There are many truisms in life, for example, China is a very big country. Yet it is not just one very big market. It is instead a multitude of markets, that often overlap or interlock and can, indeed, even be further segmented. In today’s post we endeavour to answer one of the most frequent questions we are asked.
Entering China is more than knowing just who and where to target. One has to consider who to work with. And that again, opens a Pandora’s Box. Just as China has a plethora of markets, so too are the choices in marketing partners. What or who should you look for or chose?
China Third Party Service Providers.
We are of course biased in this regard, but we tend to suggest local players may, in the long run, be better than those out of China. Depending on your needs, size may be important, but be aware that while larger firms offer fuller services, today’s marketing does not always call for a “full service agency.” Besides, bigger operations are not always the fastest. And China is dynamic – ask anyone who has been here.
WOM – word of mouth is probably your best gauge. Talk to those who have been here, done that – and found success. Who did they use? What did they learn? Sadly it seems many successful brands in China become extremely reluctant to share too much but if you ask in circles you know you may be better rewarded.
We could easily give you a six eighth or 12 point check list, such as local, multi lingual, natives in your own culture as well as Chinese. experience, longevity, location, be here, but that would still leave you a staggering number of choices. However don’t be tempted or swayed by those top listers in your search or an exquisite suite of offices in prime real estate territory. Someone has to pay for their massive advertising and rent. Usually you. “Unknowns” maybe so busy they have no need to advertise, and may be more cost effective as well.
For example, you may never have heard of: WPBeijing, Aim2D, Bicyu / Uengager, yet we have been successfully beavering away since 2003. You will find very little of our advertising. We are in fact, a BIO (invitation only) firm and part of our success is only taking clients we feel comfortable, being realistic with the number of clients we can handle. So don’t disregard a potential partner because they are not top of the search pops!
Don’t be snowed by those who provide or promise to provide you an avalanche of user data, stats , feedback ad nausea. At the end of the day, no matter what fancy marketing speak they package it up in, numbers are still just numbers. Meaninglessness unless it can be converted directly to users in a form YOU understand. Statistic can also lie or be twisted. Eg:
No, we re not saying that data is unimportant. What we are saying is it needs to be able to give you insight. Not just what she does, what she buys. That only gives you the big picture. Less than half of what you really need to know. To be able to build a relationship, an engagement with her you need to know more. You need to walk in his shoes. Make him feel he is a valued part of your business. Why? Because he is! Otherwise if you don’t demonstrate any personal attachment or understanding, she will not feel any personal attachment or engagement to your brand either.
So having said all that, may be we refer you to this short video from Alibaba: How to Find the Right Local Partner in China to Support Your Launch on Alibaba’s Tmall Global. Of course, it is clearly biased towards Alibaba’s Tmall but we feel it is still a good primer for any brand contemplating the China market. Regardless of whether you intend to use Tmall, JD, turnkey or your own site. Oh, don’t forget to check back later for part two! Just for the record, we would more likely fit into the first category of TP mentioned in the film. We do not carry stock or work to a sales basis.
If after all that you still have questions, well we offer an equally confusing number of ways to ask them Email, telephone, WeChat, face to face. Chat with Everlyne, below! She may not know the answer off hand, but is very likely to know someone who does. Or, if you are a specialised field we would rather not deal with, such as luxury fashion F&B or FMG, she will be able to refer you to some of our colleagues. Just one last note, we do not offer services to US or Canada so sorry guys, we can’t help you there.
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Then perhaps you may like to chat directly and personally with Everlyne?
But please, be aware of local (China) time when calling from overseas. Despite rumours to the contrary, Everlyne is human, not a bot, she does eat, drink and sleep – sometimes.
Whatever your question re Chinese Business, Marketing Tech or Social Media, she will know the answer, or know someone who does! A brief intro below;
Introducing Everlyne YU
In 2003 Everlyne Yu co-founded WPBeijing Marketing Studio with Englishman Peter Bic, now known as Bic Brands.
She began Uengager, as a SaaS MarTech company focused on customer engagement in 2017.
Hello, Nihao, I’m Everlyne
“I love to talk about and help people understand the amazing ways MarTech and SaaS can work to strengthen your business engagement with Chinese consumers.
I know you have questions or want to talk about your brand or business in China so please, drop me a line opposite. If you prefer live chat, call and talk to me live, in person direct.“
Everlyne is also a key note speaker, lecturer and KOL on MarTech in China. She is CEO of Uengager, business development officer for Bicyu.
Everlyne hs been privileged to work with a variety of international organisations, from VW, Cushman Wakefield, Sodexo, Bristol Myers Squibb to local Chinese firms such as Midea, and OK Order.
If you’re looking for guidance, tips, advice on any aspect of starting or growing a business in China or training, coaching your existing China marketing team for excellence, be sure to check out Uengager. Home page and base for Everlyne Yu. Read her short bio – opposite left – or contact her direct – below – for a free, heart to heart chat.
Note: App is in Chinese and needs WeChat account to access.
Take Tea with Everlyne
Covid’s persistence means this address is not always available.
But Beijing has many tea shops or cafes where we can still meet and chat