Sinorblog / B2B marketing in China / B2B digital strategy for China: define your..
5 min read

B2B digital strategy for China: define your target audience and buying committee

November 22, 2021 |   Desmond Kohn

Understanding the needs of your target audience is critical for effective B2B marketing - and that’s no different in China. Learning as much as possible about your ideal buyer, the challenges and objections of decision-makers, as well as the typical makeup of your buying committee, will not only help you come up with content ideas for your Chinese website and WeChat official account, it will also ensure that your marketing message is on point. 

How to narrow down your B2B target audience in China

To maximise results and return from digital marketing investments in China, we recommend that organisations spend some time to clearly define their target market. Even if you don’t have the budget for in-depth market research, there are some indicators within that may help you in this process:

1. Insights about your existing Chinese customers

Any data you have on your current Chinese customers or prospects can be a great starting point to help you narrow down your ideal target audience in China. How did they first learn about your organisation? What products or services are they buying? If you don’t keep this level of information in your CRM, it may be worthwhile to run an incentivised survey or customer interviews to better guide your targeting approach going forward.

2. Analyse the marketing activity of your partners and competitors in China

No matter whether you are still in the early stages of your organisation’s expansion into China or if you have been working in the market for decades, it’s likely that you will be able to gain some useful insights about your target audience by investigating the marketing activity of your partners and competitors in China.

What roles are they targeting? How have they adapted their messaging to meet the needs of the audience? What digital channels are they leveraging to reach and engage with their target audience? Do they always have a booth at a particular trade show? Answering these questions will give you useful insights about the behaviour of your target audience and should be considered in your B2B China digital marketing strategy.

Pro tip: Sinorbis’ digital marketing platform gives you access to built-in search marketing analytics tools. This allows you to track and compare your company’s search performance with up to 5 competitor websites for up to 500 keywords. It’s a great way to not only understand how sophisticated your competitors are when it comes to digital marketing in China but also to get the insights you need to outrank them.

3. Existing partnerships with your region/city and provinces/cities in China

Even if you don’t have any business partnerships in China (yet), your region or city may have partnerships or affiliations with provinces in China to facilitate trade, investment and cultural exchange. You may be able to leverage these to your advantage by targeting businesses in these regions if they are a good match for your product or service.

Addressing all stakeholders in the decision-making process

B2B marketing is traditionally very focused on targeting messages and initiatives at the decision-maker. Yet, the fact of the matter is that B2B buying decisions are complex and often involve the input of a number of different roles in the business. For your digital marketing channels in China this means that you need to develop content that addresses the needs of all your different stakeholders effectively.

Below, we have outlined 5 roles that are typically part of a B2B buying process, including characteristics to help identify them and content requirements that will alleviate concerns and objections in the sales process.

Buying role: Champion

Key characteristics: Wants to drive innovation in the organisation – and be recognised for it (e.g. through a promotion).

Can be a good internal ally to get the deal across the line.

Content needs:

  • Case studies
  • Testimonials
  • Product Reviews
  • Industry insights
  • Wechat posts on leading-edge innovation in the sector

Buying role: Decision-maker

Key characteristics: Risk-averse – also likely to be the budget holder. Responsible for bringing all stakeholders in on the decision. Wants to see results from investment.

Can be a good internal ally to get the deal across the line.

Content needs:

  • Budget/ROI calculator
  • Case studies showing measurable results
  •  Overview to help understand what they can expect from your organisation sales process and who will need to be involved.

Buying role: End-User

Key characteristics: The person who will be using your product/be your main point of contact for the project management in service delivery. 

Content needs:

  • Demo videos
  • Training & User groups
  • High-quality technical documentation
  • Blog content with tips and ideas to maximise results from new tech/service

Buying role: Executive Sponsor

Key characteristics: Senior leadership with a vision for international collaboration and partnership that will advance the goals of the organisation

Content needs:

  • Industry thought leadership content
  • Independent industry insights
  •  Awards, certifications and accolades that demonstrate your organisation’s expertise.

Buying role: Legal & Compliance

Key characteristics: Can be an IT or legal role. Responsible for dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s, but wants to add value to the process.

Content needs: Internal FAQ document to make it easier for your sales team in China to answer technical/legal questions.

Are you looking for more information to help you define your B2B digital marketing strategy in China? Download our latest guide to help you understand the Chinese digital ecosystem and B2B online audiences. 

Don't forget to share this post!

Ready to get started?