Readers of our blog (thanks!) know that I like to go back to the marketing basics and look at what the actual customer journey is for the brand or product, and how the channel and content will help move the customer along the journey for that touchpoint. Some more about customer journeys here. This is where any marketing professionals should start their campaign – before looking at implementation. Even when marketing in China, these fundamentals become even more vital.
In the US now, as well as in Europe, agencies play key roles from communications strategy to digital execution – all part of the part and parcel of modern agency consultation. For us, digital – social media, PPC, websites…they are part of any campaign execution. But we should realize that they are channels – not the base of the campaign. Great ideas, well targeted, in defined formats for different audiences – getting that right will make the rest of your campaign much easier.
One approach is to simplify it down to these few questions:
- To whom
I recently dealt with a marketing team who had no idea of where their customers were or how to reach them. They just knew that they wanted Baidu. Today. Organically. Get us on the front page. Or else. Use PR, or money, or forums, or black hat SEO tricks. Just make it happen. We have 10 keywords and we want them all, in every article. And we won’t take “no” for an answer!
Actually it’s great that they were so fervent to get their marketing on. But I see the basic problem as marketers thinking that digital is so completely different, or that being on the front page of an organic search is the only thing that matters. At the end of the day we should use the same approach – but ensure that we adjust the content to the media, platform and the target audience – what we call transmedia storytelling.
I can’t tell you how many times we are asked to set up WeChat social media accounts here in China. That’s great, and I am ecstatic that there is so much interest in China and the unique social media environment here. This onion quickly starts to unravel itself though – most marketers and businesses don't really have a grasp on why they want this channel, what content they plan on developing, or what their actual target audience is.
If you can answer those simple questions for your next China marketing campaign, you’ll already be ahead of the pack. From campaign messages to complete campaigns, marketing – even in China – should all start with marketing fundamentals and good planning.
Let’s go back to the basics.