Why Social CRM Matters For International Brands, and How They Can Capitalize On It

In the Chinese consumer market, strong customer relationships are essential.

A recent Mckinsey survey found that 82% of Chinese consumers had started buying from a new brand based on their engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 89% turn to trusted brands for information in times of uncertainty.[1]

Becoming that trusted brand requires an understanding of exactly where, when and how Chinese consumers want to interact with your brand. And that means International brands need to make use of Social CRM on platforms like WeChat.

But doing so may be more complicated than it seems. Those expecting to seamlessly transfer their existing CRM systems to China and leverage consumer data as they normally would will run into a number of technical challenges.

In this article, we’re going to explore exactly what these challenges are and how they can be overcome. But first, let’s explore exactly why platforms like WeChat are so important for International brands.

The Chinese Digital Ecosystem

It can be difficult for Western brands to comprehend how different the Chinese digital ecosystem is to its Western counterpart. As a simple example, mobile accounts for 90% of all Chinese digital engagement – versus just 43% in the USA.[2]

While the Western digital marketing ecosystem features a number of separate formats, these lines are extremely blurry in China. Social media and eCommerce, for example, are not considered distinct entities by Chinese consumers. And as a result, many popular Western marketing strategies – such as email – are not nearly as effective on the Chinese market.

Instead, Chinese consumers rely on a handful of overwhelmingly popular ‘super-apps’ which provide everything from shopping and mobile payment to social media, entertainment and messaging services.

Chief among these super-apps is WeChat, which boasts over 1 billion monthly active users[3] and is one the central drivers in China’s booming cross-border eCommerce industry.

For International brands, this makes WeChat the perfect platform to develop customer relationships, building the trust and loyalty they need. But in order to make the most of that opportunity, they require data. And this is where things get tricky.

Integrating with WeChat

Most foreign brands are used to using CRM systems such as Salesforce or the Adobe Marketing Cloud. But integrating these systems with WeChat is difficult. It requires a connector to be built from scratch – which is both complex and expensive.

It may be tempting then to opt for an alternate Chinese Social CRM, which will enable easier integration. These solutions exist, and using them is much easier than developing your own integrations for Western systems.

The problem is these solutions also limit the potential uses of data: you will not be able to utilize the RFM or loyalty models you’ve become accustomed to, and that will decrease the ultimate value of the data you collect. Nor will you be able to integrate with other systems in order to enhance customer profiles – such as eCommerce platforms, in-store Point of Sale (POS) systems, loyalty platforms and Customer Service Management systems. 

What you need is a way to integrate your existing CRM system into platforms like WeChat, enabling you to make full use of the data you collect. And that’s why we developed our plug and play ‘WeChat to CRM connector’.

How INTEGRAT3 Helps


INTEGRAT3 unlocks the power of your data in Asia. Using our simple solution, you can connect WeChat with your existing CRM and social media management systems without any technical glitches, excessive development costs or ongoing maintenance. .

This enables you to generate a single view of your customer across multiple platforms, integrate with your own operational systems, and send custom tags back to the platforms to provide the kind of tailored, trustworthy communication your customers crave.

If you’d like to hear more, book your demo today.

 

[1]https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/mckinsey/featured%20insights/china/china%20still%20the%20worlds%20growth%20engine%20after%20covid%2019/mckinsey%20china%20consumer%20report%202021.pdf

[2]https://www.economist.com/business/2021/01/02/the-next-big-thing-in-retail-comes-with-chinese-characteristics

[3] https://www.statista.com/statistics/255778/number-of-active-wechat-messenger-accounts/

 

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