How to find your target market when marketing in China

Knowing how to find your target market can make it much easier to establish your business abroad. It allows you to conserve time and resources by only focusing your attention and efforts in the right place. With such a huge potential market in China it is even more important that your marketing is focused. Without this you could end up investing a lot of money for little return. China is a foreign market, with completely different customs, practices, and culture. So how do you find the right people when marketing in China?


Why you can’t transfer your western data and customer habits

One of the biggest reasons why huge global corporations have failed to make an impact in the Chinese market is assuming the consumers can’t be that different from the domestic market.

Mattel is perhaps one of the best-known stories, when they tried to launch Barbie in China. They failed to realise that, while Barbie may be an iconic representation of the ultimate woman in America, she completely clashed with traditional Chinese values. Women in China are traditionally expected to act with dignity and modesty, so Barbie’s confident, sexy clothing went against traditional values (source: Chairman Migo).

Regardless of where you are marketing, making assumptions is one of the easiest ways to go wrong. This is especially true in China, where you don’t have an innate knowledge of the local culture and customs to fall back on.


Use SEO to bring your target market to you

There is now plenty of data available online to help you discover what people are looking for. Keyword research tools help you to pinpoint the most popular things people are trying to find. Once you know what people are looking for, you can work out how your product suits their needs. Once you have matched high traffic keywords with your product, you can create a Chinese SEO friendly website that will begin to take advantage of Baidu’s 500 million active monthly users.


Use targeted online advertising when marketing in China

One of the most interesting differences, from a marketing point of view, between China and the West is the attitude of internet users towards advertising. While in the West we tend to see adverts on our mobile devices as an invasion of privacy, users in China actively welcome targeted online advertising. They are also highly effective. 53% of Chinese mobile internet users say that their purchasing behaviour have been influenced by mobile advertising. 66% of mobile internet users noticed the advertising being displayed, and 24% were affected enough by advertising to make a purchase (source: Tech In Asia).

Targeted advertising allows you to put your marketing directly in front of only the right people. So once you’ve done your target market research, and know exactly who you want to marketing to, you can use targeted advertising to reach the right people. It can be a great way not only to sell your product, but to build awareness and drive traffic to your site.

(Image source: “Marketing Graph And Folder” |