An online celebrity reacts for her followers via a livestreaming app in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province. (Photo by Miao Jian/For China Daily)
Global brands and marketers see great marketing potential in China with its fast-growing middle-income group and booming number of internet users, marketing professionals said at a gathering held on Tuesday in New York.
"It's really hard to claim you are a global company without having a meaningful presence in China," said Jeff Green, CEO and founder of US advertising company The Trade Desk, at a panel titled Reaching the Right Audience in China.
On the same day the company launched its programmatic ad-buying platform in China, in partnership with major media companies and their subsidiaries, including Baidu's exchange services and video streaming service iQIYI.
The platform was introduced at a time when entering or expanding in the China market is topping the lists of most global brands and companies' top priorities.
In a recent survey conducted by market research company Forrester Consulting, 92 percent of global marketers said China is a significant growth opportunity for their business.
Another survey conducted by The Trade Desk and Forbes Insights among CMOs from global companies late last year showed that 80 percent were planning to increase their investment in China over the next 12-18 months.
"The growth of China is very obvious," said Benson Ho, chief data strategy officer of Tencent Marketing Solution.
Ho pointed out that China's middle-income group is growing and Chinese people generally have more disposable income, adding that people in China are increasingly willing to spend money.
China has an expanding middle-income group of 400 million people out of a total population of 1.4 billion, according to Xinhua.
An enlarging middle-income group was one of many reasons that Green believes makes China a promising market for global brands and marketers, and a considerable number of internet users is another.
According to a mid-2018 report by the Chinese government, the nation has 802 million internet users. That amounted 20 percent of all global internet users, which totaled 3.9 billion, according to a 2018 estimate by the International Telecommunication Union.
"(Chinese) people's engagement with brands, engagement with social media is so much higher than almost any other market in the world," said Devin Beringer, a digital marketing consultant with over 10 years' experience working in China.
The market is also filled with energy, passion, and possibility, with fast-rate innovation happening in many fields, sometimes outpacing US industries in the same fields, added Beringer.
"The culture is incredibly innovative, China is perhaps the best experiment in venture capital ever," said Green.
While the Chinese market is enabling many global companies to accumulate "incredible sales" with features like an advanced e-commerce industry, Jed Dederick, vice-president of business development for The Trade Desk, told China Daily that some companies are having a hard time capitalizing as they lack an effective marketing strategy.
That creates an "outside-in" opportunity for brands and marketers who look to invest and spend more inside of China, said Green.
"Basically, China has been underinvested in," he said.