(Online) Marketing in China: CADENAS branch in Shanghai gives some tips

Only at a second glance can you see the great potential

Yi Lan, managing director of CADENAS China Ltd. in Shanghai

We recently conducted an interview with the Swabian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Head of International Business, Axel Sir, gave some important tips on what should be noted about (online) marketing in China. We have now asked the managing director of the CADENAS branch in Shanghai about his marketing activities.

Mr. Lan, you are the managing director of CADENAS China Ltd. in Shanghai. How does it look with marketing here and what do you have to pay attention to?
We try to keep our advertising campaigns more rational and not as emotional as perhaps you are accustomed to in Germany or Europe. Of course focus on one topic in our flyers or brochures and bring it closer to our customers with clear argumentation. Perhaps the greatest difference, however, is our selection of images. We usually want to use neutral pictures and no photos which might shock or put off someone.

You use the social app WeChat for the marketing of CAD models. Why is that?
We were able to persuade our colleagues in Germany that, without this social app, no truely useful marketing of 3D CAD models would be possible in China. After all, WeChat is widespread here – current figures speak of 650 million users. For this reason, we established a WeChat channel already back in October 2015. Thus CADENAS was better able to position its solutions and numerous manufacturer catalogs in China. CADENAS is therefore one of the first German companies to build on such regional solutions. And rightly so, as WeChat is a must.

Why don’t engineers have any business-related e-mail addresses, but only use their private QQ addresses?
Sometimes employees have no access to the Internet within the company, due to security and data protection. E-mail addresses do in fact exist, but they are mainly to be used internally for communication among the employees. Whenever an engineer wishes to download a 3D CAD model from the Internet, he has to use his private e-mail address when doing so. Due to the numerous possibilities, engineers are glad to use the QQ service. This is very practical, as the user can send and receive e-mails, and at the same time can chat via QQ, connecting directly with people in his contact list.

What would your advice be for European companies when they see that the number of downloads from China is very high while the e-mail addresses, at first glance, seem useless because they consist of a row of numbers but no name?
Many think that such e-mail addresses are not helpful. In addition, the online form might not be completed properly. At this point, the effort seems too great and the users too small so as to keep the addresses and so they are deleted. We’re talking about paying customers here, even if the e-mail addresses are not in the usual form. In China, you are registered with an e-mail provider, such as QQ, with a mobile number – it’s quite normal.
One thing should be clear: There are real people behind those addresses, people with genuine potential and customer requests. It would be an economic disadvantage to leave these addresses unused.

Mr. Lan, we thank you much for talking with us!

Do you have further questions about marketing in China, WeChat or Chinese e-mail addresses? Then simply contact us at Marketing@cadenas.de or phone us at +49 821 258 580-0.

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