Unraveling the Dynamics of China’s Mobile Marketing Revolution
World’s Fastest Growing Brand, Tencent, Participated in MMA Singapore Forum 2014; Tencent Online Media Group President, SY Lau, Presented Opening Keynote Speech
|SY Lau, President of Online Media Group and Senior Executive Vice President at Tencent, delivering the opening keynote speech at MMA Forum Singapore 2014|
“100 years ago, the automobile became a symbol of the American industrial revolution. Today, mobile internet is transforming how and where people work, live, interact and consume in China,” said Mr. Lau.
“With the largest internet user base and the largest number of mobile netizens in the world, China is now pushing boundaries and leading change at the frontlines of the global mobile internet adoption. China has overtaken the US across multiple mobile growth metrics, in terms of the number of mobile internet users, mobile penetration and access to social media. Driven by government policies that ensure fast development towards 4G infrastructure, a growing ecosystem of new software applications and innovation advancements that drive down technology cost, the Mobile market in China is set to boom.”
Not just a Business Extension but a Disruptive Technology
“Mobile has overtaken PC Internet, TV, Print and Radio as the most important media, with consumers in
China spending over 40 percent of their time on the platform. Businesses to need to realize that Mobile
is not just an extension of business as usual, but is disrupting the way how and where people work, live, interact and consume. We need to break away from traditional approaches to business and
marketing and adopt a fresh perspective when developing new products and services,” Mr. Lau said.
Mobile has also taken on an integral role in the consumer’s purchase process as a decision-making tool,
with nearly 50 percent of Chinese mobile internet users using the platform to search for dining and entertainment information to support their purchase decisions. This demand has in turn driven the development of mobile lifestyle applications, such as Didi Dache – a leading taxi service app in China,
which meet consumers’ lifestyle needs.
The pervasiveness of mobile technologies has also changed consumers’ payment notions. Mr. Lau said
that Chinese consumers are now increasingly adopting mobile payment due to the convenience of
technologies such as QR-codes, and in the process, changing their traditionally conservative attitudes
towards payment methods.
Three Emerging Key Trends in Mobile Marketing
A senior business leader at Tencent, Asia’s biggest internet company, Mr. Lau oversees the company’s
business related to news portal, video site and Tencent microblog. In his speech, Mr. Lau also discussed
how marketing needs to evolve amidst these changes to focus on being an enabler, with a focus on
creating new cash points, to stay relevant and agile in responding to consumers throughout the
buying cycle as distribution becomes increasingly decentralized.
Mobile technologies have altered the way people connect with information, people and businesses. It is
disrupting the way they live and changing the role of marketing. With growing demand for utility-based
mobile services, brands need to go beyond simply persuading consumers to purchase a product and
instead take on the role as supporters and enablers by providing purchase recommendations and
offering a range of services. With advancements in data analytics, marketers can gain deeper insights
over consumer behavior and tailor their content according to the consumer’s age, gender and even
Mr. Lau highlighted that mobile has also altered the buying cycle, opening new opportunities for closeloop
marketing. As mobile continues its growth, the role of media in marketing is shifting from being
simply a channel for consumer touch-points to creating new cash points across the buying cycle. In
China, Tencent launched a campaign with Mercedes-Benz to offer automobile sales through Weixin (the
Chinese brand of the WeChat mobile app). In 3 minutes, 388 Smart cars were sold, 1,751 down
payments were made and 6,677 sales queries were received. With consumers using mobile internet as a
dominant source of information in their purchase decisions, Mobile technologies enable marketers to gather real-time information and intervene content distribution channels to drive faster purchase cycles.
At the same time, consumers are expecting tailored marketing content that cater to their personal preferences without intruding into their personal privacy. With the rise of omni-channel retailing, customers are looking for access to personal, consistent and convenient shopping experiences across multiple platforms. As a result, content distribution is becoming increasingly decentralized. Companies need to build their infrastructure and capabilities for greater agility to respond to real-time, mass-customization demands.
Mr. Lau commented, “Business leaders and marketers need to embrace the changes and tap into new opportunities that are emerging in the mobile revolution. The road ahead is not without challenges, but the opportunity for business growth is greater than the risks of ignoring the rising generation of digital natives that are living in a new Mobile age.”
Tencent was recently ranked by BrandZ as the world’s fastest growing brand in the world, represented by a 97 percent improvement in brand value. Tencent also tops the charts as the most valuable brand within Asia.
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