Building a China Entry Strategy Through WeChat for Financial Services & Insurance
Prophet x ChatLabs
WHY is WeChat an important channel for global brands entering China?
WeChat has become a way of life in China with features and functionalities that replaces the need for most standalone apps. Which is why brands need to make sure they have established their presence in this powerful WeChat ecosystem.
When looking at the Financial Services industry specifically, marketers uses WeChat as an all-encompassing channel to drive awareness, consideration, purchase, and loyalty. By tailoring services and experiences to the Chinese consumers on WeChat, the app where they spend the most time on, firms can maximize exposure and reach them where they are at. Most western firms are still trying to translate what is working in the west with desktop sites and standalone apps, but a successful China entry strategy requires a WeChat-first mentality, to develop customer touchpoints and journeys with the WeChat ecosystem in mind.
When entering a new market, it is important to establish the name and promote services and offerings. When entering the China market, firms must build awareness on WeChat by creating a Service Account. This is similar to a Facebook page or Instagram page where users can follow companies and stay updated on any news or announcements. You should be consistently putting out content such as educational insights, latest market predictions, and product introductions but with a tone and voice tailored to WeChat.
The next step after building awareness would be to engage with your followers and start a two-way conversation through which firms can learn what this new follower is looking for. Firms can set up personalized welcome journeys with different options to segment users based on their interactions with the account. Then, continue to target them with tailored content to help them make an informed decision.
Features that would only be on a standalone app in the West are offered on WeChat mini programs by local firms. In order to compete with well-established giants, Western firms need to build their products and services into the WeChat ecosystem and optimize the conversion experience. Functions such as check account balance, money transfers, and branch locator are common offerings on bank WeChat accounts.
The quality of customer service is one of the most important factors in retaining clients. Users expect instant replies when they reach out to companies on WeChat, which is why start by setting up autoresponders with FAQ keywords to direct users to the appropriate resources. To take the customer service experience to the next level, firms such as TD Ameritrade have also built an industry-specific chatbot mini program that allows users to get quotes, view account info, and find live agent.
TD Ameritrade has worked with ChatLabs to undergo a WeChat digital transformation to tailor this entire consumer journey for the Chinese audience. From creating a service account to building mini programs for educational content, account creation, and even customer service, TD Ameritrade has optimized their WeChat experiences for the Chinese consumer.
WHAT are the success factors for global entrants using WeChat to localize marketing?
Understand your audiences by segmenting your WeChat followers to deploy customized messages for different target personas
Localize the brand by refining your content from positioning and messaging to even the name of the brand
Leverage your differentiators with content based on your firm’s historical successes and track record
Produce bite-sized content to get your key messages across with clarity and simplicity
Humanize the brand by adopting mascots/characters for customer service and communicate in a approachable
HOW can global entrants set up and run their WeChat operations?
Identify & Acquire: Grow your follower base & identify your followers by linking them back to actual customer and lead profiles in your CRM
Enrich & Engage: Localize content marketing efforts through weekly broadcasts while providing features and functionalities via WeChat to engage your followers and continue building that enriched profile
Improve & Retain:Provide customer support and optimized customer care experiences to build user loyalty
Simply having a large follower base is no longer enough to make your WeChat strategy successful. When users follow an account, brands can automatically collect about some attributes, but none that help brands identify who they are and what they are looking for. The most important KPI is actually how many of your total WeChat followers you have identified in your CRM through data binding to obtain a single point of truth for customer profiles. Knowing exactly what that consumer is doing across all of your brand touchpoints and understanding their WeChat engagements allow brands to segment and target users with fun and engaging marketing campaigns that drives them to the next stage in the customer journey.