This is according to Christian Solomon, Chief Digital Officer at MediaCom China, who spoke to WARC about the trends shaping China’s media and retail landscape. (For more, read WARC’s exclusive: What’s new for media and retail in China.)
“Obviously, e-commerce in the last couple of years has been the prominent space, and you've got most categories shifting towards it if they can,” Solomon said. The proliferation of e-commerce data into brand marketing across sectors has effectively created the current moment. “That’s taken us to where we are now, where the biggest focus for 2018 is basically activating e-commerce data,” he said.
The drive toward e-commerce data integration has seen a reshuffling of China’s well-known ‘Big Three’ internet companies. Alibaba and Tencent remain top, the search company Baidu is feeling the heat from JingDong, another e-commerce competitor.
“That's kind of seeing Baidu slip away a little bit, where they're becoming a little bit less relevant. Search ad spend in general has been shrinking over the last few years, and they don't have themselves a social platform or an e-commerce platform,” Solomon said.
“Tencent's driven by social data. Alibaba's driven by e-commerce data - and Tencent has that nice deep connection with Jingdong so they have access to e-commerce data as well,” he said.
With Alibaba and Tencent owning so much of the Chinese internet space, both companies are now pushing a ‘unique ID’ across multiple platforms to get a more unified view of customer behaviour online.
“You can track and plan against a unique ID for one person across their whole ecosystem”, he explained. Brands don’t have to have an Alibaba-branded online presence – for example, a T-Mall portal – to be able to target against Alibaba’s data.
However, 90-95% of profits and revenue still comes through the traditional trade format, Solomon added, especially in smaller cities, though its influence is expected to grow significantly.
Sourced from WARC