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Miaozhen System publishes China’s updated digital marketing ecosystem map

Digital Marketing is expected to rise by 17% percent in the US, with the ad spend of up to $334 billion. In China, this percentage is even higher, with the expected growth being 22%. The industry is definitely growing and will probably outshine tradition marketing pretty soon, but what is interesting about this phenomenon is that according to the AlixPartners’ study around 60% of spending goes to waste in digital marketing. 

While this particular aspect of marketing is very successful and generated a more loyal customer base, a lot if still mystified around it and some people don’t know how to navigate their finances towards digital marketing correctly. Considering China’s everlasting strive for digital leadership it’s not surprising that the adoption rates are said to be raising at a higher speed. With the recent publishing of the roadmap to China’s digital marketing the Miaohzen aims to help the companies invest their money better while explaining why some things work and others do not in this particular market. 

Miaozhen System is a third-party provider offering data technology and measurement science-based enterprise solutions to drive smart decision-making and fuel business growth in China. The company publishes a yearly updated map to help the companies better navigate the digital marketing scene in China

The new approach

Singe the digital sphere is evolving the approaches that used to work in the past, don’t really cut it anymore. Plus nowadays people also have higher standards when it comes to advertising and everyone who wants to succeed has to keep up. Even though these points are based on China specifically, everyone can learn from these experiences to elevate their advertising strategies.

One of the findings focuses on the fact that just amassing huge amounts of data no longer means you will be successful in the field.

At this point, most companies can do this. What you do with the data and how you integrate it is key to success. Western advertisers are already pouring third of their resources into ad and Martech development and China is on its way to catching up.

Key differences between Chinese and Western Markets

While the importance of digital marketing is evident in both cultures there are two key differences between them, according to the Miaozhen. One is that the western market is largely a duopoly with Google and Facebook, with the two companies holding 60% of digital ad spend. In China the split is between four major players, Baidu, Ali, Tencent, and Toutiao also known as BATT. 

Another difference is that while Facebook and Google would most likely be considered publishers, Chinese BATT is made up of tech giants who dominate search, e-commerce, and social media. There are a couple of subcategories in digital marketing, the one that has been gaining momentum is affiliate marketing. Whether it be affiliate links to content creators, to links at different websites more and more companies are choosing this method to advertise their product and it seems to be working out for them. With affiliate marketing, there are certain industries that can benefit more than others. 

For example, for gambling affiliate marketing is the best way to go about advertising their products. Casino affiliate programs are an effective way to gain more customers, while other industries can also use it as a subtle way to promote their products. It is likely that affiliate marketing will become even bigger, more so in China and will cover industries that the government might not want to promote themselves.

China is unique in a sense because there are outside factors that affect the market that the advertisers in the west usually don’t have to think about.

Predictions for 2020

Some of the major predictions made by the report are that  Digital retail will play an even bigger role. Since there are already technologies that support consumer identification and personalized targeting. Social commerce is also predicted to grow along with data platforms.

China’s digital marketing scene has a lot of prominent players where Alibaba is shaping to be a leader but it can still be somewhat elusive. The market is changing rapidly, so the information and the tactics that used to work, for example, 5 years ago, won’t give you the results today.

Maps like this, which republished every 12 months are a great way to spread awareness and to minimize the amount of money that these companies spend on useless marketing technologies and strategies and they can actually invest where the real customers will see then and want to engage with the ads. Since the customer base is also a lot more aware of the behind the scenes and these strategies it helps to stay on top of your game as an advertising company, to deliver something new and up to date through contemporary mediums.


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Konstantin Rabin

Konstantin Rabin

Head of Marketing


Member since

18 Aug 2015



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