixin in Chinese - is undisputedly the main platform in China. Over time, it has become more than a social media application. In 2011, it released its own payment app, navigation system, and various Mini Programs, and continues to evolve to this day. Tencent, the original developer of WeChat, has recently added Mini Stores and Live Streaming features to its existing line-up of services. Sina Weibo Sina Weibo is a microblogging website released in 2009 that garnered 511 million monthly active users in December 2020 and is currently experiencing annual growth of 14 million active users. Understanding Chinese consumers It is vital to understand Chinese consumers when preparing a marketing plan for China, although admittedly this is challenging. China is a growing economy, buoyed by a recent raise in wages and distinguished by a unique set of purchase drivers. China: A Booming Economy The average salary increase of a Chinese worker in 2020 was 3.6%, among the highest the world. During the last decade, Chinese consumers have seen a continuous increase in purchasing power and are increasing their spending levels accordingly. As recently as 10 years ago, most urban-dwelling Chinese consumers had only just enough money to cover their basic daily needs. The same households nowadays are among society’s well-to-do. China as a whole is now an upper-middle-class country, which has experienced 400% overall increase in average household income between 2002 and 2012. Therefore, the Chinese retail market is an attractive target for brands that are prepared to research how their preferences and tastes differ, and in particular the drivers of their purchasing behavior. Key Purchase Drivers In China What influences Chinese people most when looking for products? According to a KPMG report published in 2020 about purchasing behavior post Covid-19, Chinese consumers are mostly concerned with “value for money” when deciding to purchase goods or services (63%). In second place on the list of key influencing factors is “ease of purchase” (42%), closely followed by “trust in the brand” (41%) which they have developed over time. The Chinese Retail Market By Group / Persona Customer segmentation is the process of organizing customers into categories based by common characteristics. They are many different ways to segment, such as location, age, and income. We chose to highlight 8 different consumer segments, grouped by habits and interest. Millennials Chinese Millennials: A Key Economic Segment Millennials (i.e. those aged between 18 and 30 years old) account for more than 350 million Chinese consumers. They are therefore a significant force behind the Chinese economy, and they are growing - at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11%. In 2021, Millennials are expected to represent 69% of total consumption and, according to Goldman Sachs, their combined spending is expected to grow by US$ 3 trillion in the next decade In other words, millennials are a very lucrative segment for marketers who can successfully target them. Winning Over Chinese Millennials Digitally savvy and attracted by luxury goods, Chinese Millennials are natural mobile shoppers. They are heavy users of online media, dividing their time between social apps, short video platforms, and mobile games. When making purchase decisions, they are strongly influenced by peer recommendations. They tend to put their trust in word-of-mouth marketing, including opinions expressed by influencers / KOLs via social media and livestreams. In terms of the type of products that interest them, they are attracted by a healthy lifestyle pursuits and travel experiences, and have a preference for premium goods and services. Furthermore, they are looking for products that are personalized and have a sense of uniqueness to them. Red, Douyin and Weibo are all platforms that can be used to communicate with Chinese Millennials. According to Matthieu David-Experton, CEO at Daxue Consulting, while Gen Z is looking for “playfulness”, Millennials are more concerned with “authenticity”. GEN Z What is the Gen Z generation? Generation Z refers to those born between between 1996 and 2010. Its members value freedom and flexibility. They are social media addicts and ultra-connected, are their habits are shaped by the technology they have grown up with. Gen Z is expected to represent 27% of the population by 2025. What is Gen Z interested in? Gen Z tend to spend most frequently on what interests and entertains them. They are influenced by their idols and KOLs, and love to try new products, and in particular niche products. They are major consumers of new skin-care and health solutions. According to Kevin Yi, researcher at Alarice and Chozan, Gen Z consumers spend a large portion of their free time watching animations. They are therefore big fans of Japanese-style cartoons, and traditional Chinese designs with striking colors. The “Silver-Haired” Generation China’s “Silver-Haired” refers to seniors above the age of 50. These consumers are open to new technologies and have more leisure time to have experiences, build social connections and pursue new opportunities. Most of them use social applications (64.7%), and as such they represent a fast-growing segment of internet users in China. They are mostly interested in purchasing home appliances, health supplements, travel, insurance and financial products. Middle-Aged Men Middle-aged men refers to those aged 30 and 50 years-old. Compared with their female counterparts, they have stronger preferences, and tend to be more curious about brands and products. They are mainly interested in “3C” products (Computer, Communication and Consumer Electronics), home appliances, and auto accessories. In Q1 of 2020, men between the ages of 36 and 45 were buying more cosmetic products than those in the 26-35 segment (55.6% versus 52.1%). Power Women In China, women are responsible for ¾ of household purchasing decisions. In addition to being well-educated, they also have more personal and financial freedom than in former years. Therefore, these “Power Women” comprise a notable segment among the Chinese consumer base. SuperMoms & SuperDads Over the last few years, Chinese parents have become less price-sensitive and have tended towards buying trendier products. This group represents 300 million active online users, and has a propensity for purchasing via e-commerce channels. Their main purchases are children’s clothing, food supplements, educational, high-tech, and fitness-related products. Pet Lovers The market for Pet Products is a growing one in China, and is increasing each year by 18.5%. In 2019, the value of the Pet Product market reached 202.4 billion RMB, and is expected to reach 472.3 billion RMB in 2023. Pet owners are responsive to products that have been “showcased” by other pet owners with their own animals. They are willing to spend money to provide the best for their pets, even to the point of purchasing items that would be considered ‘luxury’. Youth In Lower-Tier Cities 70% of new Taobao Users are coming from Tier-3 cities and below, with the main consumer group those born after 1995. These consumers are mainly interested in electric appliances, such as entertainment products. This group is also called the “Xiachen” market (下沉市场). Happy Singles Single people are buying more high-quality products than those in a relationship (75% versus 65%). They are also in general more willing to spend on recreational & outdoors activities, and eating out. Happy Singles are willing to pay for products in the upper quality range. Having a good understanding of the Chinese audience and its various groups is a vital step in planning about your strategy for China and building your brand’s story. Building A Marketing Strategy For The Chinese Ecosystem Creating Brand Awareness In China The Digital Marketing Funnel Converting a Chinese audience into customers is a funnel process:

