China Digital Trends, Year of the Rabbit Report - Zaheer Nooruddin
11 on ’11China DigitalCommunicationsTrends Year of thein theRabbit.Burson-Marsteller China.March 2011.Digital Insight Series.
20*10@ TigerThe year 2010 proved a milestone for digitalpenetration, communications, marketing andinnovation in China. With rich media stories such as the continued ascendancy of Renren and Kaixin001, the fevered speculation around Google‟s „exit‟ from China, the start of new social concepts such as Location- Based Services [LBS] and Group Shopping the coming of age of Social Media as a mainstream channel for communications and marketing in China was writ as de-facto by the end of 2010. Perhaps the most interesting trend was the phenomenal rise of Sina‟s microblogging platform – Weibo, leading to spectacular issues, online crises, rumors, gossip, and more dynamic ways for businesses to market and communicate.Looking back.
20*11@ RabbitMany companies in China still continue to strugglewith the new realities of the real-time “Social” Web. Socialtechnology advancements have so fast and furiously alteredthe landscape of corporate reputation, brand management,public relations and market influence.Burson-Marsteller‟s Corporate Social Media Study,published last November, revealed how large organizationsand multinationals, particularly, have yet to sustaincohesive strategies around Digital Engagement and Social.This is likely to change quickly over the next two years. If2009 and 2010 was a period of “digital foreplay” forcompanies at large, then 2011 and 2012 are pegged to bethe year of “digital embrace.”Evolving strategies andpresences.
*11@ Digital Embrace Defining future communications trends is never an easy task. Nowhere is this more true than on the world‟s largest and most dynamic internet market, with over 460 million internet users, actively participating and spending more time on the web than anywhere else.2011 promises to be an even more interesting year. Ofcourse, China is a vast country, filled with a diversity ofconsumer behavior and experience – from internationalmetropolis‟ like Shanghai and Beijing, to tier 2 and 3 cities.But there are predications we can safely make, based onour understanding of China‟s fascinating digitalcommunications landscapes. Zaheer Nooruddin Lead Digital Strategist firstname.lastname@example.orgNew technology adoption.
1.Presence re-activation According to Burson-Marsteller Asia-Pacific‟s 2010 Corporate Social Media Study, while many companies rushed to establish online presences in 2007 and 2008, more than half of these lapsed into inactivity. Below, you can see a screenshot of Sinopec‟s abandoned Sina Weibo presence.In 2011, re-activating lapsedpresences and launching new,more targeted ones bybusinesses will be a trend.Realizing that Social Media is here to stay, companies that firstadopted social media presences early on but without cohesivesocial strategies will try again.
2.InfographicsData visualization take center stage in how key information iscommunicated to stakeholders in 2011. Why? Because in aworld where information overload for customers, clients andcolleagues is a critical issue, nothing works better. Why use infographics?We know that the Internet has made the sharing of data andinformation easier than ever. Great, right? Well, not always.This onslaught of numbers, statistics and facts can leave somepeople more confused than when they started, meaning youlose their attention. Infographics visualize complex data,turning into a digestible byte, meaning that data is more likelyto affect change in an audience. In China‟s cluttered digitalinformation highway, standing out is the key to being heard-infographics can help do that.
3.Private social networksDogged by issues of data security and control, companies willincreasingly choose to invest in developing their owned socialweb sites within which to engage their audiences discreetly –retaining strategic control of the experience.P&G‟s “BeingGirl” social site, created to engage a young, femaleaudience around issues of beauty, have gone a long way toprove that private, branded social networks are a smart strategicbet for businesses.
4.Social-savvy execsLike their western peers, CEOs and executives in China willrealize the need to open and curate their own presences online –expect more sustained Executive Blogging than ever before in2011..And it looks like they‟re already on their way - 3 of the top 20, 5 ofthe top 30 and 10 of the top 50 microbloggers on Sina Weibo areexecutives.Google China‟s former CEO, Kai-Fu Lee, is widely known acrossChina, not as the president of Innovation Works, but also as afamous online personality. Lee is a popular personal blogger andmicroblogger- his microblog is ranked #9 on Sina Weibo. Lee alsoruns a popular website to help young Chinese people with theircareers in IT.
5.Networked mobilityThe rise of theSmartphone in China, byall projections, is set tobe staggering. Accordingto statistics fromEnfodesk by the end of2010, the number ofmobile Internet users inChina had grown nearly19% from the sameperiod in 2009, reaching288 million; the market isnow valued at over RMB63.7 billion.As more consumers connect to the net via mobile and use apps toshare and connect, more opportunities for targeted messaging andpervasive experiences by businesses will be available then everbefore. Ericsson projects this number exploding to 800 million by2015.
6.Online presence integrationThis year, those companies that have been worked hard atbuilding their social footprint will finally integrate thesechannels with their corporate presences. SNS pages andexternally hosted blogs will become increasingly visible oncorporate websites. Who wins? Everyone. The online shopping site Taobao makes it simple to share your recent purchases with your network through various social media - showing your friends what brands and products you support.
7.Social searchPaid search and technical SEO is just a step in the battle forcontent visibility online. Companies will understand this point andinvest more in targeting audiences via the seeding of digitalmessaging wherever they live online - in SNS and forums.The potential and power of searching for information in real-timeusing the social web has recently been thrust into China‟sspotlight as netizens tapped into social networks to reunitemissing children with their parents. Dr. Yu Jianrong, a professorof the Chinese Academy of Social Science, set up a Sinamicroblog account encouraging netizens to post photos ofmissing and young beggars. To date, the microblog has posted1,000 photos, gained 100,000 followers and reunited six childrenwith their families.
