New data from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) shows enterprises are using a diverse set of marketing channels in order to reach their customers (Note: Linked study is in Mandarin). However, the study found digital marketing is the most used channel and mobile is a growing focus.
Out of the 3,000 companies surveyed, 38.7 percent are leveraging digital channels.
The majority of companies (83.3 percent) involved in internet marketing efforts are also incorporating mobile marketing efforts.
The most popular channel for mobile marketing is WeChat, a multifunctional social media app used for messaging, news, sharing content, and mobile payment. Three-quarters of companies have used this ubiquitous mobile app for marketing purposes.
Roughly half of the companies surveyed have an official mobile site (54 percent) and about 40 percent are leveraging search marketing specifically targeting mobile users.
Within digital marketing, enterprises are using different tactics and channels to get their messages to customers. The number one tactic, at 65.7 percent, is instant chat, which includes tools like QQ.
The data shows establishing or participating in an e-commerce platform is a growing tactic for internet marketers in China. Between 2015 and 2016, enterprise use of this medium grew 6.7 percent to 55.1 percent. Rounding out the top three digital marketing channels is search engine marketing (48.2 percent).
From a B2B perspective, the number of enterprises making business purchases online has doubled over the past two years, from 22.8 percent in 2014 to 45.6 percent in 2016.
This shows more enterprises are turning to the internet to both research and purchase goods and services, which underscores the need for B2B businesses to engage in digital marketing efforts.
Companies Are Investing More in WeChat Platform
The CNNIC data shows more companies are using WeChat as a marketing tool, and a 2016 report by Tencent Penguin Intelligence and China Academy of Information and Communications Technology found businesses already using WeChat plan to invest more in the platform.
WeChat boasts more than 700 million monthly active users and more than half of those users (61 percent) are opening the app 10 or more times each day.
More than 560,000 businesses have official WeChat accounts and as WeChat’s audience grows, businesses are not only establishing a presence on the platform, they are investing in it as well. More than 64 percent of the operators invested in their own public accounts, up from 53 percent last year.
The study found that regardless of the monetary investment, businesses intend to invest more in their account on the WeChat platform in 2017.