China Marketing Weekly: Is Content Marketing Enough To Make A Travel Business Successful In China?
Have you, perhaps, heard people discussing Valentine’s lately? Hey, did we somehow miss half a year? Not exactly, as the special day is celebrated on the 7th day of 7th month on the Chinese lunar calendar, which is this Friday. The brands in China wouldn’t, of course, miss an opportunity to sell more! Read more below.
This week we also talk about a very special Chinese textbook for foreigners, Starbucks teaming up with Alibaba, and a Chinese travel company that mastered content marketing.
Oh, by the way, have you noticed we got a new writer on board? Lu-Hai wrote that piece on innate advantages foreign brands have in China last week (catch up!) and is back this week with another story!
On The Blog
What does it take for a travel company to make over 100 million RMB in yearly revenue in China? This week, Lu-Hai discusses Zanadu, a high-end travel service provider, that win over Chinese consumers’ hearts with lots of great content, both online and offline. - Read more here
Summertime Valetine’s Day
Chinese are getting ready to celebrate Valentine’s Day, or Qixi (七夕). Or rather the brands in China are. As all the other festivals in China, it’s highly commercialized, and as it turns out everything can be advertised as a dreamy present for your loved ones. Burberry rolled out a limited series of handbags. Bike sharing app, Mobike, asks you first thing in the morning if you’re spending it alone or with someone else, and offers relevant discounts.
But my personal favourite: Tiffany’s just put a pile of the legendary blue boxes in front of the most bourgie shopping centers in Nanjing. But that’s not it! They also opened a pop-up cafe offering “Daily Love Specials”, such as Power Of Love drink. No pressure, Chinese boyfriends, no pressure at all!
Airbnb’s “first-ever sleepover” at The Great Wall of China didn’t work out. The company announced a contest that would allow a happy winner to spend a luxurious night at China’s most recognizable spot. However, it first received a backlash from Weibo users who decided it was disrespectful to Chinese history, and then was cancelled as the cultural department responsible for The Great Wall decided the event is not in line with its historical preservation approach. - Read more (English)
“The Story of Yanxi Palace” breaks a record of 530 million views this week. The drama is a recent hit of iQiyi, one of the biggest video-streaming platforms in China, and helps it position itself as the Netflix of China. The final episode will be streamed on August 28 - I’d love to see what are the ad fees. - Read more (English)
Alibaba rolls out an all-in-one membership card for its entire ecosystem. The 88VIP card covers services like food delivery by Ele.me, shopping on Taobao and Tmall, movie tickets by Taopiaopiao, video-streaming platform Youku, and more. Depending on a member value, the card costs 88 or 888 RMB. - Read more (English)
I wonder when Chinese companies will ever come out of ideas for keeping users in their super-apps.
Alibaba releases a Chinese textbook for foreign businessmen to help them communicate in China. It’s called “Business Chinese in 50 sentences” (商务中文50句) and is divided into three levels: 4, 6 and 8. It’s shipped worldwide charge free and will soon be translated to French, Korean, German and other languages. Will you give it a try? It’ll certainly teach you how to say the shampoo is silicone-free! - See more pictures and a video (in Chinese)
China’s household loans go up, becoming an obstacle for consumption in the country. It’s a classic “lipstick effect” when consumers prefer buying small and cheaper stuff and withhold bigger expenses (read more in English). So, on one hand, we have media shouting about Chinese Millennials who spend more and more and demand luxury; on the other, we clearly see consumers in China who have reasons to worry about their future, and therefore go back to their parents’ habit of saving.
China’s become the biggest overseas market for Japanese brand Uniqlo, delivering 70% of the company’s overseas revenue. The brand positions itself as a higher-quality competitor of Zara or H&M, and does a good job keeping up with the Chinese “New Retail” model. - Read more (English)
Blockchain technology is finally securing its position in China. With many obstacles on its way, Chinese cities set up blockchain-related investment funds. Beijing, for example, focuses on cryptocurrencies and Shanghai on to the application of the technology. But cities such as Nanjing, Shenzhen or Hangzhou do not stay behind, becoming a hub for many startups. - Read more (English)
So far, companies in the industry have been banned from advertising on Baidu and social platforms. But with the wind changing recently, we’re hoping for the change in the field, too.
Google in China?
Google might be coming back to China. They’ll need to figure out how to grab market share, so they might cooperate with Tencent, a giant of gaming and social media in China. - Read more (Chinese)
There really is a lot of news about Google’s re-entry out there. My opinion is that Google can win big, and that could result in a big change for marketing in China. We’ll have our say about it next week.