Digital Marketing Still Has a Long Way to Go in China

on December 15 2014 | in Digital Trends | by | with No Comments

digital marketing, China, e-commerce, m-commerce, social media, WeChat, Weibo

A global survey has found that marketers in China have the least faith in digital marketing in the Asia-Pacific region.

The survey was conducted by California-based Adobe Systems Inc. and the global executive network CMO Council, reports China Daily. Eight hundred marketing executives from the Asia-Pacific region, which includes Australia, were surveyed over a period of six months.

Of the Chinese marketers surveyed, 87 percent “exhibited faith in the competitive advantage created by digital marketing,” which includes marketing campaigns on websites, mobile devices, social media, and other digital platforms. In the rest of the Asia-Pacific region, 92 percent of marketers on average exhibited the same faith in digital marketing.

The gap in digital marketing between China and the rest of the region should come as a surprise because, as of July of this year, China has the world’s largest internet population with 632 million internet users. Of those 632 million, 527 million accessed the internet through a mobile device.

Despite this huge number of mobile internet users in China, only 33 percent of those surveyed felt that “the proliferation, appeal and capability of mobile devices are driving the acceptance of digital marketing.”

What’s more, the survey found that Chinese companies fall well behind in hiring enough employees that are capable of analyzing their customers’ online data. In fact, only 9 percent of companies in China hired enough experienced digital marketing employees for that purpose. The Asia-Pacific average was 15 percent, whereas in Australia, the top-ranked company in this category,  26 percent of companies were found to have hired proper digital marketing talent.

However, Chinese marketers shouldn’t be discouraged. “No country is truly taking advantage of the huge amounts of data they are collecting,” said CMO Council’s VP of marketing Liz Miller. This is in spite of countries such as Australia, India, and Singapore pouring money into analytical and reporting technologies.

Adobe’s president for the Asia-Pacific region, Paul Robson, emphasized that companies in the areas of online retailing, travel and leisure, airlines, hospitality, and banking have been the most enthusiastic in their embrace of digital marketing. He singled out Air China as an example of one company that’s doing digital marketing right, noting that the airline provides personalized content to customers based on data collected, including travel information and commercials.


image credit: Adam Fagen

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