Brands must be adaptable when marketing to younger, “Post-90s” consumers in China, according to Nestle’s head of digital marketing and social media for Greater China, Hannelore Grams.
Speaking at the Festival of Media Asia Pacific 2015 (FOMA), Grams said the pace of change in social media habits can be awkward for large brand owners.
“When we follow the post-90s, their behaviour is just changing. Planning can be six months ahead, but events might have grabbed the attention of this group,” said Grams.
“You might not have to change your entire campaign, but you need to be flexible, which can be difficult in a big organisation like Nestle.”
Grams discussed Nestle’s Chinese social media “command centre”, created three years ago to get on top of a digital landscape completely different to other markets.
“We needed something dedicated to the Chinese environment. We are listening to social conversations, crunching the numbers and breaking them down to be ahead of trends, and to be prepared for any issues. We want to look out of the window, and to gain insights,” she said.
Grams was joined onstage by Sam Flemming, the founder and chief executive of China-based social media specialists CIC, who urged brands to consider the unique role played by social platforms like Weibo and WeChat.
“With mainstream entertainment in China – though it is getting better – and information more limited and less trusted, and with the one child policy you don’t have brothers and sisters, so social media fills that unique void,” said Flemming.
However, brands looking to invest in social media command centres must be prepared to invest, he warned: “We’ve built these command centres, listening centres, for a number of clients. They can look beautiful, and you can tour VIPs around them, but they can become ghost towns.
“With ecommerce now have access to real-time feedback on products. If it was just about creating a social media campaign with more buzz, it’s more limited, but by linking it to core business decisions we see greater success.”
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