From analyzing your competitors to identifying market opportunities, collecting China market intelligence data allows you to gain a better understanding of your target audience. But how exactly can you do it?
New businesses looking to enter the local business scene may think latching onto the latest industry trends can amplify their marketing efforts. However, the Chinese market is more complex than that.
In this post, we’ll share insights on how vital business intelligence resources are and what research methods you can use to expand your market knowledge.
What is Market Intelligence?
Market intelligence is a data-gathering process that helps companies to analyze specific sectors or markets to make informed decisions.
In China, this method helps foreign brands to have a comprehensive understanding of the complexities and dynamics of the Chinese market and identify key economic indicators essential for achieving success in this competitive landscape.
Four Types of Marketing Intelligence in China
● Competitor Intelligence
Gone were the days when data sources about China’s business landscape were scarce. Nowadays, you can gain a competitive advantage by monitoring the activities, strategies, strengths, and weaknesses of the existing businesses in your industry.
By understanding the competitive landscape through marketing intelligence research, businesses can determine opportunities to differentiate themselves and devise effective strategies to gain a competitive edge.
● Product Intelligence
This method involves researching and assessing the Chinese market’s demand for specific products or services. Besides monitoring your competitors, this analysis allows companies to understand the preferences and needs of Chinese consumers, determine emerging market trends, and evaluate the performance of existing products.
By gaining insights into the market’s product preferences, a small business can tailor its offerings to match consumer demands and stay ahead of the bigger competition.
● Target Market Analysis
The China market has a diverse and culturally rich structure, so identifying the characteristics, preferences, and behaviors within your niche is more crucial than you think.
This research method includes market segmentation based on demographics, psychographics, and purchasing decisions. With this analysis, brands can design effective marketing campaigns, optimize distribution channels, and tailor their communication to resonate with the Chinese consumer base.
● Customer Research
This marketing intelligence research method delves deeper into the preferences, needs, and pain points of your potential and current customers. It involves analyzing consumer feedback, customer surveys, and data on customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Knowing your customers deeply through this analysis can help improve any product or service you intend to offer in the China market. It’ll also foster brand loyalty and advocacy, allowing you to attract new customers.
The Challenges of Market Intelligence in China
Due to its distinct characteristics and information landscape, gathering data and other marketing intelligence resources in China poses unique obstacles. Here are some of the problems faced by brands seeking to gain market insights in the country:
Lack of Transparency
The country has business environment is often characterized by limited transparency, particularly concerning official data and financial information. Accessing accurate and up-to-date data can be challenging due to government regulations, bureaucratic hurdles, and restricted public disclosure requirements.
Language and Cultural Barriers
Unlike local entities, language is a significant obstacle for foreign brands to gather market data in China. While English might be prevalent in international business settings, local market information is primarily available in Mandarin Chinese.
Additionally, cultural nuances and business practices differ from those in Western markets, making it essential to have a deep understanding of your customers’ local customs and communication styles.
China’s vast economic size and diverse regions contribute to a highly fragmented market. Analysis of consumer behaviors, preferences, and market dynamics in the country can vary significantly between cities and provinces, so creating a cohesive marketing intelligence strategy can be more challenging unless you seek help from industry professionals and agencies.
Data Accuracy and Reliability
Even when data is available, its accuracy and reliability may be questionable. Some sources may be biased or manipulated, leading to potential inaccuracies in market sizing, competitor analysis, and other critical metrics.
Complex Digital Landscape
China’s digital ecosystem operates independently of mainstream global platforms. With the “Great Firewall” blocking access to major Western platforms like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, a foreign company can only rely on local service equivalents like Baidu, WeChat, and Weibo.
Understanding the Chinese digital landscape and accurately measuring digital engagement metrics can be complicated for foreign brands.
Regulatory Environment & Intellectual Property Concerns
China’s regulatory landscape is rapidly changing, impacting market conditions and business operations. Staying up-to-date with evolving regulations is essential for brands to adapt their market intelligence strategies accordingly.
Protecting intellectual property in China can also be challenging due to historical issues with counterfeiting and intellectual property rights violations. Brands must be cautious about sharing sensitive information and ensure proper legal protections.
Effective Ways of Collecting Market Intelligence Data in China
1. In-Depth Data Collection through Social Listening and Data Analytics
Leveraging data analytics and social listening tools on Chinese social media platforms can offer valuable consumer insights and sentiment analysis. China’s digital landscape is highly active, with a vast user base on platforms like WeChat, Weibo, and Douyin (TikTok).
By employing data analytics tools and social listening strategies, brands can monitor conversations, trends, and sentiments surrounding their brand, products, and industry. This real-time feedback can help identify consumer preferences, promptly address potential issues, and tailor marketing strategies to resonate with the Chinese audience.
Additionally, social listening can provide valuable feedback on competitors’ activities, giving new brands a competitive edge.
