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June 24, 2019

China’s Omni-channel Marketing Boom

Why is Omni-channel marketing so important? 

Omni-channel marketing provides a seamless experience, regardless of channel or device. This allows customers to engage with a company in a physical store, a website, mobile app or social media.

With more than 600 million internet users and more than $US899 billion in online spending, China is the world’s biggest online shopping market and one of the most digitised countries. As the e-commerce market continues its meteoric rise, it’s now more important than ever for businesses to implement omni-channel marketing strategies that deliver a consistent experience across online and offline platforms.

Whether it’s insurance or luxury brands, the omni-channel marketing experience is essential for businesses looking to thrive in China.

A look at the e-commerce landscape in China today

report by EY found that in 2010 only 23 per cent of China’s urban population shopped online. Last year, China’s consumers accounted for 42.8 per cent of the world’s e-commerce sales and this is projected to rise to nearly 60 per cent in 2020 – almost triple what it was a decade prior.

The increase in smartphones in China has contributed to this growth in e-commerce. The same EY report found that in 2014, there were more than 780 million active smartphone users across the nation, and around 25 per cent of customers made purchases through their mobile phone on a weekly basis. Even in rural areas, which have less than 20 per cent internet penetration, more than 60 per cent of consumers are e-commerce users.

Tips on creating a successful omni-channel marketing strategy

Given the prominence of e-commerce in China, it’s essential to have a strategy in place that creates a seamless experience across third-party websites, your own website and any bricks-and-mortar stores you may have.

If you want to implement an omni-channel marketing strategy for your business in China, here are a few tips to help it thrive.

1. Be on third-party websites, but do it well.

China’s top 10 favourite websites are all e-commerce sites – including TMall, JD, 51Buy and Amazon China. In order to reach the maximum number of consumers, it’s important to be on third-party websites. To protect your own brand identity and image, it’s vital to collaborate with third-party providers to make sure your brand’s merchandising, pricing and product descriptions are consistent with your other sales channels.

2. Ensure a consistent customer service experience.

As customers access your business through multiple touchpoints, it’s essential that their experience is the same no matter where they go. Whether a customer orders from TMall, receives their product from a third-party delivery company or complains over the phone, it’s imperative they receive the same level of service to avoid conflicting experiences with your brand. To do this, identify the key touchpoints with customers in your business, and focus on creating processes and controls to ensure these experiences are up to your business’s standard. It doesn’t hurt to try a mystery shopper either, to help you identify any holes.

3. Focus on the data.

Consumers behave differently on third-party websites than they do in stores, over the phone and at an online store. In order to ensure you’re getting the most out of your different sales channels, dive into your data to see which channels are performing best and where further investigation or improvement needs to be made. Key insights to look for include abandoned shopping carts on your own website versus on third-party websites, which products are popular on different channels, satisfaction rates and exchanges or returns on third-party sites versus your own.

Ultimately, China’s growing e-commerce market holds an incredible amount of promise for local and global businesses.
With the right omni-channel strategy and attention to market innovations, businesses stand the best chance of capitalising on the booming online shopping industry.
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Another year draws to a close and 2018 fast approaches, but it's business as usual at Isentia offices across the globe. Mediaportal is now available in Korea and Taiwan, and Asia Pacific continues to be a highlight for Isentia’s Media and Intelligence business.

We spoke with David Liu, Chief Executive, Asia, and Sean Smith, Chief Executive Media & Intelligence, to get their insights on how Isentia will continue their expansion into Asia.
Isentia's growth in Asia Pacific has been positive for the business for some time. With the recent launch of Mediaportal in Korea and the addition of Taiwan to the portfolio, can you share your thoughts on the journey in Asia so far?

David: From my point of view, if any company wants to launch in a new country, the key is a flagship brand, or product. What we would like to see is Isentia moving from more than just a company name but to a strong and recognisable brand. The exciting aspect about our future in Asia now is that we have a product that can really help us to build our presence in the market. The launch of Mediaportal in Korea and Taiwan really marks the beginning of a new chapter in the launch of Isentia in Asia.

