In part one of “Marketing to the Chinese Consumer,” we outlined some of the challenges faced when developing an online presence along with the best avenues in social networks. Now here in part two, we’ll look more closely at the potential of mobile marketing.

As the number one market for smartphones,Chinais a great place to reach consumers via wireless devices. Today’s Chinese shoppers access the Internet from their mobile handsets for shopping more than desktop based e-commerce and brick and mortar retailers combined.

While tactics should be adapted to this consumer, it is without a doubt that mobile marketing has great potential for any business selling to Chinese shoppers.

Mobile Marketing is Taking Off in China

Here are some stats that reveal why mobile marketing is exploding inChina:

  • Chinahas over 1 billion total mobile phones in active use
  • 200 million of these are smartphone users
  • 60 percent of those users are accessing the Internet solely through a wireless device
  • Over half of the mobile users in the Asian-Pacific region are inChina
  • By 2014,Chinais expected to become the second largest digital ad market in the world

Location-based applications are just starting to pop up in the market and offer new consumer marketing opportunities targeting specific locales.  These types of applications aim to have a similar impact on the Chinese market such as Facebook or Foursquare “check-ins.”

For example, the Chinese site Dianping allows users to search nearby restaurants or entertainment options then receive coupons. Some expect location-based apps to grow over 50 percent by 2015.  For an advertiser, these applications are a treasure trove for data by offering vast information about consumers such as their preferences and spending habits.

The most recent data from eMarketer in the article “Worldwide, More Money Goes Mobile” shows that growth in mobile ad spending inChina grew 138 percent.

However, Freeborder’s research shows that only 20 percent of the multinational companies marketing inChinaare actually utilizing the opportunities offered by mobile marketing.

The way to attract the Chinese consumer is to develop and implement an integrated marketing strategy utilizing multiple touch points. The device  ̶  the direct gateway to the consumer   ̶   needs to be at the center of this marketing strategy.

Marketing campaigns in the past year showed that the Chinese consumer is not only tech savvy, but also appreciates a little creativity. Vancl, an online Chinese clothing brand, has used this to their advantage by creating easily Photoshopped ads. Last year the e-commerce clothing brand created a poster featuring local celebrities against a white background.  The headline read “I am just like you.”

On the site Douban.com, one ofChina’s largest online creative communities, a group popped up to create spoofs of this single ad, and over 2,800 unique posters have been made to date.  The ads are “spoofed” by any number of consumers building online buzz for the company. Not only is this company creating a single ad, but they’re also creating a culture of sharing and participating with their brand.

The Original

The Spoof

Winning Combination for 2013: Business Intelligence and Creativity

The bottom line remains the same in 2013: Companies need to adapt to the behaviors, lifestyle preferences and consumption patterns of these consumers for their mobile marketing campaigns to be successful inChina.

Marketers now have one more tool through mobile channels to reach the consumer that also acts as a data source offering business intelligence. Companies can use this data to develop the strategy and creative for a successful, results-driven marketing campaign in this exploding marketplace.