As we draw closer to the end of the year it is the ideal moment to reflect on how the marketing landscape is changing and how businesses can start preparing for a prosperous 2019. China offers incredible opportunities for wine and spirits producers, but it is also a unique and fast-changing market where it really pays to do your research.
Here are our top three wine & spirits marketing trends to help your business succeed in China in 2019.
1. Include smaller Chinese cities
Many businesses choose to focus on China’s largest cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Chongqing, but there are strong indicators that China’s smaller cities will be significant growth drivers in coming years. One factor driving this change is the expansionist policies being adopted in cities like Xi’an and Chengdu to boost their populations.
In Xi’an the total population has increased by 500,000 this year and Chengdu has added 170,000 new residents. These increases are largely due to college graduates being granted permanent residency. This population growth will bring new vibrancy to China’s smaller cities and also create new markets of young wine-drinking consumers beyond China’s megacities.
2. Content in the right context
Adapting to the market is crucial for success. European and American businesses who are used to doing things a certain way need to adapt their approach to suit China’s unique culture. Young Chinese consumers respond very well to content marketing, especially when the material is funny and entertaining.
Rather than simply trying to apply content marketing approaches that succeeded in Europe or Northern America, brands should focus on the unique profile of the Chinese wine consumer who values education and information or short, amusing pieces of content that can easily be shared with friends.
3. Online is king
With the largest online population in the world, China’s wine consumers are greatly influenced by what they see and read online. Brands need to have a solid digital marketing strategy and to keep up with the constantly-changing Chinese digital landscape.
To start, make a short video on a smartphone celebrating your CWSA success and share it with your importers and potential importers in China.
China currently has the largest number of online shoppers in the world with some 480 million consumers purchasing products online. Related to this market is the recent rise of live-streaming with key influencers which allows brands to get their products in front of millions of interested consumers at the same time. In 2018 this live-streaming market is projected to reach a remarkable $4.4 billion in revenue, making it a very rewarding area for brands to invest in.
China is full of opportunities for wine brands and producers, and keeping up with the fast-changing trends of this unique market can offer excellent returns. Adopting new strategies like live-streaming and carefully-tailored context marketing should equip your business for a very successful 2019 and a prosperous long-term future.
China is a market that is full of potential for wine brands and producers, but it is also a country where the consumer profile is constantly changing. Adapting to these digital marketing trends and reaching out to the digital-savvy generation is the key to building success in China today and in the future.