Brand marketing in the mobile era requires three new relevancies

Brands must achieve a deeper, emotional and cultural connection

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Over the past 20 years, China’s internet users have moved from the conventional internet era into the mobile internet era, driving a rapid transition towards technologies that are changing the ways Chinese consumers shop, socialise, play, and work.

The rise of big data, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, virtual reality and augmented reality, as well as the implementation of artificial intelligence and iterative upgrades to hardware equipment, have been accompanied by a further shift towards digital technology and seamless connectivity. These changes are altering consumer living environments, behaviour, and even thoughts and emotions, erasing the boundary between the online and offline worlds.

For the foreseeable future, these trends will continue to drive profound changes in people’s perceptions of themselves, and their interactions and relationship with the world. This in turn will result in fragmentation and diversity of the channels through which people obtain information and content. All of this is overturning and reshaping marketing paradigms and raising key questions such as: “How can we communicate effectively with consumers?” and “What innovative methods can we use to improve the performance of marketing communications?”

It's not just about strategic thinking in marketing. It is about breaking down barriers between traditional departments and properly integrating internal and external resources to focus on the consumer experience and business development. No matter how complicated the marketing environment becomes, brands and marketers need to focus on consumers, be sensitive to the drivers and directions of change, and use new technologies and capabilities to amplify the influence of media and content, in order to make them more personalised and refined.

The following three relevancies must be adhered to when formulating marketing plans:

  1. Brand/product relevance
    In the last two years, many marketers have strived to achieve viral content. Whilst some creative ideas have achieved significant but brief exposure, it is rare that people remember the brands or products themselves in these cases. Marketers must remain focused on essential considerations: how to use creative ideas to tell brand and product stories, enhance relevance, or imbue products with product and brand power, in order to create brand IP and build longer-term brand assets.
  2. Audience relevance
    Consumer demand for consumption, products, and brands are becoming more refined and segmented than ever. Brands need to communicate with different segments and ensure that the content of communications is relevant to the audience, feels fresh and experiential, and triggers emotional resonances and cultural identification.
  3. Social/cultural relevance
    Marketing today is no longer about simply presenting product features; it must reflect cultural and emotional values. By conveying aspirational and progressive values, brand marketing can generate greater social influence, not only giving it greater commercial value, but also creating social value.

For more in-depth insight read BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Chinese Brands 2019 report

Patrick Xu (徐俊)

China Country Manager, WPP

published on

02 September 2019


Technology & data Communications

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