19 Mar How to Leverage WeChat For Successful B2B Strategy In ChinaBack to Insights
Since the B2B e-commerce market keeps growing starting 2013, B2B companies need to keep up their marketing statics with ever-changing channels and platforms. For B2B firms operating in China, western approaches might not create the most ideal results because marketing strategies evolve quickly here. Hence, finding the proper platform to build relationships and generate leads is key.
WeChat, the Super App created by Tencent, offers the perfect ecosystem for B2B companies. With more than 1 billion MAUs and 80 million public account followers, WeChat helps corporates grow if operated correctly.
Challenges Faced by B2B
- Digital transformation is slow within B2B and mobile is not their priority
- Most of the B2B players still rely on websites and barely publish or push posts on their WeChat Official Accounts (OA). Most of their content is not adapted to the current market or corporate functions.
- For big companies and MNC’s, it is highly possible to have more than 10 different OAs, confusing their customers and end-users.
- Many B2B firms still stick with the WeChat basics
- Following the global website and barely localizing it for the Chinese audiences
- Not adapting to the overgrowing WeChat Mini Programs
- Pale content on OAs, and customer profiles from overseas instead of office pictures, clients, and videos from the local market
- Slow adoption of WeCom
- Wide usage of WeChat rather than WeCom, making it hard for the company to monitor and control what’s happening
- Hard to retain customers belonging to a Sales Assistant which might result in losing sales and customers to the competition
- New business model – B2B2C
- Most B2B players start to implement the new B2B2C model without fully understanding it
How Does Traditional B2B Acquire New Prospects
B2B companies usually utilize two features for lead generation, website and customer service. In the case of SF Express, prospects could request service on their website which will show three options: PC portal, H5, and WeChat OA. On the customer service side, SF embedded an automatic Chatbot in their website. Clients could reach the specific service by typing in keywords. For example, the keyword “client” will automatically receive a client portal entrance for B2B service.
There are two ways for traditional practices to acquire prospects, lead nurturing and lead scoring. Lead nurturing is the automated process of sending personalized and relevant content to prospects and customers at every stage of their buying journeys. Lead scoring, on the other hand, allows a business to customize a prospect’s experience based on his or her buying stage and interest level, such as assigning prospects into distinctive categories and utilize different sales and marketing strategies for them. In a nutshell, nurturing is about personalization and scoring is all about classification and efficiency.
Good B2B OA Practice
For Chinese B2B practitioners, WeChat official account is mainly used for content marketing to introduce the company/platform and its services as well as providing their followers with company updates, corporate news and events, industry reports, and guide users to potential transactional pages, services or even sales associate contact.
Take Sino-Agri Group’s OA as an example (as the picture is shown below), followers can access the latest news, industry reports, and white paper; the OA can also direct them to transactional services such as quotation, logistics, and supply chain. People can also find other related OAs.
Why Mini Program (MP) For B2B
As more and more B2C companies start to join the Mini program game, B2B companies should also catch up with this trend. Correct usage of MP would upgrade their marketing strategy. MP allows for:
- More forms of content marketing: live updates from the market, user-generated contents, and live streaming
- Identify users better: Characteristics of users cannot be known on OAs. However, MP allows better identification of users and targeted marketing.
- Acquire and retain customers: Features of MP enable B2B practitioners to acquire new prospects and retain customers, such as implementing loyalty programs, referral programs, and membership programs.
WeCom’s Role in WeChat Overall Architecture
At the WeCom 2020 Annual Conference, Tencent announced many new features on WeCom which focused more on customer management. Tencent also updated 150 new APIs, enabling WeCom to offer external marketing tools and loyalty programs for customers besides internal communication.
For instance, Michelin restaurant Haimenyuzi, took a hit during the pandemic due to the termination of offline service. They put a QR code that led to joining a customer group on WeCom and successfully attracted 300 new clients on WeCom each day and 3,000 RMB extra revenue each day.
B2B Customer Journey on WeChat
Designing exceptional customer journeys on WeChat is key to any successful marketing strategy. For B2B businesses, this is what your customer journey should look like on WeChat.
As WeChat upgrades to incorporate more and more features, understanding how to implement WeChat in your B2B strategy is key.
Would you like to know more about WeChat strategy? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to explore possibilities and co-create your strategy!
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