For years, brands have been using social media, PR and other marketing disciplines in isolated silos. Nowadays, buyer’s and stakeholder’s journeys are powered by so many sources, devices and mediums that it’s become difficult to really engage with them in this way. But there’s good news. Social media is becoming more and more integrated to websites and linked to companies’ overall marketing strategies. From “social only” campaigns, many marketers and communications professionals have now switched their focus to fully integrated campaigns which link seamlessly to customer service, sales or PR.
In a similar way, the ‘social media command centre’ has evolved to reflect this synergistic marketing approach. Until recently, it was often just a dedicated room where a few employees could keep track of mentions on social platforms and engage in social conversations happening around brands or topics. It looked impressive (big digital walls, amazing large screens, fascinating data visualization, elegant glass façade….) but how can you have an overall view of your brand if you just track the basic figures of shares, likes or retweets? How can you gain decisive insight if you just monitor social media without allowing other departments to add their data to the table?
Welcome to the age of big data and insight command centres. Following the release of a recent case study by Forrester on the Kantar Media CIC + Nestle China social intelligence and command centre, we spoke to Sam Flemming, Founder and CEO of Kantar Media CIC, about these changes and what it means for businesses.
If you want to download The New Age of Social Media Command Center white paper, please contact us.
Renay Cheng, Kantar Media CIC
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Chinese youth born between 1985 and 1995 bear the unique trademarks of their generation, and increasingly have the material resources to be active consumers, making them the hottest consumer group in the current market. Kantar Media CIC recently released “85-95 Generation Skincare Report” painting a detailed profile of this young target audience with detailed analysis.
September 22, 2015: In the first quarter of 2015, China’s B2C category for Mothers and Infants reached RMB26.36 billion in transactions, a 51.9% growth from the first quarter of 2014. This study, titled China’s B2C Market Quarterly Monitoring Report – Quarter 1, 2015 sends a clear message to marketers: industries surrounding mothers and infants is on a fast path to growth.
However, marketing to mothers can prove tricky. Due to past food scandals and the close, personal connection mothers have to their infant’s nutrition, word of mouth support proves the most effective marketing tool. In the advent of today’s online social communities, much of this discussion is happening through WeChat, which offers a rich variety of content. However, to the media research landscape, this can pose as new and uncertain terrain.
Kantar Media CIC, a China’s leading social and digital business intelligence provider with over ten years’ experience in research and analysis, and Ogilvy China jointly issued the results of a study focused on WeChat content for mothers and infant Nutrition, with in-depth analysis of half years’ Wechat data (December 2014 to May 2015).
WeChat content was collected by Kantar Media CIC from 92 leading, influential mother and infant WeChat public media accounts, plus 12 mother and infant care KOL public accounts as well as 24 brand accounts. According to Kantar Media CIC’s unique text mining & data analysis technique, in-depth research focused on the different types of content, each created and then conducted a comparative analysis of their focus and reach. This research will prove essential to marketers when they work to create effective content strategy and guidelines that target expecting and new mothers.
The content in each of the three different categories displayed a different type of reach. For instance KOLs, as opinion leaders, specialize in providing practical experience in childcare for the audience, while brands focus more on products, services and answering questions. According to our survey, brand accounts have the greatest amount of original content, media has the highest forwarding rate and KOLs tend to boast the greatest audience reach.
Media, brands and KOLs focus on different facets, but complement each other
Within these three types of public accounts – Media, KOL and Brand – the KOL accounts tend to express leadership in mother and infant expertise and knowledge. Among the few KOLs highlighted in this study, WeChat attention tended to surround well-known nutritionists and pediatricians. For example, microblogging accounts of pediatricians like “Cuiyu Tao Family Parenting [崔玉涛家庭育儿]” and “Nutritionist Care Center [营养师顾中一]” garner a large amount of fans. In addition, KOLs using other online and social media tools exhibit a more flexible way to spread their reach; popular pediatrician Bao Xiulan set up a “Healthy Energy” microsite and “Rice Cake Mama” has a well-known online radio channel on Himalaya FM.