8.Location-based commsTencent and Sina‟s services. With Nokia‟s 250 million Chinacustomers and the influence of Tencent and Sina on Chinesenetizens, this is sure to grow the power of LBS in China. Today, there are around 30 location-based service (LBS) companies on the Chinese web.And, according to Analysys International, by the end of Q3 2010,these sites claimed between three and four million active users.As location-based networks grow, companies will marketproducts using these platforms and services – adding relevanceto their marketing campaigns like never before.A relative newcomer to the LBS scene is qieke.com, a rebrandedtravel site, which is currently compatible with iOs, Symbian andAndroid phones. Qieke has partnered with more than 100brands, including Lenovo and Starbucks, to offer special dealsand discounts for users who check-in to certain locations.According to the company, the site already has 1 million users,100,000 of which are active.
9.Social CommerceAccording to CNNIC, the number of online shoppers in Chinaincreased by nearly 50% in 2010 to 160 million users. Scienceand Technology Daily pegs group sales in China is already a RMB409 million industry. The convergence of social networking and shopping began last year with China‟s largest e-commerce portals developing social networking features. As of June 2010, only 6% of these buyers were using group buying services, but 80% had plans toFast to adapt: Renren. China‟s try them in the future.largest social network, quickly moved Social commerce,to introduce “group shopping” driven by groupfeatures. Having launched in March shopping, will gain inof last year, Taobao‟s group shopping 2011.site, ju.taobao.com, had sold overRMB 200 million worth of products toover 5 million users. Perhaps the We‟re just beginning tomost striking sale of the year was see the power and scalewhen the site sold 205 Mercedes- of group buying in theBenz Smart Cars in just 3 ½ hours. China market.
10.Mobile “domain”ation According to CNNIC‟s February 2011 statistics, 66% of China‟s 457 million Internet users accessed the web via mobile phones. With the ascendance of the Mobile Experience as a primary enabler of influence, communications and marketing, companies will begin to stake their claims on customer attention by seriously investing in mobile web strategic presences like never before. One company that is an early adopter of the Mobile Web is Ctrip.com, a travel planning site. Ctrip launched the mobile version of its website, m.ctrip.com, in April of last year. The new site allows users to easily book flights and hotels across China through their mobile device. Continuing its commitment to mobile options, Ctrip officially launched three application options for users - Google and Nokia apps can be downloaded directly from the site, while the iPhone app is available on the App Store.
11.Better Intel & Analytics Fueled by the adoption of smarter online monitoring and intelligence services, companies will for the first time in 2011 take charge of their online analytics, measuring digital programs against ROI in more meaningful ways in the bargain. CIC, a provider of social media intelligence, has teamed up in November with Sina Weibo to leverage the incredible amount and quality of content on the microblog. The partnership “is expected to lead to new models and methodologies to bring value to enterprises via social media intelligence and analysis.”
11Digital CommsTrends. Presence re-activation Infographics Private networks Social-savvy execs Networked mobility Presence integration Social search Location-based comms Social commerce Mobile “domain”ation Better analytics
Sources1. Presence Reactivation• Burson-Marsteller Asia Pacific‟s 2010 Corporate Social Media Study http://www.slideshare.net/bursonmarstellerchina/bursonmarsteller-asiapacific-social-media- study5. Networked Mobility• Tencent Digital: http://digi.tech.qq.com/a/20110214/001092.htm7. Social Search• The Age: http://www.theage.com.au/world/chinese-parents-tap-into-social-media-in-search- for-missing-children-20110210-1aojm.html8. Location-based Comms• Wall Street Journal: http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2010/12/22/checking-in-china-sees- rush-of-foursquare-imitators/• Tech Crunch: http://techcrunch.com/2010/02/23/location-based-services-revenue/• Penn-Olson: http://www.penn-olson.com/2011/01/30/nokia-sina-tencent-location-based- service-in-china/9. Social Commerce• Marbridge Consulting: http://www.marbridgeconsulting.com/marbridgedaily/2010-11- 05/article/40556/cnnic_china_has_140_mln_group_buying_site_users• China Internet Watch: http://www.chinainternetwatch.com/843/taobaos-juhuasuan/ ;• China Daily: http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2011-01/20/content_11888955.htm• Science and Technology Daily: http://www.stdaily.com/kjrb/content/2011- 01/12/content_265267.htm• CNN: http://www.cnngo.com/shanghai/shop/taobao-sells-205-benzes-just-over-three- hours-65363810. Mobile “domain”ation• China Internet Watch: http://www.chinainternetwatch.com/926/china-internet-users-2011/• China Hospitality News: http://www.chinahospitalitynews.com/en/2010/04/06/15851-ctrip- com-launches-mobile-website/• Pacific Epoch: http://pacificepoch.com/china-investment-research/sector/hotels-and- travel/articles/ctrip-releases-new-look-mobile-booking/11. Intel & Analytics• CIC blog: http://www.seeisee.com/sam/2010/12/01/p2741Net Trends Usage statistics: China Internet Watch
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DigiTrendSpotting. For further information on China‟s 11 Digital Trends for 2011, please contact: Zaheer Nooruddin Director, Lead Digital Strategist Burson-Marsteller (Greater China) 86.1471603.0394 Email: email@example.com Twitter: @BMDigitalChina Chris Deri CEO & Market Leader Burson-Marsteller China 8610.5816.2678 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @Chris.Deri
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