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  • Writer's pictureAkina Wong

Why our competitor intelligence tool matters to you for China?

Updated: Sep 28, 2021


In this article, you’ll learn…


Data-driven marketing is not new , but many brands still find it difficult to achieve maximum ROI.

Marketing is about “how to do this”. However, if you can’t answer “why we do this”, how can you ensure the potential of your marketing strategy? That’s why nowadays data-driven marketing is highly valued in the industry for continuously absorbing new insights from various stakeholders and improving campaign effectiveness.

A transformative tool for data-driven marketing

Competitor Intelligence tool is monitoring the process to discover social marketing platforms for mentions of your brand, competitors, current and potential clients.

Social media has risen to the world’s largest pool for market research. In 1.44 billion of China’s population, there're over 1.61 billion mobile connections and 930.8 million active social media users. It's equal to a reflection of what people are thinking and feeling, what strategies are effective and ineffective, and how best to engage with the audience. And competitor intelligence is the key to gain and filter information that is necessary for the blueprint of effective marketing strategies.

The potential of the China market

Even China market underwent a change in 201010 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has recovered and rebounded much faster than most of the world. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) further forecasts that China’s economic growth will rank among the top economies in 2021.

What to look out for:

Challenge 1: Fragmented Digital Ecosystem

Social Media

China’s social media market is competitive. China will reach 725 million social media users in China by 2022. Brands are eager to get attention from this consumers, but how?

Find the right platform to be on. Create a brand presence on a wrong social media platform will be a waste your marketing resources time, and money.

China Social Media Snapshot:

The most used platform in China (Weibo, WeChat, RED & Douyin)


  • A blogging platform

  • With over 566 million monthly active users (Source: Statista)

  • The main content are Top KOL or celebrity sharing on products or major marketing campaigns of luxury or famous brands

  • The content can be attached with links to online stores


  • A messenger, photo and video sharing, online bank, e-commerce platforms

  • With over 1.25 Monthly Active users (Source: Statista)

  • Popular topics include current affairs, sports & entertainment, culture, tech and education etc.

Xiaohongshu or RED

  • A shopping, product reviews, and e-commerce platform

  • 325 million registered users

  • KOLs’ sharing on their personal experiences of products of mostly

  • Main categories are fashion, skincare, and beauty brands.

  • Content can directly link to online stores

Douyin (TikTok)

  • A short video sharing and e-commerce platform

  • 600 million Daily Active Users

  • Main content: short videos paired with music and with narratives (new trend)

  • Content creators are mainly in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hangzhou.


China’s e-commerce market is deemed to be incredibly prosperous and dynamic as one of the fastest-growing markets in the world, in which Year-on-year growth rate is more than 20% and the estimated number of online consumers is more than 650 million, approximately twice the population of the USA.

The most used eCommerce platforms in China are Taobao, Tmall, and Of course, there are other platforms that are more suitable to niche markets including Pingduoduo, Wechat, and Xiahongshu.

Currently, over 70% of the Chinese population search online to make a purchase decision. Thus, these eCommerce platforms often launch large-scale, heated marketing campaigns on social media channels to promote brands that they cooperate with. However, each online retailer has its unique characteristics and even the campaigns on the same platforms can aim at different marketing purposes. For instance, both Super Brand Day and Little Black Box are the strategies of brand-name product promotion on Tmall but Little Black Box is particularly for product-debut marketing.

China's eCommerce Snapshot:

The most used platform in China (Taobao, Tmall &


  • C2C model: stores are mainly of individual & small businesses

  • Sells any types of products:

  • Customer target groups are middle-class & upper-middle class, millennials & post-millennials.


  • B2C model: stores are mainly of official & international retailers

  • mostly sells female-oriented products

  • The customer target group are middle-class & upper-middle class, millennials & Gen Z's.

  • B2C model stores are mainly of official & international retailers

  • Sells mostly technology-oriented products

  • The customer target group are lower-class & middle-class

Challenge 2: Consumer's emphasis on reputation

Chinese loves to read reviews on social media, and they frequently make purchases based on recommendations of Chinese Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) and Key Opinion Customers (KOC). Thus, these influencers have become a heavily used strategy for brand and product marketing.

How to find the right Influencers in China?

With more and more influencers popping up on numerous social media platforms in China, it is time-consuming to generate and dig into their profiles, such as follower interests and types, content engagement performance, and previous and current brand endorsement. Another point to be noted is the influencer segmentation in China — top-tier, middle-tier, bottom-tier, and ordinary. Each segment serves respective brand marketing purposes so how you coordinate them for a marketing campaign is another big question without in-depth social listening.

Challenge 3: Content Trends in China

The digital ecosystem of China is not only fragmented but also fast-changing. To stand out in the era of big data, social media feeds need to be high-quality as well as able to fit in with the audience’s interests and habits.

Cases in point:

After the success of Taobao live streaming, Chinese consumers are used to and even dependent on live streaming to make buying decisions. Therefore, the competitive social media platforms, like WeChat Mini Program and Douyin Store, have incorporated and combined live-streaming with purchase function. Live viewers do not need to exit live-streaming to make a purchase.

RED users often attempt to get a surprise box by searching the keywords about the brand or related actives or browsing specific notes. While users can get coupons to cut costs and conveniently jump to store pages, brands can collect users’ information for marketing purposes and increase the conversion rate. These trends are not that common a year or two years ago, but now Chinese consumers loves them.

Smarter marketing begins with the Vfluencer data platform

Vfluencer’s Mission

As an award-winning marketing technology company that pioneered the brand intelligence industry in China, our proprietary interactive visual system assists brand managers in understanding the social media space with real-time and comparative data analytics and provides immediate in-depth data profiles of the operation and performance of brands, influencers, and marketing campaigns.

China is a huge but competitive market and thus it’s important to do social listening with social media intelligence to uncover the trending marketing strategy and continue to optimise your brand strategy.

Vfluencer’s Platform Functions

Here are 3 fundamental functions extracted:

1. Competitor Analysis:

Compare yourself against your competitors with our analytical comparison.

2. Brand Analysis:

An depth insights into the brand performance of social media platforms, such as the Share of Voice (SOV( distribution and partnerships with influencers of all levels.

3. Campaign Analysis:

Collect online activities and the effectiveness of all the different campaigns you want.

If you are interested in a competitor intelligence tool for China's market, contact us:


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