Why would you take your B2B marketing all the way to China? Well, there is an ongoing transformation happening throughout the country that has been underway for a long time. It has an enormous sales market (1,5 billion inhabitants) with a steadily growing middle class.
It definitely represents an interesting chance to see how your products or services could win over Chinese hearts.
However, there’s an old saying that goes: “Look before you leap”. B2B marketing in China takes time and research. That’s why we’re happy to help you on your way with these useful tips from Mike Golden, Global Marketing Director at Brandigo China. Our personal Lonely Planet for a carefree B2B adventure in China.
7 tips for your B2B marketing trip to China
1. Sounds like Chinese to you? Perfect.
The people of China are proud people, and prefer to read your information in their own language, xie xie! Brochures, Whitepapers, name tags and even your company name: make sure they are all available in Mandarin.
2. Use your network
Do you know companies, partners, friends or even family with ties to China? Use them! Listen to their experiences and learn from them.
This is what we have been able to do, thanks to working together with Brandigo for years through our E3-network.
3. Leave politics out of it
In China, the government has a bit more to say about communication than over here. Don’t just do whatever you like, or you might be removed from the ether.
Lists with banned words and message are the rule, rather than the exception. They’re not really keen on humour, either.
4. Social media; no to Facebook, yes to WeChat
Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are blocked in China. Take care to use the right, local channels. Douyin (TikTok) and Weibo (Twitter) are hot. But it’s WeChat that takes the biscuit.
WeChat is best compared to a combination of Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and your banking app. This super-app is hyper popular in the big cities (1.24 billion users). This makes it definitely worth adding into your media-plan.
5. Tradition and personality
Even though digital tools like WeChat are growing in popularity, traditional media still performs well. Classic specialist media and ads still reach a whole lot of people. Figure out (together with your local partner) which channels do well within your industry.
Trust and personal contact also play a huge role in China. Pay close attention to trade fairs and networking moments. It’s the opportunity to get to know your customers and colleagues in your industry.
6. Look out for the Great Firewall!
Though not as ancient as that other Great Wall, it’s just as painful to bump into. That’s why prevention is better than the cure:
- Make your website user friendly, use a clear structure.
- Have your website monitored in China, otherwise you might have slow access.
- Do you have Facebook, Twitter or YouTube API’s built into your website? Your website might not load in China.
- Make your website SEO-friendly in Mandarin. Not for Google, for Baidu.
7. Stay true to yourself
Yes, B2B marketing in China means slightly altering your brand – but it doesn’t mean renouncing your identity. Stay true to your brand values. The reasons behind your product’s success are worth holding on to.
Are you ready to conquer the Chinese B2B market?
With these tips, you’ll be on the right track. Do you want to know for sure if you’re ready for the Chinese market? Go to our useful China Marketing Evaluator Tool. With these 5 straightforward questions, you’ll know what you’re up against right away.