The Key to Market to the Chinese Expat Community

14 Dec 2023

The Key to Market to the Chinese Expat Community

What is the Chinese expat community?

There are three key areas in the Chinese market: The Chinese living in China (1.4 billion) the Chinese traveling to Thailand (11 million), and the Chinese living in Thailand (approximately 500,000 in Bangkok area).

You need to be able to separate each market to be effective in targeting the right campaign with the right group. Especially the Chinese expat community living in Thailand. Many people may think that it is the same as marketing to a Thai person, but in fact it is quite different for several reasons. Mainly because of where they are from such as mainland Chinese, Hong Kong Chinese, Malaysian/Singaporean Chinese and even the Thai Chinese (mainly from northern provinces of Thailand, the Yunnan off-spring and some older generation living in Bangkok) whose first language is Chinese and continue to use the key platforms, such as WeChat, Redbook and Douyin.
With this variety of Chinese Expats there is two key similarities that they all have in common, they all speak Chinese and they all use WeChat, other-wise known as the “Home Base: The WeChat expats accounts (KOL and Chinese news media) and WeChat Groups most all of them follow.
The Key to Market to the Chinese

Why target these expats?

To convert them into direct sales. They are the closest consumers to the local businesses & brands in Thailand, and the most stable amongst the 3 Chinese markets during the time of Covid 19. MMG has successfully marketed a Thai start-up brand that produced outstanding resulted in selling an average of 50 orders per day with more than two million in revenue during the pandemic period.

Here are some added benefits. The local expat community will not only consume but they will organically create content and reviews that are the key in all Chinese marketing. So the byproduct of successfully attracting the local expats to your brand will result in awareness with sharing pictures, reviews and personal experiences with friends, family and the online community that will ultimately lead to more awareness for the future tourists that will visit Thailand. No words are more trustworthy and powerful for the Chinese tourists than those from the local expats. In fact, they are the true KOLs (key opinion leader) for Thailand.

Market to the Chinese

Direct collaboration with China-Thai traders.“CBRE found extensions of downtown Bangkok such as Rama IX and Ratchadaphisek roads have become Chinese expat hot-spots “ (Chinese gaining on Japanese expats ( the modern Chinese expat, mostly sees Huai-Khwang district as the real life “China town’  instead of  Yaowarat which was built by the early Chinese immigrants 100 years ago. Huai-Khwang, is the home to the Chinese embassy, many restaurants, and the hub for Chinese cross-border agents, traders and trading companies that are familiar with export from Thailand and have a customer base for Thai products.

Making for a good opportunity for Thai brand owners that want to sell in the China direct and straightforward way to make a deal with one of these locally based trading companies rather than trying to take a chance to find a distributor in China. We at MMG have many exclusive contacts of successful trading companies looking for quality brands and companies to build in China.
The Key to Market

How to do it?

What is the key? The key is to convert the traffic from “public traffic pool” to “private traffic pool”. This concept was brought up in 2019 when it was more and more expensive and difficult to gain new traffic. The marketers in China decided to change their strategy to:

  • When you create brand awareness-driven campaigns, always attach an accessible QR code so that you can convert “traffic” directly to WeChat groups or a WeChat Official Account. By building these brand oriented “fan clubs” is how you successfully transfer the consumers from a public media platform to your brands platform ultimately leading to direct communication with potential customers.
  • In addition, you should Set-up basic rules in the group and place an admin to execute any further promotions and campaigns.
  • Regularly “wake up” and interact with the group members, provide group members exclusive bonus in order to create repeat buying.
Return On Investment

In conclusion, there are 3 characteristics of “private traffic pool”:

  • 1. Privately owned by the brand
  • 2. Direct and repeating connection with the end-customers
  • 3. Free!!! (but suggest to switch ads budget to group member bonus)

This type of marketing strategy is well proven in China with brands such as LV, Huawei and Perfect Diary, they all have adapted and benefited tremendously. However, there are quite a few “pain points” to be solved when applying this strategy for brands in Thailand: No Chinese speaking admin to overwatch the groups.

Lack of knowledge to manage thousands of Chinese customers Advertising platforms forbid leading traffic to other places 

Don’t hesitate to contact us, we have a highly experienced operation team that is composed of mainland Chinese experts who have extensive experience running WeChat groups of up to 300,000 members. In addition, we have established exclusive contracts with the major Chinese marketing platforms, expat media platforms and KOLs, we guarantee to make the most use of the platform’s traffic and fulfill your high expectations with repeat buyers and long-term customers.

Market to the Chinese

Thank you for exploring our content. We aim to provide valuable insights into the Chinese market to aid your decision-making and support your business at every step.

Our blog is your resource for Chinese marketing tips and Chinese market guidance. Contact us with questions or for more service details below.

Tel: 06-3167-8206
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