Explore the presence of digital marketing in China with Fashionbi

We are so delighted to have an interview with Fashionbi to explore the presence of digital marketing in China.

Fenghua Mo ( also known as Sammi), Director and Founder of Market Me China enjoyed the interiew with Fashionbi which provides powerful, easy-to-use digital marketing tools for social media, web monitoring, brand analytics in the Fashion industry. Fashionbi is the first Europe platform which is possible to track the brand performance on Weibo and to understand the level of engagement of Chinese internet audience and compare the results with the brand performance on Facebook or Twitter.

Let’s have a look at the interesting interview. (“F” refers to Fashionbi and “M” refers to”Market Me China”)

F: Why did you decided to start up Market Me China?
M: As a Chinese national living in the UK, I has been asked many times for business information regarding to the facts of Chinese online world, the language and culture differences. That means there is a demand for Chinese online marketing services for the western companies, but there was not many marketing companies offering the services in Chinese language globally. That is why the co-founder Darren Stevens and I set up an online marketing business to help western companies expand their services into China. Thus helping to promote businesses to a potential market of half a billion Chinese internet users.

F: What’s the most important value, your team in Market Me China can offer to clients?
M: By focusing on the client and their target audience, Market Me China provides tailor-made marketing strategies incorporating search engine optimisation, pay per click advertising, social media marketing, web design, branding, Chinese translation and copywriting as well as customer liaison/support and Chinese language/culture training, we are effectively a ‘one stop shop’ for all online marketing services. This saves the client time, as it avoids having to find different agencies for different needs.

F: What has been the biggest challenge for your company?
M: Timezones create a difficulty with communicating between global clients and Baidu.

F: To which kind of industry do your clients mainly come from?
M: Our clients mainly come from food, gas and oil, education, real estate.

F: Working in this industry, what traits and characteristics are crucial to succeed?
M: The internet world is constantly changing, so the key points to succeed is always to be at the forefront of online marketing technologies and tools, follow the trends and offer best services on the suitable online platforms based on your client’s goals and needs.

F: Do you see any opportunity for the fashion industry on Digital Advertising? Why?
M: Yes, definitely. Fashion is visible, describable, creative and prospective, especially in the luxury fashion sector, which is what most Chinese internet users seek. There are plenty of elements (such as brand history, new collections, celebrity interviews etc) to create stories, produce photographs and videos, generate discussions on different online digital channels to attract the target audience.

F: Do you think Internet Advertising is under-invested in China?
M: Yes, I do. According to L2 Digital IQ Index, for the prestige brands in China, “Despite opportunity, digital investment remains modest.” 44% of brands are underinvested. Only 20% of brands have launched a Chinese websites. Average loading time of brands’ Chinese sites is 24.1 seconds, four times as long as their global counterparts. The solution to catch the opportunities in China is to increase the digital investment and maximum the ROI.

F: Which companies do you know are more sophisticated on Internet advertising in China?
M: Here are some good examples of leading luxury brands in different sectors.

F: Which channel do you think is the most effective digital promotion in China?
b.Banners-Ad Networks
c.Social Media-Communities Online PR
M: It is not easy to say which one is the most effective digital channel in China among the first three options, as it is generally known that email marketing in China is less effective than the west. In my own opinion, the most effective digital promotion is content marketing, because search, display, social and email channels are all beginning to rely on valuable content as a marketing tool. Increasing the value of content marketing is extremely important for the digital marketing in China.

F: How is mobile Advertising, (meaning is it really used by companies)?  Do companies find this channel effective and why?
M: According to L2 Digital IQ Index: China,23% brands have mobile sites optimised based on their Chinese websites (desktop version). I think companies cannot avoid to use mobile marketing. Robin Li, the CEO of Baidu, has emphasised on developing mobile device products, due to the incredible increase of mobile Internet use in China. Mobile devices have become the premier device to access the Internet in China, about 75% of internet users in 2012 (source: CNNIC).

F: What do you think Fashion companies in China should be more focused at for their Digital Advertising Strategies?
M: In view to digital marketing strategies, Fashion companies in China should focus on the 5 aspects:
1. Localisation of the Chinese site;
2. Responsive website optimisation for mobile and tablet devices;
3. Multi-channel e-commerce and mobile innovation;
4. Social media marketing, especially on image and video sharing platforms;
5. Search, display advertising and email.

F: How different is Digital Advertising today, from 5 years ago?
M: Could you imagine to use responsive websites to deliver to the messages via different devices 5 years ago? Could you imagine to communicate with millions of fans or followers on social media platform like Weibo, WeChat, 5 years ago? Could you imagine your audience would easily create content for you to promote your products 5 years ago? Could you imagine to set up an e-shop and complete the online payment on mobile devices 5 years ago? These are the differences.


Thank you very much for Fashionbi. We are looking forward to the next interview and discussion on digital marketing in China.

(Image source: “Silhouettes Of Fashion Women” | www.freedigitalphotos.net)