Why banner ads still rule in China
The news that online banner ads have much more sway than search in China, when it comes to persuading people to buy things, won't come as news at all to anyone working in China’s digital industry.
Courtesy of media agency ZenithOptimedia, they can now put a figure on it, and an impressive figure at that. Banner ads are 45% more influential in directing Chinese consumers to purchase than search.
However, for people outside China, the revelation about the power of the banner ad provides a good example of just how the internet plays a very different role in people’s lives in China than it does in the West. It also says quite a lot about different attitudes to brands and marketing as well.
In general, Chinese consumers are much keener to find out about brands compared with their marketing-jaded counterparts in the West, across all forms of communication. ZenithOptimedia's Touchpoints ROI Tracker study, which compares consumer reactions to different forms of brand communication across the world, offers to show by how much. Product placement, for example, is 39% more influential in China than the global norm.
For the internet in China, a predominantly social environment where e-commerce plays a minor role, consumers are not only more likely to respond to interesting messages when online, but are also more likely to be distracted than people in the West, where search has become invaluable in helping consumers track down what they want to buy. It is also worth noting how much consumers themselves are becoming a key online media for brands in China, with ZenithOptimedia showing that blogs and consumer opinion websites provide three times more brand experience for people in China than for people in the US.
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