How important is mobile marketing in China?

With a population of 1.29billion mobile phone users, a staggering 90% of people in China own a mobile device. People with smartphones account for around half of the total mobile population, and adoption continues to rise at an impressive pace. Since the beginning of 2014, 200 million new users signed up the mobile broadband (3G or 4G), and by the end of 2014 the number of 4G subscribers has risen from 14 million to 43 million (source: Tech in Asia).

Chinese marketers are not ignoring the potential that mobile phones give them to access over half of the entire population of China. As an indicator of how you should be approaching mobile marketing in China, here is a look at how other companies use mobile marketing.

Chinese companies are big spenders on mobile

The average Chinese company is now investing heavily in mobile marketing, with over 70% believing that mobile marketing will be a fundamental part of their strategy by the end of 2015. As it stands the average company spends around 28% of their marketing budget on mobile, with 41% spending over a quarter. And it seems they have no intention of curtailing their spending any time soon: 77% of companies are planning to increase their mobile spending, some by up to 30%.

The investment is clearly paying off, with 39% of web traffic to company sites coming from mobile devices. It’s not just visits that mobiles can generate either: 27% of e-commerce revenue is generated by mobile transactions (source: eConsultancy).

Mobile Chinese websites the most popular form of mobile marketing

According to a study by the Mobile Marketing Association, the most common mobile marketing method in China is to use a Chinese website optimised for mobile experience (58% of respondents). Having a mobile optimised Chinese website allows users to easily find and access important content and navigate to key areas. Considering more people in China access the internet via a mobile device than do a desktop PC, making sure you have a Chinese mobile website to cater to their requirements is no longer an option, but a must have.

Following closely behind Chinese websites (at 56%) are mobile applications (source: MMA). Marketing on mobile apps is important, with 25% of respondents to a survey by Forrester claiming to use their mobile phone to shop on a weekly basis, and a further 15% doing so daily (source: Tech Crunch). In total 71% of smartphone users have made a purchase from a website using their device (source: Go-Globe).

Chinese consumers are more open to mobile advertising

78% of Chinese mobile users are happy to view an ad that contains content relevant to them. In the UK, where mobile advertising is often seen as intrusive, only 33% of mobile users would click a relevant advert. Only 7% of Chinese smartphone users do not want to be targeted by mobile ads, and nearly half are happy to be targeted daily. The most popular formats for mobile advertising currently used are video (used by 36% of companies) and mobile coupons (33%). 29% of companies believe that the best time to advertise to smartphone users is during the morning commute, while 24% schedule their adverts for the weekend (source: go-globe).

(Image source: Image created by FeelArt|