2. Conducting Company Checks with Baidu Aiqicha
Company checks are crucial in the due diligence process, especially when evaluating potential new business partners in the e-commerce and service sectors.
As the digital landscape grows, many business interactions and collaborations occur through online platforms such as Alibaba, Aliexpress, etc. While these platforms offer immense opportunities for global trade and networking, they also expose brands to potential risks, scams, and fraudulent activities.
Conducting a comprehensive company check, particularly with services like Baidu Aiqicha, is vital to ensure the legitimacy and influence of the partner in question. Here are the key reasons why company checks are essential:
- Verification of Legitimacy: It is essential to verify that the company exists, is legally registered, and operates within the relevant jurisdiction. Unregistered or illegitimate businesses can lead to fraudulent transactions and disputes.
- Assessment of Financial Stability: Understanding the financial health of a potential partner is critical for safeguarding your business interests. Economic instability or excessive debts may indicate potential risks of non-payment or bankruptcy.
- Business Reputation: A company’s reputation reflects its past performance and interactions with customers and partners. Assessing reviews, ratings, and feedback from previous clients can offer insights into their reliability and trustworthiness.
- Business Practices and Ethics: Investigating the company’s business practices, ethical standards, and commitment to environmental and social responsibility can help determine whether they align with your values and principles.
3. B2B Marketing Research Using 1688
You may not know, but 1688.com is a highly valuable and comprehensive platform for conducting B2B research. As part of the Alibaba Group, 1688.com caters primarily to the domestic Chinese market, serving as the most extensive online wholesale marketplace in the country.
Its features and extensive product offerings make it an ideal resource for brands seeking deep insights and strategic advantages in the dynamic and rapidly evolving Chinese market.
A key advantage of 1688.com is the ability to compare prices of similar products from different suppliers. This price transparency empowers brands to make informed decisions about cost-effectiveness and find the most competitive offers for their sourcing needs.
The platform offers an in-depth analysis of e-commerce shops operating on the platform. Businesses can access vital data such as shop ratings, customer reviews, transaction histories, and seller information. This feature facilitates thorough due diligence, enabling brands to evaluate the reputation and credibility of potential partners or suppliers before engaging in transactions.
4. On-the-Ground Marketing Intelligence Research
Conducting in-person research, focus groups, and interviews with local consumers and industry experts can provide valuable firsthand information. Immersing in the local culture, interacting with target consumers, and engaging with industry stakeholders on-site will yield deep insights that are difficult to obtain through secondary sources alone.
On-the-ground research allows brands to observe consumer behavior, gather unfiltered feedback, and gain a nuanced understanding of cultural nuances that may influence purchasing decisions. It also enables businesses to validate assumptions, refine strategies, and tailor products or services to match the specific needs and preferences of the Chinese market.
5. Analyzing Data through Baidu SERPs
As you may already be aware, Baidu is often referred to as the “Google of China,” as it dominates the search engine market in the country, just like Google does in many other parts of the world.
When conducting market research, analyzing competitors, identifying potential partners, understanding market niches, and evaluating your brand’s performance, examining Baidu’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) can provide invaluable insights.
By analyzing the SERPs of Baidu for relevant keywords in your industry, you can gain valuable information about your competitors’ online presence. Understanding which companies rank prominently for key search terms will help you determine the major players in the market and assess their strategies to stay competitive.
Baidu’s SERPs can be instrumental in evaluating the demand for specific products or services within a particular niche. By monitoring search trends and the presence of relevant websites, you can gauge the popularity and growth potential of different market segments.
6. Gathering Data Using New Rank
As previously stated, one of the obstacles to gathering market data is that some of the data and stats available about the local industry are solely in Mandarin Chinese. Because of this, creating an analysis can be tougher for a non-local company looking to expand in China.
Fortunately, Newrank can come to your rescue. It’s a cutting-edge analysis tool specializing in WeChat Big Data launched in 2014. Although this service is real-time and data-driven, the platform’s registration and basic access are absolutely free.
The platform’s premium access allows brands to leverage their offerings, from traffic growth strategies to the latest market insights. Having a WeChat account is imperative to unlock Newrank’s features.
A regular WeChat account will suffice; there’s no need for a business account. However, do make sure to follow Newrank’s official WeChat account to access their services on the website.
WeChat accounts overall monthly ranking
Your Trusted China Market Intelligence Partner!
Navigating the obstacles of market intelligence in China requires creativity, adaptability, and a willingness to invest time and resources to unlock the market’s untapped potential.
Don’t let the complexities of the Chinese landscape hold you back! Our team is here to guide you through every twist and turn, transforming your brand’s potential into a resounding success.
Whether it’s for conducting a market study, crafting compelling paid advertising campaigns, harnessing the power of SEO and social media, or making waves with PR, we have the digital solutions you need. Contact us today to unlock your brand’s potential in China’s thriving economic landscape!