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Survey finds 24% Chinese `actively' ignore online content from brands

Martin Guo

Editor-in-Chief, Kantar China Insights

Digital 15.11.2016 / 10:20

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Connected Life offers guide to how connectivity is reshaping consumers, connections, content and commerce.

Feel swamped (or even suffocated) by advertisement targeting you online? You are not alone: 30% of Chinese respondents of Kantar TNS’ Connected Life research felt the same.

According to the research, 30% Chinese respondents said they felt they were “constantly followed by online advertising”. However, it was little bit lower than global average 34% and that of APAC region (33%), as well as that for British (32%) and in the United States (33%). This is just one of the many findings from the annual global research report by Kantar TNS.

In this increasingly digitalized era, brands need to know answers to these four pivotal questions:

  • Consumers: How connected is my target?
  • Connections: How do I reach them?
  • Content: What content needs and platforms should I target?
  • Commerce: How do I activate against connected commerce opportunities?

This year’s Connected Life covered 70,000 consumers from 56 markets around the world, including nearly 2,500 from China. In this increasingly digital world, the research attempts to measure how consumers in various countries consume media content, attitudes to and preference for online brand engagement, patterns of purchase (online and offline), drivers of e-Commerce, etc.

Globally, more and more brands are working with website owners and app publishers to track and analyse consumer behavioural data so that they can precisely target audiences who, supposedly, might be more interested in their contents. This will in turn enhance their return on investment as well as conversion rate. But is that true? This year’s Connected Life report has included some questions tracking consumers’ attitudes on being “stalked” by brands online.

This year’s report has noticed that even though many Chinese respondents found themselves targeted by online advertisement, they’re quite tolerant to this practice: only 24% respondents will “actively ignore” online content from brands. It is lower than global average (26%), and on a par with APAC average (23%), Japanese respondents (23%) and South Korean (24%). From this perspective, China is a relatively “brand content friendly” market, because the rejection rate is much higher in the United Kingdom (40%) and the United States (39%), indicating it is more challenging to attract consumers via content marketing in these two markets. It is also less so in India (21%) and Indonesia (19%).



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Similarly, Chinese respondents are less concerned about being followed by brands online, because only 27% of them said they “object to the idea of their online behaviour being tracked by brands”, which is lower than global average of 30% and slightly higher than APAC average of 25%. Only 21% of Japanese respondents object to being tracked online, but it’s much higher in South Korea (31%). The privacy concern is a much bigger issue in UK (46%) and US (43%).



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Even though it is not a too serious issue in China, smart brands need to think about these questions NOW: “how can I influence my targeted audiences without harassing them?” “What are the roles my targeted audiences expect brands to provide, through which platforms in what format and when?”

For example, it’s a trendy approach to build brand awareness and lift brand image through key opinion leaders and word of mouth. However, Connected Life report has shown that for youth (16 - 24) in China, when talking about a brand, only 31% say “they trust what people say online about brands more than ‘official’ sources”. It is significantly lower than global and APAC average (both 40%), closer to that in South Korea (35%), UK (34%) and US (32%). So maybe it’s time to revisit the investment on brands’ owned channels to improve communications with young audiences?



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Source: Kantar TNS

Editor's notes

* To know more information, data and analysis of China's digital marketing and brand communications, please contact us.

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