  1. Awareness: The first step is brand discovery: people need to become aware that the brand exists!

  2. Interest: Having discovered the brand, their interest should increase over time. This creates curiosity about the brand’s universe and its products or services.

  3. Conversion: The audience member becomes a client after buying the products or using the services.

  4. Retention: At this stage, the brand wants to cultivate loyalty, which leads to customer re-purchasing, generating positive word-of-mouth marketing, and attracting new customers.

Reaching Chinese Consumers In The Digital Marketing Funnel According to a Hootsuite report from January 2021, Chinese consumers mostly discover new brands through word-of-mouth recommendations (24%), internet search (23.2%), brand or product websites, television advertisements (21.5%), consumer review websites (21.4%) and recommendations or comments on social media (21.1%). When researching brands they already know, Chinese consumers typically use search engines (36.1%), social networks (34.3%), product and brand websites (31.5%), consumer reviews (31.4%) and mobile apps (27.4%). Inbound Marketing In China: The Power Of Storytelling Capturing the Gen Z & Millennial segments The Importance Of Social Media As previously pointed out, the younger generations are technology-oriented and social media lovers. They acquire awareness brands via social media and are influenced by KOLs. Therefore, one way for brands to reach them is to develop a presence on social media by regularly posting quality content, curated for this specific audience. What Content Should You Share About? Gen Z and Millennials tend to look for personalized content, unique products and original stories. They are also big fans of anime. Stella Zhan, researcher at Chozan and Alarice, recommends that firms write “stories that resonate with [your audience], related to trending topics and use social media to talk to customers” and “catch their attention with vivid visual content”. As this generation is highly visual and focused on experiences, inbound marketing is speaking them quite loudly. Inbound marketing is an approach that attracts customers by creating targeted content and tailored experiences. The best way to create an inbound marketing strategy for a Chinese audience is to first plan your content in advance and then produce amazing content! According to Chozan, the most popular content is:

  • Entertaining

  • Interactive

  • Educational

Brands need to create more immersive experiences for users. This is done by using interactive elements, allowing users to be “inside the scene”. Short videos, amazing visuals, interactive content, and also emotional content – all help to draw the viewer in. If the content is timely and / or topical, so much the better. Social Commerce According to Investopedia, “Social Commerce” is defined as using networking websites, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as vehicles to promote and sell products and services. According to Chozan, Social Commerce is very popular in China; 33% of online shoppers spend at least some of their time on social. 50% of product are seen for the first time on social media, with 48% of consumers becoming interested in the product, and 26% proceeding to purchase it. Apparel, food and makeup are the top products that benefit from social media promotion. Contact Duhno To Build Your Inbound Marketing Strategy for China At Duhno, we help you define the strategy you should adopt for your Chinese audience. We create memorable stories and designs to make your brand’s character famous, and prepare him/her for licensing






