When you and I were growing up marketing was about messaging, pushing and filling the top of the funnel, so that you get people trickling down to buy a product.
Now marketing is all about loyalty and taking it to inspire advocates and new purchase.
WeChat is perfect for that, explains Chris Baker, Founder of Totem Media.
Weibo Is For Reach
''Up until now companies have heavily used Weibo for taking a message, then spreading it and getting really wide viral appeal - real reach in terms of awareness for a message,'' says Chris.
''Weibo is set up in a way that allows for that reach to take place because typically a brand will utilize influencers and what we call KOLs, or 'Key Opinion Leaders,' who have massive followings, to spread a message. The reach on Weibo is exceptional and there's a clear way to do that.''
Where WeChat Comes In: Acquisition & Loyalty
''For WeChat, until now it's been hard to see that brands can use it for the same thing. The people at Tencent [creators of WeChat] will tell you that the Moments function, which is a sharing or diary-type function, would allow brands to share and use influencers to spread a message to get reach. But the fact is WeChat is a more powerful CRM (customer relationship management) type tool for brands.''
''Managing a loyalty programme, doing customer service or providing answers to questions to a group of people who are already customers or engaged - these are the primary function of WeChat.''
''Add that together with ecommerce functions for payments and it become a place that instead of focusing on reach and awareness, you're focusing on acquisition and loyalty.''
WeChat: Bright Future with O2O & Payments
''The other place that WeChat is really powerful for brands is in location-based marketing, what we call online-to-offline (O2O) or vice-versa. In that case, a brand that has a physical retail, shops in any location, can have a proximity-based solution that allows them to reach out to people in that proximity and market to them. This lets them know that the store is nearby.''
''At the same time, there are functions inside of WeChat which allow for payment. So, for instance, people may pre-order a coffee at a Starbucks nearby, and they can pay for it through their WeChat account, then go pick up the coffee in 5 minutes.''
''Increasingly there are shops popping up that allow for products sold on WeChat to be bought online then picked up in any given location.''