Mediaportal is a very powerful tool that provides a lot of clarity to our clients on what our capabilities are. Anybody can say ‘we monitor media’ but with Mediaportal, what we can do means so much more and it’s going to make it easier for us to continue to build the brand in the region.

Especially with the capabilities Mediaportal brings:
• Metadata applied to local sources
• Multilingual content when it’s available
• A user interface in English, Korean and Traditional or simplified Chinese

Having this portal in very unique countries like Korea and Taiwan, where the media landscapes are not in line with any other international market, gives us the insight and confidence to expand our services further and faster. As a business we haven’t actually changed anything that we can do at the core, but it’s much easier for the team to tell the story of what we can help clients achieve.

How have clients received Isentia’s new product offering in Korea and Taiwan?

David: The reception in Korea has been incredibly positive. The fact is, the decision making processes in companies in these markets are typically longer than most countries, so there’s still a lot of opportunity there for us to sign on more clients than we already have. I’m confident it’s going to be a real breakthrough for us.

Taiwan is just as promising! We’ve recently launched and already signed our first round of clients. They’re coming over from competitors after seeing a demo of a prototype. So you can see that there was already a buzz building there. Of course, the client services team are really excited about Mediaportal, too.

Sean: The other key point to add to this is that this is the first time we’re taking a single platform approach to Asia. We’re simplifying what we do by retiring a series of smaller platforms and outputs & providing a superior, whole-of-company approach. In doing this we will give our clients the best media intelligence service and make it more seamless to our clients to go get regional or global servicing.

The important thing to emphasise again is that we’re delivering a Mediaportal experience which has been adapted to the client needs of each market. Mediaportal will have a multilingual UI and be able to receive content and data from any Asian language.

Sean, I know you’re heading over to Hong Kong and China really soon, can you tell us a bit more about what that trip will entail?

Sean: My time in Hong Kong and China will focus on getting both these markets ready for Mediaportal. There’s a big change management process that David and I need to work through in order to enable our teams and ensure a successful release of Mediaportal.

Launching in Korea and Taiwan was exciting because both were new markets, and there was no legacy to contend with. This isn’t the case when we go live in Hong Kong and China. We’ll introduce a new platform, and a key challenge will be enabling our people and clients so that Mediaportal is easy for them and improves the service. We already deliver the market leading media intelligence service in Korea, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand. We now want this to be the reality in Hong Kong and China.

So we are coming together to build the internal culture and knowledge. What David brings is the skills, expertise and leadership in doing business in Asia, while I bring my experience in Media and Intelligence – we meet in the middle and will work towards a shared goal of releasing Mediaportal in Hong Kong and China and all other markets. Isn’t that the plan David?

David: [laughter] We’re really happy with the way we have structured this because what we have is someone who really understands Mediaportal through his experience and leadership in Media and Intelligence. The support in implementation, positioning and communicating the value of Mediaportal is fantastic and will really help our teams to expand their knowledge.

As we see digital connectivity continue to grow across the region, it’s easy to see the potential in this diverse and unique region. What’s your take on the media landscape and the growth in Asia Pac.?

David: Well as you you’ve already pointed out, the landscape has been rapidly changing and becoming more digitized. I think the difference in Asia is that the capturing of data is actually easier than before because there is less print (print media requires more complexity to capture and costly) and maybe less in broadcast. A notable change in the media landscape is that there is more online news and social –with the digital growth, everything is moving on to the cloud. If you’re not using a platform with the power of the cloud, how will you contain all the data?

Another key point, as well as fast paced growth, is the demographics across the Asian population. For the most part, it is a younger subset. For example the median age of the Vietnamese population was 30.4 years in 2015. This has a big impact on the adoption curve to digital and how media is consumed now and into the future.

What does it take to succeed? And what can we do to bring all that together?

