The time is right for Chinese companies to move into the USA market. Though a lot less “numbers of customers”, the US family income is 6 times what it is in China. It’s a huge market for Chinese products.
In the USA, trust is very high for European and Japanese products. We have evolved from the days after WW-2 when Japanese products were cheap and low quality to today where Japanese and German cars dominate the high quality, high priced market segments. The new Asian company, KIA, is gaining huge market share in the USA with a 100,000-mile warranty and good quality cars. Who would have thought that 5 years ago? With the recent Alibaba IPO, it’s another huge indicator of increasing trust in Chinese product manufacturing and sales being accepted in the USA.
In China, ecommerce is huge and growing strong. In the USA, it’s still in the early stages but growing fast. Chinese companies may actually be at an advantage in the ecommerce world because of their wealth of experience compared to many USA companies.
There are many marketing companies, strategic partners, and others who can help Chinese companies in the USA. Use and experienced US company for your Internet Marketing, don’t go it alone or use a Chinese marketing company, the US market place is too different.
Top 5 Recommendations for Internet Marketing for Chinese Companies in the USA
The objective has to be creating excellent ROI when marketing in the USA. Here are our TOP 5 recommendations to help Chinese companies be successful in the USA:
- First, integrate all your online and offline marketing activities. You can choose an Online marketing firm and an Offline advertising firm, but make sure they work together to generate leads for you
- LEADS not branding is my number 2 recommendation. Your odds of creating a new BRAND in the USA (like Kia has) are probably one in a million. Focus on generating leads and sales for your products, not building a brand. BRAND will come to you by great performing, high quality products, and superb customer service
- The sales cycle is long and tedious. Buyers start with research and you have to be there online serving them good information at the start. That’s where our “Marketing Automation” processes are essential. You have to nurture leads over the long term
- Marketing and Sales in the USA is a set of 15 proven processes. If you manage these 15 processes you will be successful. See www.asherstrategies.com for detailed information on this.
- Internet leads are different!!! They are more skeptical, more easily swayed by a real salesperson, and lost easily. You have to nurture them carefully through the whole sales process and be persistent
The Basics of USA Online Marketing for Chinese Companies
Here is what we recommend for a basic 6-Step plan for Internet Marketing to generate top-line growth:
- Your strategy has to flow from your overall business strategy and then your marketing strategy
- Nothing happens until you drive traffic (potential customers) to your web properties. Your website, social media pages, and landing pages all need traffic to be effective
- Once you get people on these sites, you must interact with them, engage them with valuable content and LOTS of it
- The really tricky part is getting enough trust for people to give you their email address, to generate a lead from your website
- Once you have the lead, the sales process starts (you’re the expert so go to it!)
- It’s an ongoing process of measurement, looking at business insight from analytics, and testing what works in your market online
All the ACTION revolves around an Interactive website. We have lots of ways for people to interact, for us to give them interesting information and then tell them the action to take next. People expect the website to be their portal to everything about your company and your products. They want calculators, details of specifications, and prices where practical.
Driving Traffic to Your site
Driving traffic is more than SEO or Paid Advertising. Best practices is a wide net of customer outreach, all integrated into one campaign. This has become a lot more sophisticated in the USA.
SEO on Google is several years advanced from what you see in Baidu in China. The paid advertising options are endless. It really takes USA expertise to excel in our online market. As an example, Google made over 50 minor algorithm changes in the last year and several major ones like Penguin, Panda, and Hummingbird. The skill set for success in China will not translate into the USA market.
Landing Pages for Paid Advertising, Email, or Print Ads
On any web page and particularly on Landing Pages there are three critical things that must be done.
- Create trust. This is a “normal” looking page with nice colors, pictures of people that USA customers would trust, logos of trusted companies, and standard web design features. The wrong color scheme, Chinese characters in images, or poor USA English grammar can easily destroy trust
- Provide them the information they want. More content delivered the way the customer is searching for it is critical. Make it EASY to find anything they may be searching for
- Tell them what to do. Have “Calls to Action” on every page. The interaction is often as simple as “Call Now”, an inline on-page contact form, “Get More Information”, or “Live Chat”
Use Marketing Automation to Sell More Product
Marketing automation is a simple process, once a difficult setup phase is accomplished, to take the burden off your salespeople. In the USA, this is fast becoming a mainstream process to be integrated with the lead generation and sales processes.
The two main things that Marketing Automation brings are Lead Nurturing and Lead Scoring. Both are critical to automating the tedious follow up parts of the sales cycle. It is accomplished with a sophisticated software package that is inserted in the process between your website and your CRM system. Check out our RAMP Marketing Automation approach at www.gamechangingsales.com.
This marketing automation software nurtures leads with a sophisticated email marketing system and keeps track of 100% of the web activity for each lead. Each activity gets a score and when the magic number is reached, an alert is sent to a real sales person to call that lead. Sales people work on “sales ready leads” and sell more stuff, it’s simple.
TREX (www.trex.com) is a great example of a company that generates leads and then nurtures them for a major sale. They sell composite decking material for homes and commercial buildings. They even ask to automatically use your location when you first come to the website so they can tailor their custom online sales process to your region of the USA.
Google Analytics Essential for Chinese Companies in the USA
USA companies are increasingly using the incredible data that Google Analytics provide for free. It gives them business insight into demographics of visitors, where they come from and what they are looking for. It shows what percentage is from mobile devices and so much more important data.
The data allows changing strategies, testing new online marketing techniques, and measuring early indicators of future sales success (or failure).
The Chinese Mobile Advantage
Mobile is an area where Chinese companies may have advanced thinking and an advantage over some USA companies.
Data from one of our USA medical device manufacturers shows up to 20% of their traffic is now coming from mobile devices. This is up from only 8% in 2012. Another client selling “oil field products” has 31% of their traffic from mobile. This is becoming the norm in USA online search, yet a small number of companies are really serving quality data to those mobile customers.
Another specific example of Chinese techniques that are lagging in the USA is the efforts to drive customer into stores using mobile online promotions. Using this technique is an opportunity for Chinese companies who want success for their products in the USA market.
10 Key General Trends for Chinese Companies starting Online Marketing in the USA
Here are Ten General Trends for Online Marketing in the USA going forward. Chinese companies, and all companies, have to incorporate these critical issues in their Digital Marketing Strategy:
- Privacy and Trust – Trust will soon become the most significant differentiator for business
- Customers are looking for ways to reduce technology costs without reducing quality
- Mobile devices continue to offer new opportunities
- Data’s value continues to increase
- Companies need to share the ‘ownership’ of a customer
- Multi channel and Multi-screen viewing needs integration
- Payment flexibility will be required
- Social media to build more relationships
- Consumers who are increasingly vocal about their preferences and demands
- Online influence for all aspects of B2B and B2C is still growing rapidly
Summary for Internet Marketing for Chinese Companies in the USA
Chinese companies can compete and use the USA market for growth but they have to embrace these differences and understand them. Doing it the Chinese Way in the USA won’t work, just as USA companies can’t easily go into China and win market share.
The basic principles of online marketing are similar in China as in the USA. The implementation in the USA is a LOT more sophisticated and takes a lot of USA specific savvy to succeed. Success is possible if you:
- Embrace the culture
- Use technology to your advantage
- Create trust at every opportunity
- Choose your partners carefully
- Integrate your marketing efforts, all focused on Lead Generation