XPLORE China 2019: Kick Start Your Chinese Mobile Marketing

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Sarobar Kasaju

May 15th, 2019

XPLORE China 2019: Kick Start Your Chinese Mobile Marketing

Back in April, we had the privilege of hosting XPLORE China 2019 in Seoul. It addressed the first step required to participate in UA marketing in China. For anyone considering entering the market, the steps laid out for identifying market trend, selecting media and measuring performance were invaluable. The data gathered benefits the company looking to launch for the first time or for developers hoping to optimize their current app promotion.

The goal behind the XPLORE China 2019 seminar was to create a series that enabled companies around the world to gain more traction in China. No matter what level a company is at, the tools and tips provided were priceless in breaking further into the Chinese market.

The first event was geared toward Korean companies that were entering into China for the first time. It was also aimed at those looking to optimize actual app performance. During the seminar, we looked at the trends occurring now in the Korean app market, talked about choosing the proper media channels ideal for your campaign and evaluated the best ways to measure performance on a campaign.

(Junsung Park, Korea Country Manager from Mobvista)

We had a full panel of experts involved in the seminar. This included Heo Jung-pil, New Business Development Manager from Tencent. We also had Charlie Moon, Country Manager from AppsFlyer, Boo Kim, Partner at Shinsegye DutyFree and Areum An, the Country Manager from Mobvista. Our panel moderator and the host was also from Mobvista in the Korean market, Junsung Park.

 If you weren’t able to make the seminar, or simply want a refresher, here are some of the key takeaways. These will help any organization looking to market apps to the Chinese.

(Heo Jung-pil, Tencent International Business Manager)

Key Point #1: To Reach Chinese Consumers, You Must Understand the Media Landscape

Many people want to know what media channel is most effective in China. This isn’t a simple answer, but a great question to dive deeper with. Chinese consumers face exposure to more Chinese-based services than typical global alternatives. Most internet users in the country will search through Baidu, use Weibo to get current events and shop with Alibaba. That’s because Twitter, Facebook, Amazon and Google aren’t accessible in China.

The biggest and most known digital media company in the region is Tencent. They provide messenger apps, entertainment news, content and social media services through the Tencent QQ platforms, Tencent Video and WeChat.

Because of this, it’s often difficult for a typical western company to penetrate the market. That’s because Chinese companies already have a large portion of the market. There’s simply no one-size fits all approach to marketing in China, which forces companies to think globally and locally instead.

To make the most significant impact, organizations must leverage the local channels in China to reach the consumers needed. If you want to make it in the app market, you must reach out locally first.

(Areum An, Korea Sales Manager from Mobvista)

Key Point #2: Market an App through Targeting Specific Characteristics and Consumer Interests

China has over 1.4 billion people in the country, making it the most populous in the world. Of that population, about 600 million play mobile games.

This immensely populous audience provides its own set of challenges. You will find vast demographic and geographical differences that play a role in how you market a campaign. To deal with it effectively, you must look into hyperlocal targeting.

Let’s say you want to target consumers in Shanghai. The city features a population of over 24 million. You could utilize test keywords such as ‘Shanghai popular games’ in your campaign. This might seem simple, but it’s a unique way to market the app to that specific audience. You might also prefer to use terms such as ‘iOS popular games’ if you want to reach people on that platform.

You will find that these hyperlocal approaches provide better results than if you took a broad, China-wide stance.

Another possibility to harness the outcome you desire is through direct incentives. You want to market bonus points, discounts and coupons. It’s more cost-effective when you combine these incentives together with your focused targeting in comparison to broad market advertising. By trying to reach too many people at once, you spend money on consumers that don’t find your product to be relevant.

Key Point #3: Accurate Measurements and Tracking are Essential

It doesn’t matter how you choose to market; it must be tracked, measured and evaluated correctly for success. Taking these steps in China means facing some unique complexities. There are plenty of app ecosystem players that gain popularity by cheating.

You might have heard of ‘store hijacking’ which is a common technique used in the app stores. Device manufacturers utilize this tactic and force clicks to be redirected from a third party app store to their own platform instead. This boosts revenues and engagement.

(Panel discussion joined by Mobvista, Tencent, Appsflyer, Shinsegae DF)

If you want to prevent this, it’s wise to use a single, reputable advertising partner to execute your campaign. This removes any risk of fraudulent installations and improves your efficiency. As a result, you end up with an accurate performance measurement.

Kim Boo explained how her company offers targeting based on region, age, operating system and gender to provide a more efficient measurement.

To close the seminar, the panels summarized the critical success factors prosperous Korean app companies use to target China. We also had the pleasure of receiving a positive message from Junsung Park.

“I believe that the caliber of Korean marketers targeting China has increased, and the kinds of tactics and information which were exchanged today are essential tips for successful entry into the Chinese market.”

Stay tuned for more news from future XPLORE China events and future teachings.

Sarobar Kasaju


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