Sean: We know Mediaportal is a great product and that our clients in other markets use it successfully every day to help manage the media and stay informed. Getting the change process right will be critical. We need to make sure our people become experts at using Mediaportal and understand how to show case to our clients so that they can see the benefits it will bring to them as professional communicators.

Secondly the media market is very different in Asia, not just as a region, even as we look country to country. As David has pointed out it is more digitally driven – so online news and social media will be key. Isentia has always had depth of content and data and in Asia this will be no different. In addressing this, we have got to be smarter – the volumes of data in Asia are infinitely bigger. Managing volume and noise for our clients is that we do, by getting the relevant sources to our clients at the right time.

Can you outline what each of you view to be the key competitive advantages that Isentia have over other key players in market?

Sean: We have the greatest reach and can provide our clients with the relevant content and data that they need to stay informed. We do this through a single platform (Mediaprotal) and clients can access this through the web, mobile apps or any device. Importantly Isentia monitors any media type - whether it is print, broadcast, radio or online news - we cover it all. Our clients will have the confidence that they are fully informed. This is unique, as what I see of most other players in the market is they only cover one or two media types.

Another key difference is what Isentia does with all that content and data, through our relevance engines. We make sure that we get the right information to our clients at the right time. We shield them from the noise!

Lastly, it is the strength of our people, we are local and operate in every country. Our teams will understand the media landscape and clients in each country individually.

How do you both collaborate and come together to bring some of Isentia’s strategic objectives to life?

Sean: We talk all the time! We have regular meetings and when needed I spend time in Asia. We stay connected and touch base on all the important points and have very open and robust conversations about what we need to do.

Again, we both bring different strengths to this partnership. David has the Asian knowledge, like people and sales, whereas I bring a range of experience across media intelligence, and that’s how we build a better business.

David: I think we have only one goal and is to make sure that we deliver the best client experience – that is how we really grow Isentia. We understand the client needs locally and I think Sean and his team contribute different industry knowledge and product insights so that our teams can deliver.

“Powered by Technology. Inspired by people” – What does this mean to you?

David: We’re in the business to help clients solve problems. We need our people to understand the client problem and the approaches we can take to help them solve it. But when it comes to implementation, we need technology to help with the complex media landscape world. I doubt any company successfully performs without technology and people going hand in hand.

Sean: I think it’s getting the best out of both. Our service is powered by technology, especially when you talk about the scale and volumes we now encounter. Our people help guide our clients through that busy 24/7 media landscape, and add value to what technology cannot already do.

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Blog
Breaking Boundaries In Media Intelligence

Another year draws to a close and 2018 fast approaches, but it’s business as usual at Isentia offices across the globe. Mediaportal is now available in Korea and Taiwan, and Asia Pacific continues to be a highlight for Isentia’s Media and Intelligence business.

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Earlier this year, Kris Wu, 27, a Chinese singer and actor made history by becoming the first artist from mainland China to perform at the Super Bowl. The NFL also named him official Super Bowl LII ambassador for China. As one of the most influential young celebrities in China, Kris is also the first non-British brand ambassador for Burberry, and ambassador for the 2017 NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans.

To target the world’s most populated market and to be better engage with over 200 million millennials in China, more and more multinational brands are collaborating with young Chinese celebrities.  Especially those with high commercial value and significant social media influence. For example; Michael Kors partnered with Yang Mi, while Bally is working with Tang Yan, and Lancôme choose Zhou Dongyu as a brand ambassador.

Isentia’s recent social media analysis report “The hottest young Chinese celebrities that luxury brands should be following” reveals some of China’s young rising stars that may be next on the brand collaboration watch list, given their commercial value, reputation and highly visible lifestyle.

Download the full report now or read on for a sneak peek!

Case study:

SK-II partner with Leah Dou (窦靖童)

Leah Dou, born in 1997, is the youngest brand spokesperson for SK-II. Known for her rebellious, edgy but also cool attitude, including a distinctive chin tattoo, Leah is somewhat of a departure from the Japanese skincare brands traditional brand representatives.

