Weekly Wrap Q&A with Jie

It’s time for another Weekly Wrap session with Jay, tackling the main questions from this week:

• What are the biggest mistakes new China market entrants make with their strategy when they launch into China?
• And what do brands get wrong when it comes to advertising specifically?

If you have a question you’d like Jie to respond to, feel free to ask that here.

Speakers this week

Jie Zhang

CEO & Cofounder, AdChina.io

Brad Matthews

Growth Marketer, AdChina.io


[Brad] Hello, everyone. It’s that time again! Time for the AdChina.io Weekly Wrapup with Jie, our CEO and co-founder. Got a few questions for you. So let’s jump into it.

Jay, what would you say are the biggest mistakes that you see new entrance make when they come to launching into China?

[Jie] There can be, actually a lot of mistakes actually.

I think the most common ones, I cannot say one, but I can say two, actually. One is that to make a big decision too early in the process. Without knowing too much or without knowing enough about the market?

Some of the companies that we have got to know in the past period is that they make a big decision, for example, on distribution strategy very early.

Because of their experiences somewhere else in their home market or in another foreign market. And then for example, like Marketing messages, advertising messages as well. what kind of sales selling points that they want to emphasize.

And then, suddenly they find out something very different in the market and then already the big budget has already been spent and the risk has been taken. Then it’s too late to change. And then, the project has became fragile and vulnerable as well in a way.

So that’s one thing, another thing would be, going into China, going into the Chinese market without any adaptation basically into the Chinese market. China is a big market, but at the same time, it’s quite different compared to the rest of the world as well because of the isolation and so on.

The good thing about Chinese market is that every niche is big enough usually. But then, you do need some adaptation when it comes to product, when it comes to, marketing messages as well.

[Brad] So testing and adopting the two takeaways there for sure.

And what would you say are the biggest mistakes you see Western brands make when it comes to advertising specifically?

[Jie] So adaptation will definitely be one of those.

Yep. That is one thing. Yeah, I have already mentioned that one. And then, I would come in with something else as well because in the West, the channels are quite stable.

When someone is trying to do the digital advertising in the West, you have basically two ecosystems to play with.

You have the Facebook empire and you have the Google, search engine marketing. But then in China, the problem — not only problem or also opportunity — is that every now and then there are new channels coming up quite strongly.

I mean, many of our audience probably know that China has very different, players when it comes to, media channels, social media, digital media in general.

and then actually they change as well. I mean when you think  that China is only B A T that matters, Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent, and then suddenly there’s ByteDance that came out of nowhere and became the largest out of the advertising channels in China online.

I mean, in a matter of two or three years. This is how fast it can happen. Another example is, just as you think E-commerce in China is pretty much settled. Alibaba is the largest. The jd.com is the second, far behind Alibaba.

So every everything seems settled, but then suddenly this PDD, came out of nowhere, again, accumulated 300 million users in a period of three years and then got listed in the US it’s just, this is how let’s say dramatic the changes can be.

So going into the Chinese market, it is very important to stay on top of what’s going on because it’s a very dynamic market.

One mistake would be, you know, I just go in on a set of methodology and then I continued to work on it now. Chinese market is much more, dynamic and challenging than that. If you’re doing digital advertising, most definitely.

[Brad] It’s a shifting landscape.

Well, thanks, Jay. Appreciate the insight as always have a great weekend and see you next week.

[Jie] Thank you. Bye.

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