The Negotiation

In this episode of The Negotiation, we talk with Elizabeth Campbell, Senior Director, Global Marketing Communications @ Kollmorgan, discussing her experiences working in marketing and communications within the Chinese market. Elizabeth considers the building of their digital marketing capabilities to be a “critical part of the overall growth strategy” for success in China. We dive into the pay per click differences between the west and east; we talk about her experiences building on the ground marketing teams in China right down to the job description and discuss how data is gathered in China and leveraging custom-built analytics software to translate it.

Show Notes

Today on The Negotiation, Elizabeth Campbell discusses her experiences working in marketing communications in the Chinese market. She considers building up her businesses’ digital marketing capabilities as a “critical part of the overall growth strategy” in the country.

We start out diving into the differences in Pay-Per-Click in China vs. the West. When Elizabeth began looking into digital marketing in China, she and her team started by working with paid search in order to raise awareness and drive traffic to their websites. This was followed by a focus on SEO. As per her experience doing marketing in the west, her team had expected around 30% of their traffic to be drawn in via paid search, with the bulk of it coming in from SEO. However, she quickly found that the opposite is true in China. SEO brought in fewer leads compared to paid search due to the sheer amount of competition they faced for organic ad space. So, while PPC was used to “augment” traffic to her brands in the west, in China PPC is many companies' “bread and butter”.

We then asked Elizabeth to talk about her experiences building marketing teams in China. The danger for any global team is to strictly apply marketing practices from their home market to a foreign one. While sticking to certain fundamentals is a good idea, the team working in the foreign market must keep an open mind and be prepared to make use of tools and strategies that their company may not be familiar with.

Elizabeth started out with a small team in China that did not have the digital expertise required to compete in the market. She, therefore, partnered with an agency to put her on the right track. This is key for any foreign brand looking to invest in China: look for local partners who know the market and target segments inside and out—not just economically but culturally as well. In this case, Elizabeth made sure to partner with people who understood the current digital landscape.

Lastly, we covered data gathering in China. For the sake of consistency, Elizabeth usually utilizes the same marketing platforms across every market she is involved in, which includes Google Analytics. China is an exception. Here, she made use of Chinalytics, a platform built by her partner agency which gave her team the deep insights they needed to see what was working and what was not. Chinalytics gave her confidence in the data they gathered, more so than with traditional platforms.

She notes, however, that the Key Performance Indicators she tracked with Chinalytics are the same ones she always tracked using other platforms. Of these KPIs, she did not focus on measuring Cost Per Click but instead focused on the end result: the Cost Per Lead and how those leads actually converted to revenue. Focusing on these fundamentally changed the keywords, ad copy, landing page, etc. that her team used.

What is The Negotiation?

Despite being the world’s most potent economic area, Asia can be one of the most challenging regions to navigate and manage well for foreign brands. However, plenty of positive stories exist and more are emerging every day as brands start to see success in engaging and deploying appropriate market growth strategies – with the help of specialists.

The Negotiation is an interview show that showcases those hard-to-find success stories and chats with the incredible leaders behind them, teasing out the nuances and digging into the details that can make market growth in APAC a winning proposition.