As the daughter of China’s famous musician Faye Wong and Dou Wei, Leah is a unique Chinese celebrity and according to Isentia’s analysis, after a month from the launch of the “Your statement, your bottle” SK-II campaign, it contributed to 21% of SK-II’s social buzz.

In the past two years, SK-II has increased its marketing efforts in China by leveraging e-commerce and social media tactics crafted for the local market. SK-II’s Changing Destiney campaign has successfully aroused resonance among the Chinese consumers, and sales roared 50% in 2016 from April to December.

Tinna Nien , SK-II’s senior PR manager said in a media interview that to quickly adapt to the China market demand and tap into the millennial consumers, SK-II works with Leah to create diverse brand images, as she is not just represents young consumers but also symbolizes independent values.

However, the collaboration didn’t work for everyone. According to Isentia’s social media analysis, netizens expressed an ambivalent view on choosing Leah Dou as a brand ambassador as they felt she wasn’t a ‘right match’ with the brand.  Sentiment then hit bottom and also triggered discussion around the push to be ‘younger’ and label those over 25, unmarried to be ‘leftover women’. Large amounts of Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) however continued to blast positive articles and posts towards the SK-II x Leah Dou collaboration and KOLs followers expressed supportive opinions. The sentiment peaked and lasted around 10 days. Over 114 KOLs leveraged for promoting #‘生而由我,从心所欲BE THE PERSON YOU DECIDE TO BE #, SK-II seamlessly leveraged the KOLs to promote Tmall, Duty free and offline promotions.

China’s top rising stars:

So who are the ones to watch?

The raising social media e-commerce and fan economy creates a new direct-to-consumer model that enable brands efficiently convert the leads. In Chinese, people call the celebrities who are good at promoting and selling products via social media to their fans ‘Dai Huo Huang Di or Huang Hou’ (King or Queen of product sales). According to Isentia social media analysis, the brand or event co-mentions ratio of King or Queen of product sales could up to 20% to 40%.

Using our powerful media listening tool, along with bespoke framework and extensive keyword iteration list, Isentia’s award winning media analysis team identified the latest popular influencers based on real data and their ability to impact sales through brands collaborations.

Celebrities born after the 1990s have become popular on Weibo since they garnered high buzz volumes thanks to TV dramas and shows. “孟子坤 Meng Zikun”, “周震南Zhou zhennan”, “马伯骞 Ma bosai” and “赵天宇Zhao tianyu”, were all known thanks to the TV show “The coming one” (明日之子.

 To view the full celebrity rank and download the full report, please visit:

https://www.isentiawire.com/white-paper-download-the-hottest-young-chinese-celebrities-that-luxury-brands-should-be-following/
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Blog
China’s young rising stars, their commercial value and the brands that are collaborating with them

As one of the most influential young celebrities in China, Kris Wu is the first non-British brand ambassador for Burberry.

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Isentia, a leading provider of media intelligence and analysis services, is proud to announce the launch of “The Conversation of Sport: Representation of Women in Sports News Coverage,” in partnership with the Office of Women in Sport and Recreation. This research aims to bring awareness to gender inequality in sports, and attention to address the underrepresentation of women in sports media.

The purpose of this research is to establish a baseline of the current coverage of women’s sport and women in sport in Victoria, providing crucial data to advocate for improved representation moving forward. Isentia's expertise in media monitoring and analysis plays a pivotal role in gathering independent, transparent data to assess the current landscape accurately.

"Equal representation in sport is key in shaping the way we view the world…This research represents a key step forward in reducing the gap in coverage for women in sports news. It directly supports the media and sporting organisations with independent, transparent data of current performance in this space.," said Ros Spence Minister for Community Sport

This research shows that the coverage of women’s sport in the media remains significantly lower than that of men’s sport, with only 15% of sports news coverage in Victoria focusing on women’s sport in 2022-23. Isentia's collaboration with Change Our Game aims to highlight this disparity by empowering media outlets with the data and tools necessary to increase the visibility of women in sports news.

