After recently finding that Chinese consumers use their smartphones to shop online at much higher rates than those from any other country, professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is out with a new report this week that offers statistics highlighting the vital importance of mobile marketing in China. According to the new survey, entitled “Mobile Advertising in China,” Chinese consumers are highly responsive to mobile advertising if it’s done in the right way at the right time.
In a survey of 1,001 Chinese mobile users, the report found that 78 percent of Chinese consumers said they would be likely to click on a mobile ad with relevant content. Listed below are some pieces of advice that can be taken from the report’s findings in order to get the most out of a strong mobile strategy.
Choose the right format. The report finds that videos and mobile coupons are far more effective than banner ads or text as an advertising format. Thirty-six percent of respondents said that video is their preferred format for mobile advertising, and giveaways and discounts aren’t a bad strategy either—68 percent of Chinese users said “getting freebies” is important for effective mobile ads, while 33 percent listed coupons as their most-preferred advertising format.
Target the right audience. It’s not surprising that relevance is key to getting users to click on content—77 percent said that relevant content was an “important attribute” to mobile advertising.
Respect consumers’ privacy. Chinese smartphone users also care about their privacy, so the type of data used to target them is important. The report found that Chinese consumers considered adverting based on interests, purchase, history, and current location to be the most acceptable advertising criteria, while they were understandably most creeped out by the prospect of marketers using keywords used in phone calls for marketing. Willingness to share personal information on a mobile device, however, is much higher among Chinese consumers than those from the United States or UK—58 percent said they would do so to get a free app in China, compared to only 30 and 28 percent of U.S. and UK consumers, respectively.
Engage at the right time. Chinese consumers are far more likely to respond to mobile ads on their way to work and over the weekend, according to the report. Even a well-thought-out campaign can be a dud if it’s released when a brand’s target audience is at work or out to dinner.
Don’t bombard users. The report finds targeted ads should be limited to between five and seven messages a week to avoid annoying Chinese consumers. While 47 percent said that “daily” was their preferred targeting frequency, 34 percent opted for “weekly.” Chinese users’ highest concerns about mobile advertising are that it is “too intrusive on my lifestyle” and that it “crosses the line into my personal space,” meaning that brands need to find a balance to give users the brand information they want.