From the ground-breaking QR Code on-air to an «O2O» trend: inbound marketing.
After the emergence of the pandemic, QR codes in China have become all the rage; wherever one goes, a code makes it easy to connect to a website, a catalogue, a menu… However, as with many other things, China has managed to take it to the next level. The entertainment company «Bilibili» used the best of techniques in Shanghai: a spectacle of 1,500 illuminated drones that culminated in forming a giant QR suspended in the air. This QR was linked to a landing page promoting a video game that the platform had launched.
This is a brilliant strategy that forms part of a methodology known as «inbound marketing». On average, people receive 3,000 advertising impacts a day, making it a real challenge to become memorable for our audience. Whilst many companies constantly show us adverts, inbound marketing attracts consumers through practical, relevant and valuable content, rather than chasing them as with traditional advertising methods. It is how Bilibili has managed to delight customers, making them unable to resist finding out what was behind the light show and the ground-breaking QR on air.
In China, a rapidly developing area of inbound marketing is known as «O2O» (online to offline) or «Click and Collect», which consists of attracting prospects through online channels and converting them into consumers by completing the sale in physical shops.
China’s leading online retailers have already embraced this new trend, investing heavily in distribution chains to supply their new physical shops. Its success lies in combining the convenience of e-commerce with the advantages of brick-and-mortar shopping. Both Alibaba and the united forces of Baidu, Wanda and Tencent, have been the pioneers, proving that not only e-commerce but also offline sales can be mastered.
Away from the linear customer journey, retailers and brands need to realign their sales model to an omnichannel strategy that also creates new opportunities for interaction. This will increase the number of options for the company to contact and interact with the customer in the so-called «customer journey». For this very reason, every retailer should consider being an early adopter of this trend in order not to lose market share before the big internet-based companies take over entirely.
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