Isentia and its partners envision a future where strong representation of women in sports media contributes to the professionalisation of women’s elite sport, dismantles limiting stereotypes, and promotes inclusivity at both the elite and community sport levels. This collaboration sets the stage for a more equitable and diverse sports media landscape, where the stories and achievements of women athletes are celebrated, amplified and contribute to a stronger ecosystem for women's sport.

"Through our partnership with OWSR, we are hopeful that this research will shine a light on the current state of play of sports news, and the impact this can have on the support and participation in women’s sport. While the findings are confronting, having this baseline will help drive positive change." said Ngaire Crawford for Director of Insights and Research, Isentia. 

"We believe that by working together, we can drive meaningful change and create a more inclusive sporting environment for women and girls everywhere."

What We Hope For the Future:

Through our partnership with Change Our Game and the Victorian Government, we hope to pave the way for a future where women in sport are celebrated and recognized on equal footing with their male counterparts in the media. By increasing the visibility and representation of women in sports media, we aim to inspire the next generation of athletes, journalists and content creators and drive positive change towards a more inclusive and equitable sporting landscape. Together, we can create a world where every athlete, regardless of gender, has the opportunity to thrive and succeed.

About Change Our Game:

Change Our Game is an initiative by the Victorian Government aimed at achieving gender equality in sport and active recreation. Through advocacy, funding, and partnerships, Change Our Game works to address systemic barriers and promote inclusivity and diversity across all levels of sport.

About Isentia:

Isentia is a leading provider of media intelligence and analysis services, helping organisations make informed decisions based on actionable insights from media data. With a comprehensive suite of solutions, including media monitoring, analysis, and insights, Isentia empowers clients to stay ahead in an ever-evolving media landscape.

Select to be taken to Change Our Game's full report

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Blog
Isentia co-launches report: Representation of Women in Sports Coverage 2022-23

Isentia, a leading provider of media intelligence and analysis services, is proud to announce the launch of “The Conversation of Sport: Representation of Women in Sports News Coverage,” in partnership with the Office of Women in Sport and Recreation. This research aims to bring awareness to gender inequality in sports, and attention to address the […]

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The story around supermarket prices has been evolving for a number of months, finally reaching an inflection point as the Woolworth’s CEO appeared in a challenging interview with Four Corners and then announced his upcoming retirement only two days later.This chain of events underscores the critical importance of understanding the connections made by broadcast media, as they can significantly influence public perceptions and shape the narrative surrounding key industry players.

https://www.reddit.com/r/PublicRelations/comments/1aukych/australia_woolies_ceo_interview_mishap/?share_id=S-JDSwqI-UlHg_mIeTlkg&utm_content=2&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=ioscss&utm_source=share&utm_term=1

It was only the latest in a series of media items to seize Australia’s attention, and cast the nation’s supermarkets into something of a PR and Comms crisis.

And yet, viewing events through this framing also only gives a partial picture. As the discussion surrounding the impact of supermarkets on the rising cost of living intensifies, we've observed a notable surge in the usage of terms such as 'shrinkflation' and 'skimpflation'. Reaching back even further, we can see how the topics attained a gradually greater place on Australian news and social channels. Shrinkflation and skimpflation are tactics employed by supermarkets during economic challenges. Shrinkflation involves reducing product sizes while maintaining prices, subtly passing on costs to consumers. Skimpflation maintains product sizes but compromises on quality to preserve profit margins. These strategies often frustrate supermarket shoppers, especially during economic strains like inflation.

Clearly, the topic has become ubiquitous. But if we want to understand how information and perceptions have been communicated to mainstream Australian audiences, then it becomes vitally important to pay particular attention to broadcast media. 