根据Hootsuite 2021 年 1 月的一份报告,96.3% 的中国人口拥有手机。大约 16.1 亿移动连接覆盖了 111.8% 的人口。另一方面,只有 50.2% 的中国消费者拥有电脑。因此,可以肯定地说,中国市场主要是移动市场。


2020 年 12 月,约有70.4%的中国人口使用过互联网,高于 2020 年 3 月的 64.5%——渗透率仅在 9 个月内就增长了 5%!中国市场显然正在快速发展,并且变得越来越紧密。

同样在 2020 年,数字化支付交易总额达到9.017 亿美元,其中数字乘车服务占2.378 亿美元, 在线食品配送订单达到4.108 亿美元。


这种趋势也不仅限于城市地区。中国农村人口众多,占总人口的39%,2019 年为5.52 亿。自 2014 年以来,农村地区的互联网用户增长了 43%,到2020 年 6 月达到2.85 亿


中国社交媒体活跃用户达9.308亿,同比增长12.9%。一个典型的中国用户平均拥有7.4 个社交媒体账户,每天在社交媒体平台上花费约2 小时 4 分钟。因此,社交媒体是中国消费者旅程的重要组成部分。


除了在各种平台上花费越来越多的时间,用户也在寻找产品和答案。2020 年,34.3%的在线搜索是通过社交媒体进行的。


微信是中国最受欢迎的社交媒体平台,2021 年 11 月的月活跃用户数为12.1 亿中国总人口的19.9%。每个季度,微信都会迎来700 新的活跃用户。







2020年中国工人平均工资增长3.6%,位居世界前列。在过去十年中,中国消费者的购买力不断增强,消费水平也相应提高。就在 10 年前,大多数城市居民的中国消费者只有足够的钱来满足他们的基本日常需求。如今,同样的家庭也属于社会上的小康之列。

中国作为一个整体现在是一个中上阶层国家,2002 年至 2012 年间,中国家庭平均收入总体增长了400%




根据毕马威2020 年发布的关于 Covid-19 后购买行为的报告,中国消费者在决定购买商品或服务时最关心的是“物有所值”(63%)。在关键影响因素列表中排在第二位的是“易于购买”(42%),紧随其后的是“对品牌的信任”(41%),这是他们随着时间的推移而发展起来的。



我们选择突出 8 个不同的消费群体,按习惯和兴趣分组。



千禧一代(即 18 至 30 岁的人)占中国消费者的3.5 亿以上。因此,它们是中国经济背后的重要力量,并且正在以11% 的复合年增长率 (CAGR) 增长到 2021 年,千禧一代预计将占总消费的69%,据高盛称,未来十年他们的总支出预计将增长3 万亿美元



中国千禧一代精通数字技术并被奢侈品吸引,是天生的移动购物者。他们是网络媒体的重度使用者,将他们的社交应用,短视频平台和手机游戏之间的时间。在做出购买决定时,他们会受到同行推荐的强烈影响。他们倾向于信任口碑营销,包括影响者/KOL 通过社交媒体和直播表达的意见。



据当时的CEO马修大卫- Experton,大雪山咨询,而Z世代正在寻找“嬉闹”,千禧一代更关心的是“真实性”。



Z世代是指出生于1996年至2010年之间的人。其成员重视自由和灵活性。他们是社交媒体上瘾者,人脉极广,他们的习惯是否受到他们成长过程中的技术的影响。到 2025 年,Z 世代预计将占总人口的 27%。


Z 世代倾向于最频繁地花在他们感兴趣和娱乐的事情上。他们受偶像和KOL的影响,喜欢尝试新产品,尤其是小众产品。他们是新的护肤和健康解决方案的主要消费者。

根据Alarice and Chozan 的研究员 Kevin Yi 的说法, Z 世代消费者将大部分空闲时间花在观看动画上。因此,他们是日式卡通和色彩醒目的中国传统设计的忠实粉丝。





中年男性是指年龄在 30 岁和 50 岁之间的人。与女性同行相比,她们有更强的偏好,并且往往对品牌和产品更加好奇。