Why is Word of Mouth Marketing So Important in China?

August 21, 2019

When measuring the effectiveness of a marketing effort the prevalent notion is that three factors form the foundation of a successful marketing campaign: Reach, Resonance, and Reaction. Reach the right audience and ensure your message resonates positively so you can generate the desired reaction. Make sense, but in China, this is not true. In fact, more than 30% of all marketing campaigns in China don’t work – “they don’t generate awareness or drive any lift in purchase intent,” as found by Nielsen global trust in advertising report (China data).

While there is not one simple rule for maximizing marketing effectiveness in a such complex market, understanding how consumers feel about the branded content served on the various media platforms they use every day is a good starting point. As consumers are in control of how they consume content and interact with brands more than ever, understanding how messages resonate across channels is the only way to drive memorability and brand lift in today’s China successfully.

‍According to Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising report, in China the most credible source of information about brands/products are the people consumers know and trust. More than eight-in-10 Chinese consumers (85%) of those interviewed by Nielsen say they trust the recommendations of friend and family. Moreover, more than two-thirds (68%) of respondents say they trust consumers opinion posted on social media. These findings reaffirm the observations made by McKinsey China’s new pragmatic consumers report when it states: “In China peer-to-peer recommendations has become the most significant source of product information, thanks largely to fast-growing penetration of the Internet and social media usage.”

When analyzing the sources of information where Chinese consumers search to find inspiration for their purchases, Pwc’s Global Consumers Insights Survey 2018 found that Social networks are the upmost preferred source of information where Chinese consumers browse for inspiration for their purchases. Chinese consumers trust the wisdom of the crowd. Consistently, these findings suggest that opinions and recommendations on social media platforms – posted by friend and strangers alike – have far more influence on Chinese consumers’ purchase decisions than other factors that brands and retailers can control, such as advertising, promotion, and pricing.

Recognizing the importance of social media and peer-to-peer recommendations, major online retailers and social channels have invested heavily to create upgraded retail ecosystems where consumers’ voices come to play a more central role and social media and eCommerce blend. These investment and efforts have resulted in the emergence of new concepts such as: “New retail” and “Social commerce.” Both concepts gravitate around a robust consumer-centric approach where people are no longer viewed only as consumers but also in the role of brand’s co-producers.

While this offers brand owners significant opportunities, it also brings significant challenges, such as finding ways to stimulate consumer’s needs, identifying look-alike consumers and turning consumers into micro-brand-advocates who effectively co-create the brand.

To win in today’s China, marketers must understand the forces that drive consumption and be able to activate and manage those forces in a measurable and scalable way. 

How can 评价达人 help?

At 评价达人, we have created an end-to-end solution that enables our partners to engage sub-segments of our community of social media savvy consumers with turnkey product sampling programs to build trust and drive sales. Our social activation solutions make it possible for our clients to First, seed their products into the hands of their ideal consumers. Second, spark social media interactions in the form to UGC (User Generated Content), essentially turning those consumers into micro-ambassadors for the brand. Third, build trust, drive awareness, and boost sales.

Over the last three years, 评价达人 has nurtured a large network of pre-qualified social media savvy consumers, who love sharing their brand experience with their peers online and offline. Our end-to-end campaign management and fulfillment services with advance targeting capabilities have helped dozens of brands to leverage the power of peer-to-peer recommendations to boost their performance in China.