Broadcast media (which includes television, radio and podcasts)  plays a pivotal role in shaping public discourse and influencing perceptions, particularly on pressing issues such as the cost of living crisis. 

Using Isentia to monitor these data sources, we gain valuable insights into their contribution to consumer attitudes. From identifying which organisations are most associated with the issue to pinpointing key public figures and preferred channels within radio and TV, broadcast media monitoring allows us to understand the complex dynamics that shape public opinion.

It’s the oldest of these media types which accounts for the most mentions of the supermarket crisis. Beyond reporting updates on the senate inquiry and government actions, radio excels in facilitating in-depth conversations between hosts and listeners, which surfaces more individual consumer stories than television or podcasts can match.

ABC's predominant coverage of the topic corresponds with the network's content strategy. Major programs such as the Supermarket Four Corners special and podcasts like The Briefing attract substantial listenership and garner attention from other channels. Channel 7, in addition to delivering key news updates, focuses on the shopper experience within supermarkets, shedding light on everyday challenges faced by audiences, such as navigating shrinkflation and skimpflation tactics.

Understanding the majority share of broadcast channels within this topic is important as it reflects who has the loudest voice, and is most persistently advancing a certain narrative or way of framing the situation. 

Coles and Woolworths dominate the conversation, reflecting their prominent presence in the retail landscape. Their widespread accessibility and familiarity to consumers make them prime subjects for discussion in the context of rising costs and economic pressures. 

Conversely, Aldi and IGA, while still significant players in the grocery market, may receive comparatively less focus in these discussions. Aldi's reputation for offering lower-priced alternatives and IGA's decentralised business model, with independently owned stores, may also contribute to their reduced presence in conversations about supermarket practices during times of economic strain. 

Each channel and network approaches discussions about supermarket groups differently. While Coles and Woolworths understandably dominate each station's broadcasts, the precise balance (and the time afforded to Adi and IGA) is revealing.

For instance, 4BC has encouraged audiences to diversify their shopping habits, with one 4BC broadcaster highlighting that "Aldi and IGA are actually doing more than the other two to really help enormously with the cost of living."

In the discourse on supermarket practices during the cost of living crisis, a number key figures emerge across broadcast channels. Anthony Albanese, the Australian Prime Minister, is predictably prominent on just about every channel, particularly broadcaster 2SM. 

All of them, that is, apart from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), which spotlights Allan Fels, an economist and former ACCC chair who has analysed price gouging by major corporations. Other notable politicians mentioned include Treasurer Jim Chalmers, Craig Emerson, Steven Miles, and David Littleproud. 

Media's focus on these figures is crucial for shaping public discourse and policy responses amid economic pressures. While supermarkets are often discussed as a key antagonist in the cost of living crisis, they are increasingly being viewed in the context of potential solutions, particularly regarding government policy to regulate supermarket giants.

At the same time, focus does not only fall on the prominent individuals driving business decisions and policymaking. Country Hour (NSW), for instance, focused a story on cherry grower Michael Cuneo, who ceased selling to supermarkets after he made a financial loss on a shipment of fruit. And it was this story that achieved the greatest media reach of any radio content on the topic.  

Clearly then, the topic has not played out in any one way across any one channel. The prominence of key figures and top broadcast channels in this conversation underscores the importance of understanding how media coverage impacts public discourse and regulatory decisions. Isentia's broadcast capabilities offer unparalleled insight into the role of broadcast media in shaping the narrative surrounding supermarket practices. By harnessing Isentia's monitoring and analysis tools, organisations can gain deep insights into how influential discourse and coverage can impact an industry. 

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Blog
How Australian broadcast media has shaped the cost of living crisis narrative

The story around supermarket prices has been evolving for a number of months, finally reaching an inflection point as the Woolworth’s CEO appeared in a challenging interview with Four Corners and then announced his upcoming retirement only two days later.This chain of events underscores the critical importance of understanding the connections made by broadcast media, […]

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