4 Reasons Why You Will Fail in China B2B Marketing
China is one of the most prominent countries in the world with its sky-rocketing economy. The B2B businesses are expanding quicker than ever. The PRC government set up various high-tech zones and powerful policies to support new companies to prosper. The accelerating number of China firms is certainly attractive to foreigners. However, when doing China B2B marketing, you should be aware of the differences of channels and culture.
Here is a list of common mistakes made by others in China B2B marketing. Did you make any of following?
1. Using Social Media the Wrong Way
Foreigners often have a misunderstanding: China’s social media is pretty much the same with those in the West. The truth is, not only most of the well-known giants are banned in the country, but the domestic leaders in China also operate in an entirely different way.
For example, Weibo is currently the largest micro-blogging platform in China. It is one of the major marketing channels. However, merely investing in Weibo advertising will definitely make you fail. When it comes to B2B marketing, building trust and a reliable brand name will surely matter more.
First of all, registering an official Weibo corporate account for your company is crucial. Many private company owners in China are young and use Weibo to search for a firm’s information or even to follow its account. On top of that, many China corporations also own an official Weibo account and follow other companies. Therefore, you need to publish content regularly and create a professional image on Weibo if you want to make any deals. Building trust with these potential clients is never done through advertisements. Only continuous input will bring China companies in contact with you. As for inactive corporate accounts, you can still earn a strong presence in the field and try to approach them. (Extended reading)
You need to understand the distinct rules of all sorts of different platforms in China. Each of them plays diverse roles in China B2B marketing. For instance, Zhihu is actually a better place for establishing trust.
Get Correct Information
Have you investigated into the Top 10 Social Media Sites in China? If not, you should take a deeper look before designing any B2B marketing strategies for China. Beware of the specific usages of social media regarding B2B and B2C marketing as well.
Finding the above information overwhelming and a bit too much? Get a China marketing agency to help you. Dragon Social team is experienced in facilitating foreign companies to enter China. Contact us if you have any questions!
2. Utilize Multiple Channels
Undoubtedly, Weibo is not the only available choice in China for B2B marketing. Another major leader you cannot miss is WeChat. As the biggest platform for instant communication, it is now a common practice for the businessman to exchange WeChat accounts. It can also reduce distances between partners and boost more sales from frequent conversations.
A valid Chinese marketing strategy never puts all its eggs in one basket. An effective B2B marketing mix should include a spectrum of platforms in China. As mentioned before, Zhihu is for building trust with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Baidu is the local dominant search engine, while other industry-specific websites are remarkably useful for B2B marketing too. (Click to read more)
The China market potential is prominent and a professional China marketing agency could greatly facilitate your entry. Here are some helpful articles for your references:
3. “Business is Business” Attitude
It is not a wrong thing to have the “Business is Business” attitude. Indeed, it seems pretty straightforward that your own issues should be separated from the company deals. So you might be wondering, why is this approach leading to failures in China B2B marketing?
It comes to the key difference between the East and the West: The style of doing businesses. Contrary to western countries, China is more “personal”. Company managers emphasize on developing a friendly and long-term relationship with business partners, especially in the B2B industry. It is often a norm in China to approach the “old buddies” first as they trust these companies due to successful collaborations in the past. Similar to certain Asian regions, China is also one of the places that treat “insiders” better than the “outsiders”. You can hardly earn any trust or deals when you have too much of that “Business is Business” attitude.
Many foreigners do not understand the point of all these Chinese clients trying to get close to them through different leisure activities. Nevertheless, it is actually the essential part to present your sincerity of doing businesses with them. Failures in B2B marketing are caused by neglecting the importance of close relationships with Chinese clients.
Local Culture & Business Etiquette
Want to know how to build up and maintain a good connection with China clients? Easy. Blend into the local culture and be aware of business etiquette.
It is, of course, difficult to change the company style and unreasonable to force your employees to adopt everything in the new environment. However, you must show your openness and willingness to learn the Chinese culture. It is also a solution to recruit employees with a Chinese background to get yourself familiarize with the country.
We are not recommending you to accept bribery or illegal transactions! It is certainly possible in the industry that some might commit these acts. However, most of the Chinese clients only want to get closer to newcomers. Therefore, when they approach your company, no need to panic and refuse invitations. Try your best to participate in the culture and be friendly to your business partners in China.
4. Ignore Trends in the Industry
China is very special in the case of marketing development. The country opened herself to the world in just a few decades ago. The growth of the Internet and the forms of e-marketing change more rapidly than any other region. The transitions from the stage Web 1.0 to 4.0 happened in splits seconds, making the China marketing industry complicated and varied from the West.
Foreign companies fail in China B2B marketing due to the lack of instant and correct information about the industry. For example, short video clip marketing suddenly became a hit one year ago. Some companies gained huge benefits, but many more missed as well. This reflects that trends in the country are constantly affecting the ways of which marketing is done. If you ignore any of them, your business is unlikely to receive any satisfactory result in China.
Conclusion on China B2B Marketing
Understanding Chinese consumers are vital in doing China B2B marketing. Avoiding the above mistakes is not enough. You need to dig deeper into the demands of your clients and grasp the business opportunities before anyone does.
Dragon Social is a professional China marketing agency. Our diverse team always keep a close eye on industry trends and provide marketing solutions to foreign companies. If you want to succeed in China, welcome to contact us!