Category Archives: Internet Marketing

Alibaba & Big Data Services: Alimama

After doing financial services, insurance, now Alibaba decided to invest in big data services: Alimama is an Alibaba marketing platform. The firm held a meeting to discuss big data’s influence on marketing transformation.


Alimama wants to build a technology-driven big data marketing ecosystem, making more people to use and share data therefore achieving media advertising value and brand marketing effect.

The marketing system centered on DMP (Data Management Platform) will improve enterprises’ data usability more effectively. Precision marketing brought by big data would optimize media advertising value continuously.

In 2014, Alimama will focus on developing video and wireless resources, wireless marketing will be integrated into game, weather, food and drink and photo apps without interfering consumers. Alimama becomes a crucial link in Alibaba’s O2O wireless marketing plan.



WeChat Value and Money-Maker

In 2011, WeChat (微信 in Chinese) started off as a messaging service, similar to WhatsApp but with more functions, and has grown rapidly into much more. We already explained that year 2014 will be the year of monetization for WeChat.

Free CRM Tool for Brands

At the moment, the application allows companies to send occasional, targeted messages to some users without charge. In the future, VALUE2020 predicts it might ask for a fee.


Payment & e-Commerce

The application integrates money-making services like online-payment functions into it. Customers can do their banking through it and a wealth-management service has just been launched. It is also promoting e-commerce: during a recent sale held exclusively on WeChat, Xiaomi, China’s hottest smartphone-maker, is said to have sold 150,000 of its latest model in under ten minutes.

WeChat payments are accepted in locations all over China. For example, you can find vending machine using WeChat. Instead of using cash to pay, the buyer opens WeChat and points its smartphone camera at a QR code. The app then reads the QR code, and charges the WeChat user for the price of the product. Then the product comes out.



We can say this Chinese application is the most advanced messaging application in the world.

The Social Media Strategy of Ritz / Carlton for China

As explained before, to succeed in China, a brand needs to go beyond the data and immerse itself in the culture in order to develop relevant marketing.

In the luxury world, the impression of high quality and dream is very important, so the chosen design should resonate in minds of Chinese.

The brand called Ritz-Carlton understood well they need a specific strategy for China. The firm, owner of 4 hotels in China, launched a new Chinese website  and a public account on Sina Weibo

essai boule à lignes

Chinese people have a high level of customer’s appreciation for History (traditions, History and heritage). The Ritz-Carlton brand took that into considerations with digital channels reflecting that tradition, while also demonstrating that the brand is speaking to the audience in a way that is culturally relevant.

essai boule à lignes

It seems the team who worked on the strategy knows China. For example, the blue color is usually associated with immortality and wisdom. This could explain the use of shade of blue for its richness (similar to the blue color found on Chinese porcelain). Ritz Carlon is doing good but should do better than that: they missed some important other elements for Chinese consumers.

Rising Use of QR Codes in China

KPCB published a new report of Internet trends for 2013 in May 2013 through Mary Meeker and Liang Wu. This report confirms predictions of VALUE2020 as mobile usage (code scanning) and WeChat.


Below the summary as stated by them on their website:

“There are now 2.4 billion Internet users around the world, and the total continues to grow apace. Mobile usage is expanding rapidly, while the mobile advertising opportunity remains largely untapped. The report reviews the shifting online landscape, which has become more social and content rich, with expanded use of photos, video and audio. Looking ahead, the report finds early signs of growth for wearable computing devices, like glasses, connected wrist bands and watches – and the emergence of connected cars, drones and other new platforms.”


In this report, they explain Chinese users now scans 9 million QR Codes every month, up from 2 million last year. This is, in part, explained by the expansion of WeChat that includes a QR code scanner. 9 million a month is a small number for China and we should expect this number multiplied in the dozen of months to come.

A QR Code makes it more convenient for Chinese users to operate their smartphones. In general, VALUE2020 believes a QR Code is one of the accesses to mobile commerce. Therefore, it will be an important tool for mobile Internet use in the near future.


Any user with a payment application like Alipay on their smartphone can pay with their phone in offline stores by scanning the QR code on the products and entering their  account name and password.

As well as being a new way for people to get access to goods and services, scanning QR Codes is becoming fashionable among mobile users.


The usage of QR Codes is endless: payments for products, redeem coupons, access to practical information like transport times or any information related to a product, social networking like WeChat and information discovery.



KPCB, Mary Meeker and Liang Wu, URL:


Insights on Marketing with Mobile App WeChat: FREE version!


Report to be released July 1st, 2013

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Strategies for Economic Development in China

Classification of Cities

This classification splits the Chinese market in different levels of developments. It is useful for strategies of business development and market analysis.

The tier 1 cities are Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen.These were the first to be opened up to competitive economic development by the Chinese government, and so are the most populous, affluent and competitive cities in the country.

The tier 2 cities are around 60 cities. Tianjin and Chengdu are growing faster than other cities of this category. These two cities are considered rapidly developing economic centers. Nanjing and Xi’an are growing but less quickly. Wuhan and Hefei were behind but now are developping faster.

The New Consumer

The new consumer class is more likely to consider emotional benefits of the product or service she/he buys and prefer certain brands. She/he will typically be of the younger generation and live in the more developed eastern coastal provinces.


Younger consumers are more likely to imitate the spending habits of consumers in developed countries.

younger older consumers

About 41% of younger consumers in this new class are inclined to pay a premium for the best products, compared to 31% of older consumers.


According to McKinsey, the proportion of urban households able to afford cars and small luxuries will rise six-fold in the next decade and account for 57% of the total population by 2020.

It also estimated that the largest 225 cities in China will contribute 27% to global economic growth between 2013 and 2025.


The consumer trend in China’s first-tier cities is quite different from other cities in the country. People in the country’s largest cities typically spend more. For example, they are spending 35% more on dining out than people in second-tier cities, and 50% more than residents of third-tier cities.



McKinsey, URL:

Working with WeChat, One to One Communication Tool

To start, click on the picture below:


Potential CRM database for brands

e-Payment and e-Commerce tool

Still an unanswered question: how does Tencent manage the database?

More about Marketing potential of WeChat