2014 year target

Guest post by Dr. Mathew McDougall

Digital marketing has been taking off in China for the last 5 years and there doesn’t seem to be any slowing down. So, today we would like to take a look at the top 5 trends for 2014. These top 5 trends are the rise of M-commerce, the decline of Weibo, the decline of Baidu and rise of Qihoo, the increase in P2P apps and the integration of digital into outdoor advertising.

The Rise of M-commerce

One of the biggest trends that has been shaping e-commerce is the rise of mobile commerce (M-commerce). The last year has shown that mobile shopping is in its infant stages and the trend will continue to grow in 2014. According to CNNIC, there are currently 591 million internet users in China and 460 million internet users access the internet via mobile devices. This is expected to grow over the next few years and the m-commerce numbers are already showing amazing growth. Last year on Singles Day, 15.3% of purchases were made on mobile devices. This year, 21% of purchases were made on mobile devices. Jingming Li, Alipay Chief Technology Officer said, “Customers are also becoming increasingly mobile, as one in four made purchases on Alibaba Group websites are from a tablet or smartphone this year, compared to one in six last year.” We expect this trend to continue to explode in 2014.

The Decline of Weibo

Weibo has been losing steam for most of 2013 and we think the trend will continue into 2014. Unless, Sina Weibo makes major changes in their product offering, we can expect to see a steady decline. According to a widely sourced report by third party data tracking service WeiboReach, Sina’s (新浪) Weibo activity is down by 30% compared to the beginning of 2011. There are many different reasons but the truth remains the platform is losing appeal. We still think the platform is extremely useful for marketers but we have seen a decline and we expect to see a settling in 2014.

The Decline of Baidu and the Rise of Qihoo

Before 2010, Baidu was king of the hill or at least king of the search engine sector in China. But over the last few years competitors have been eating away at their market share and we think this will continue during 2014. Their main competitor is Qihoo, which didn’t have a strong presence in 2010, now has over 21% of the market share. We believe this will continue to be a major factor in digital marketing in 2014 and we are happy to see new options in the search engine sector.

The Increase in P2P Apps

2013 was the year of P2P apps and we believe the market will continue to grow because they are additive and social. We have seen dating apps, taxi apps, networking apps and of course messaging apps like WeChat. We expect to see WeChat continue to grow in China but more importantly internationally. This will create unique opportunities for marketers to reach larger audiences and integrate Chinese and international consumers. This trend will be one that will be watched carefully here at Digital Jungle.

The Integration of Digital into Outdoor Advertising

The last and most fascinating trend, in our minds, is the integration of digital into outdoor advertising. We have seen some remarkable campaigns run over the past year that are taking digital integration to a new and thrilling level. The first campaign was run by JWT and it was called “Baby Back Home”. The concept was to integrate a mobile app into an outdoor campaign and the results were incredible. The app reunited two missing children with their families and brought awareness to a major issue in China.

The second campaign was an interactive billboard that used Kinect technology to allow people to interact with on-screen advertisement. Users downloaded a mobile app and interacted with the billboard; once they were through interacting, the app would give them a discount on adidas merchandise. These two examples are interesting because they have taken an obsolete form of advertising and reinvented it, making it engaging and effective. We expect to see more integration in the future.

Conclusion

The future is always exciting and we think 2014 will be a great year to work in and work with China. The time for digital advertising is now because the Chinese consumers are currently embracing mobile and digital platforms. In 2014, we will all have an opportunity to grow our businesses and make valuable partnerships. With all that said, what are your predictions for 2014? How do you think digital will change and shape your business practices in China? Any other thoughts looking forward?

 

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Although a native of Australia, Dr. Mathew McDougall has been involved in the Chinese Internet and media industries for nearly nine years. Dr. McDougall is currently the CEO and founder of Digital Jungle, a leading Chinese social media marketing agency.