In contrast, media accounts tend to offer social and messaging functions, with names like “Parenting Networks [育儿网]” and “Kung Fu Mom and Kid Education [功夫妈咪孩子教育]”, which focus on topics like nutrition, parenting and discussion forums. These create interactive lifestyle platforms that build comprehensive communities of mothers. Brand accounts tend to focus on providing customer service, with information like weather services, consultation, product authentication and marketing-related activities meant to generate customer loyalty.
The takeaway from this evaluation concludes that original content has the advantage of leveraging media reach, and creates a more powerful influence on the audience. At the same time, brands should focus on developing their own KOLs, establishing the brand in the field of mother and infant nutrition to establish public leadership.
Infant nutrition content is well documented, but pregnant mothers need more
The mother and infant segment demands target content for their target audiences. Bid farewell to mass marketing, it’s time to create precise content!
*Data base: A total of 1,634 infant nutrition articles were collected on WeChat from Dec 2014 to May 2015.
Among the accounts studied, infant nutrition topics account for 48.7% of all content. However, looking deeply into the different stages of infant development (Figure 1), the most information available focuses on infants aged 0-6 months while nutrition information for those 3-6 years is lacking, accounting for only 0.3% of the total amount of content.
The most important part of infant nutrition content is divided into four sections: Daily diet, Illness, Growth & Health and Food Taboo. Food Taboo is clearly insufficient. (Figure 2). Brands should focus on strengthening their online nutrition content focused on children aged 3-6 years old, plus more on “food taboos”.
[Figure 2] Topics discussed for infant nutrition
*Data base: A total of 1,634 infant nutrition articles were collected on WeChat from Dec 2014 to May 2015.
Compared with the infant nutrition content, nutrition for pregnant women is woefully insufficient (only 1.7%) (Figure 3) – it’s incredibly general and there’s very little content that focuses on the different trimesters of a pregnancy, least of all the first trimester.
[Figure 3] Content comparison of nutrition for pregnant women versus infant nutrition
*Data base: A total of 3,355 infant nutrition articles were collected on WeChat from Dec 2014 to May 2015.
This is a clear opportunity for brands to beef up content. By focusing on content across different trimesters and different facets of pregnancy including diet, developmental knowledge and peer interaction, the can ultimately increase brand viscosity.
Multimedia and cross-subject content works
For today’s readers, WeChat posts with images, charts and video boast a much higher amount of readership (Figure 4). Data shows that KOL accounts that resonating the most with fans involve charts and images. In contrast, the brand accounts seem to still be lagging behind in terms of this content.
[Figure 4] Articles with richer display boasted higher engagement
*Data base: A total of 3,355 infant nutrition articles were collected on WeChat from Dec 2014 to May 2015..
No. of media articles: 2,605; No. of KOL articles: 430; No. of brand articles: 320.
In addition, connecting infant nutrition and mom topics with other “associated” topics can help spread the word. (Figure 5) For infant nutrition content, there are many “associated” areas that promote crossover, including ones like beauty, health, home appliances and children’s products. For example, in articles or forums discussing the prevention of infant eczema, skin care brands are often mentioned. Brands need to take advantage of associated domain content to create a diversified revenue model and broaden WeChat content from different angles.
[Figure 5] Word Cloud of “Associated” topics
*Note: Data was collected from Dec 2014 to May 2015, CIC baby care industry BBS and Weibo Panel.
This White Paper puts various infant nutrition-related WeChat Accounts into three categories: media, KOLs, and brands. With Kantar Media CIC’s patented text mining technology and advanced semantic analysis tools, we analyzed the performance of 128 infant nutrition-related WeChat l Accounts in the past six months, uncovered a wide array of trending topics that are infant nutrition related, and evaluated various brands’ presence on WeChat from a social media perspective. In addition, based on Kantar Media CIC’s analysis of various M&B forums and Sina Weibo accounts, we further investigated other topics being discussed in infant nutrient-related online conversations, and explored potential opportunities for brands to better connect with their consumers via social media.
