The Chinese market has passed from the status of becoming a promising market to now being one of the common and indispensable components in the development strategies of most international watch brands. According to the study ‘China’s Digital Generations 2.0’ by the Boston Consulting Group, advertising spending in the digital domain in China should increase from 8 per cent in 2008 to 20 per cent by 2012.
Today, the Internet is the favoured method of reaching the Chinese consumer and of thus developing the reputation and image of a brand or a product as well as effectively supporting sales.
According to the ‘2011 Luxury Consumer Report’ published by the McKinsey Institute, the consumer of luxury products in China is generally young:
45 per cent of consumers of luxury products in China are less than 35 years of age, versus 28 per cent in Europe
Hence, the growing influence of the Internet on their ideas is clear. Again, according to the McKinsey Institute’s report, after direct in-store experience (44 per cent), the Internet—more specifically online advertising—represents the point of contact that has the most influence (21 per cent) for the buying process in the luxury products sector in China.
The goal then consists of working in two strategic areas of the Internet in China: online advertising and search engines. Many questions remain, however, as to the ways to effectively position a brand or product in the Chinese online sector. Online advertising – or how to generate qualified searches.
Despite the gigantic numbers of people who visit Chinese websites, and in spite of the considerable increase in purchasing power over the last few years, the size of the clientele for luxury products is still very small in comparison to the hundreds of millions of Chinese who surf the web.
More than ever, the quality of the targeted audience is very important if one wants to guarantee the return on investment of an online advertising campaign. From financial sites, including those dedicated to the luxury and fashion segments, to social networks reserved for affluent people, China now has a variety of websites that offer quality for watch brands.
ww.iwatch365.net is a chat room devoted exclusively to the universe of luxury watches. It has 240,000 unique visitors and 2.6 million page views per month (Source: Google Adplanner – DLG 2011).
Many brands are already present on the site, in both editorial and advertising formats.
www.p1.cn is a social network operating on an by-invitation-only basis and reserved for the affluent class in China. It claims to have 800,000 members.