For most businesses, an international strategy will include China – simply because of the size and scale of the opportunity there. Yet from language to culture to the law, this market is vastly different from any other country and success there depends hugely on taking this into account. General Manager of Baidu International, Frankie Ho will be speaking at the International Search Summit at SMX East on September 28th. Ahead of the event, he answers a few questions about Baidu and China.
Frankie, what are the biggest opportunities for international businesses in China?
China is the 2nd largest economy in the world with population over 1.3 billion, its GDP value represents around 16% of the world economy in 2014. With internet users and online shoppers expected to reach 730 million and 380 million respectively by 2016, China is a market you cannot afford to miss.
Which misconceptions do they make about doing business in the Chinese market?
China is an unique market which background culture, economic structure and business environment are very different from Western countries, and all these conditions impact a company’s strategy and management in doing advertising in China.
The Chinese government plays an important role on impacting Chinese business environment, having imposed strict policies and laws on advertising in the state (some products / industries are not even allowed to advertise at all). Therefore, utilising a local expert who possesses domestic knowledge is vital for foreign companies who wish to enter the enormous China market.
What makes Baidu different to other search engines? What are the common mistakes made when using Baidu?
Baidu is the largest Chinese search engine in the world, reaching over 95% of Chinese netizens, holding 76% market share and receiving over 5 Billion search queries per day.
Chinese publishers have their own policies and regulations on processing digital advertising censorship, for instance, it takes less than 30 minutes for advertisers to open account at Google, but it may take up to 2 weeks for Baidu for a censorship check – so it can be more time consuming.
What are your top tips for businesses to make the most of their presence on Baidu?
It really depends on the industry you are in, as we have different advice and solutions for different brands and industries. For instance, building brand awareness is not necessarily the key advertising objective for popular brands. Thus, instead of investing in regular SEM, we would recommend brand zone promotion to further enhance the brand’s prestige and separate them from the numerous fake products / websites in China.
We have more to offer besides search related products in order to customise a total online advertising solution for those who would like to enter China market, such as Baidu Travel – which is a travel sharing platform similar to TripAdvisor.
As China is a vast market with a huge internet population, it is critical for advertisers to have enough budget, in order to reach the largest audience in the world.
What will attendees take away from your session at ISS?
You will learn about the uniqueness of the China digital market landscape and latest trends, how is it different from Western countries and the most effective way to enter this booming market.
And finally, why should people attend ISS?
With global internet users reaching over 3.1 billion in 2015, search has become an integral marketing component for brands hoping to gain a foothold in the internet environment. Attend ISS to learn from some of the sharpest minds in the global digital industry on how to capitalise on opportunities in digital space around the world, as well as driving better marketing results.
Yandex and Google will be on the bill at ISS New York on September 28th, alongside international search marketing experts including Andy Atkins-Krüger, Bill Hunt and Michael Bonfils.
Take your global search marketing to the next level with insight, tactics and techniques to boost international performance, drive global efficiencies and develop new markets.
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