Sam Flemming, CEO & Funder, Kantar Media CIC
Kantar Media CIC Monica Zhao, Head of Research Innovation, Kantar Media CIC
Theresa Loo, Chief Knowledge Officer, Ogilvy & Mather China
 Research conducted by Analysis, titled[中国B2C市场季度监测报告2015年第1季度]
About Kantar Media CIC
Kantar Media CIC is China’s leading social and digital business intelligence provider, enabling enterprise to fully leverage the power of social media and other Internet based big data intelligence across the organization. Since 2004, Kantar Media CIC has pioneered social technology, research and consulting. In early 2012, CIC was acquired by WPP’s Kantar Media. Kantar Media is a global leader in media intelligence, providing clients with the data they need to make informed decisions on all aspects of media measurement, monitoring and selection. Part of Kantar, the data investment management arm of WPP, Kantar Media provides the most comprehensive and accurate intelligence on media consumption, performance and value.
Contact us: +86 21 6404 9191*8761 / firstname.lastname@example.org
About Ogilvy & Mather
Ogilvy & Mather is one of the largest marketing communications companies in the world. It was named the Cannes Lions Network of the Year for three consecutive years, 2012, 2013, and 2014; and the EFFIEs World’s Most Effective Agency Network for two consecutive years 2012 and 2013. The company is comprised of industry leading units in the following disciplines: advertising; public relations and public affairs; branding and identity; shopper and retail marketing; health care communications; direct, digital, promotion and relationship marketing; consulting, research and analytics; branded content and entertainment; and specialist communications. O&M services Fortune Global 500 companies as well as local businesses through its network of more than 500 offices in 126 countries. It is a WPP company (NASDAQ: WPPGY). For more information, visit http://www.ogilvy.com/, or follow Ogilvy on Twitter at @Ogilvy and on Facebook.com/Ogilvy.
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Senior BD & Marketing Manager
Kantar Media CIC
Sumin Xia, Senior Product Manager of Baidu Big Data department shared how Baidu is applying Big Data in the travel industry.
Carol Jiao, Marketing Operation Director at Jusfoun big data, shared the value of third-party Big Data providers.
Pierre Dupond, General Manager of Full Price department at Glamour Sales China, shared his own experience on how to leverage Social Media for direct E-commerce impact.
Raymond Wang, executive director of Roland Berger digital solutions, shared what Roland Berger has done in terms of business application-oriented Big Data analysis systems, forming a complete set of solutions for industries like auto, apparel, consumer goods and finance.
Gene Cao, Senior Analyst at Forrester Research shared Forrester’s experience establishing the first social listening center for Nestle in cooperation with Kantar Media CIC.
Ben Wilson, Marketing Director of Reckitt Benckiser was interviewed by Sam Flemming to discuss the future of social media strategy and consumer insights.
At the summit’s conclusion, Kantar Media CIC released a new logo, embodying its new outlook on how to serve clients moving forward. Kantar Media CIC aims to help clients take full advantage of social media and Big Data to achieve business innovations across the entire organization.
Large Size 3175 px*3175 px
Middle Size 1597 px*1597px
Small Size 767 px*767 px
WeChat continues to dominate, while its role and influence evolves
For anyone doing anything with China or with Chinese consumers, the impact and dominance of mobile app WeChat is obvious. It is everywhere and seemingly does everything. With WhatsApp-type messaging, an addictive Facebook-like news feed called Moments, a PayPal-like wallet, mutual fund products, taxi ordering, restaurant reservations and many other built-in applications, WeChat is more than just another social platform, it is an indispensable social media Swiss army knife that melts the lines between online and offline. It’s an operating system for getting things done in life.
