- 76% of marketers venturing into e-commerce
- Video, search ads, and WeChat are highest ranking digital platforms
Shanghai, May 2014 – According to a recent digital media survey, 83% of China’s marketers plan to increase digital spending- with the average planned spending on digital marketing in 2014 up by 9% since last year to reach an average of RMB 25.3 million.
Out of those surveyed, more than a quarter of marketers plan to spend above RMB 50 million on digital marketing in this year. “Digital plays the most important role in every marketer’s plan in 2014”, says Fora Liu, Senior Consultant for R3. “Marketing teams and their agencies are coming under increased pressure to squeeze even greater value from their offline spending while funding more digital activity,” she adds.
The results come from a fourth annual joint China Digital Media Survey by consulting firms R3 and AdMaster. The companies reached out to over 300 digital marketing professionals from China’s leading international and domestic brands to gain greater insight into the digital media trends and digital ROI measurement challenges facing marketers in 2014.
CLOSING THE GAP BETWEEN EXPECTATIONS AND OUTCOMES FOR DIGITAL
74% of marketers expressed overall confidence in their digital outcomes, though the percentage is 10% lower than 2013. Many marketers voiced concerns regarding the failure of current evaluation KPIs to meet digital expectations. 93% of those surveyed highlight the need for third party monitoring, while 94% call for third party analysis and consulting.
“Just 17% of marketers believe that the current evaluation of KPIs meet expectations,” shares Ms. Liu. “This confirms that there is a growing need for new KPIs for better evaluation.”
RECALIBRATING THE WEIBO & WECHAT STRATEGY
Marketer perceptions of Sina Weibo have begun to shift from an interactive platform to an information platform, with 80% of advertisers thinking of Weibo as the billboard in digital media marketing. Now, only 26% of advertisers see the main role of Weibo as an interaction medium with consumers. 52% of marketers also pointed out that WeChat proves to be a challenging platform for reaching enough target consumers. As marketers run up against the difficulty of converting impressions into direct sales, the need for precise audience targeting and content generation will be the direction of future trends.
“Social media campaigns are hungry for more innovation in both model and content. We’ve been seeing fan participation and engagement drop in the past year, and we’re hearing marketers begin to put more weight on quality evaluation over greater quantity,” says Vincent Yan, AdMaster CEO.
LAUNCHING INTO E-COMMERCE
E-commerce is on the forefront of the agenda for most marketers, with 80% of respondents launching e-commerce on mainstream platforms and 11% of opening their own online shops. Finding that third party e-commerce platforms enjoy higher ROI over brand-owned platforms, marketers cite JD.com and Tmall as the e-commerce platforms of choice. According to survey responses, the contribution of e-commerce can vary anywhere between 3% and 40% of total sales volume. Though e-commerce departments do not yet exist independent to marketing teams, more and more marketers intend to invest more in e-commerce in the future.
AN ONGOING PARTNERSHIP FOR DIGITAL MEDIA ACCOUNTABILITY
In 2011, R3 and AdMaster began a partnership with the goal of helping marketers fully leverage their digital marketing spends. While AdMaster brings a proven technology solution against click fraud to the table, R3 provides digital cost analysis derived from survey results and actual spend data from hundreds of marketers on a scale unmatched in China. Leveraging AdMaster’s unique “dual cookie technology” for online tracking, in combination with R3’s experience in Cost Benchmarking media in China, their focus is on driving greater results for marketers and providing a comprehensive auditing solution for clients.
These four charts are taken from Hurun Reports latest published “2014 China Luxury Traveler Report” [Read full report: download here]. It is interesting to see that Internet and social media are the channels Chinese HNWI are using most frequently and are very persuasive. Also there is a rising trend of WeChat and game usage. Is social games that can be virally shared via WeChat and SNS be a good way consumer communication?