WeChat users’ Moments content, similar to Facebook newsfeeds where consumers share content with each other, cannot currently be tracked by brands. However, WeChat public accounts managed by brands, celebrities, key opinion leaders and media, can be tracked, and they are playing an increasingly important role as a new form of owned, earned and paid media and as a place to wield influence. Just as brands, celebrities, key opinion leaders and media can have a Twitter or Facebook account, they can have a WeChat account to push out content that serves as the magazine articles for the new generation. Brands can track the owned media performance of their own and competitors’ accounts. And they can track the earned and paid media performance of KOL, celebrity and media accounts to make more informed media buying and content strategy decisions.
Weibo is still relevant, since it takes the pulse of what’s viral
While some say that the Twitter-like Weibo platform is dying, we believe this is an extreme overreaction. It is true that grassroots content has moved to WeChat Moments. However, Weibo is still the place to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s buzzing in the country. And while WeChat public accounts are increasing in importance, a tweet on Weibo can reach hundreds of millions of accounts, versus WeChat, where the most popular articles receive hundreds of thousands of reads. Brands, especially mass, luxury, fashion and beauty brands that tap celebrities and KOLs, should absolutely include Weibo in the mix of their social strategy.
Interest communities have gone mobile
Before WeChat, before other social platforms like Weibo, Kaixin, RenRen and blogs, there were basic online forums, known in China as BBS (bulletin board systems). These vertical interest communities have now gone mobile in the form of vertical interest apps. Some, like Autohome and Liba, are simply mobile versions of the PC versions of BBS, while others like Red (for luxury travelers), Dayima (for women) and Lamabang (for moms) are native mobile apps with communities, some of which can host millions of active conversations. We see this as a significant evolution, signaling a decentralization of the landscape away from WeChat. The key categories include auto, parenting, fashion, health and others. From our pilot work with clients, we have seen that these apps serve as great sources of targeted consumer intelligence as well as targeted media.
New forms of expression emerge
With parents, grandparents, teachers and/or bosses all on WeChat (like Facebook in the West), the “kids” need to find unique spaces and their own ways of communicating. Two examples are Nice (a photo app similar to Instagram) and Meipai (a video app with parallels to Vine). Though brands like Ray Ban and Bulgari have begun to put campaigns there, neither app has gained dominance, as there are multiple competing apps in their categories. We expect the fragmentation of the landscape through such categories of apps to continue, which means brands will need to remain vigilant to find the right place to engage their audience in the right way.
E-commerce reviews explode
With the massive growth of e-commerce in China has come an explosion of product reviews — like those found on Amazon in the West, but often more detailed. As a rich source of user generated content, CIC currently tracks reviews across nine e-commerce sites in China and has found that 70% of all the buzz for some brands come from e-commerce reviews, with 30% coming from BBS, Weibo and other sources. Tracking this rich content is a “must” for brands as a source of consumer intelligence as well as an influential media.
Retailer-generated content is a ‘fourth media’
E-commerce sellers, especially those with small- or medium-sized stores on Taobao or WeChat, aggressively market products in categories like beauty, fashion and electronics. Some of these stores are official distributors, but many are not. The stores engage with consumers, promote on social media, and post content on their own sites. There is no guarantee that what they post is “on message” or even accurate. The stores may be small, but they make an impact accounting for upwards of 40-50% of the buzz for some fashion brands. The buzz is not just spam, but genuinely informative and useful content that educates and influences consumers’ perceptions with advice and suggestions on how to use the products. Brands are on top of paid, owned and earned, but for this “fourth media,” which is beyond their control and influence, the must be vigilant in systematically tracking such content to determine if and to what extent it is making an impact on brand perception and/or sales.
As founder/CEO of Kantar Media CIC, Sam Flemming has been listening to Chinese social media since 2004.
The 2008-2014 China Social Media Landscapes: