• Zhang Jian

Insight Report – 2021 Marketer’s toolkit

WARC recently released the Chinese report "Marketer’s Toolkit 2021", which combines the current economic and social challenges, based on effective marketing, based on factual cases, and the "STEPIC" methodology, divided into the following six major themes:


Society: Chinese consumers not only pay attention to price but also pay more and more attention to whether the brand can bring value-added services and emotional experience beyond the product itself. In addition, due to the epidemic, people tend to pursue healthy diets and lifestyles, and health has become a factor to be considered when strengthening the development and promotion of brands.


Technology: Through the application of technologies such as mobile payment, e-commerce, 5G, AI, and the Internet of Things, to meet the scenarios and individual requirements of consumers, it can reach the core population of the brand more accurately, instead of maintaining continuous interaction.


Economy: China has vigorously promoted the internal and external dual-cycle policy, and local brands and domestic products have taken advantage of the rise; at the same time, rural consumers have become a major force in online shopping, so exploring local brands and sinking markets is the focus of brand strategy one.


Policy: The standardization and systemization of the industry is imperative. Since 2020, governments at all levels in China have intensively introduced relevant policies to supervise and regulate some emerging formats in the advertising and marketing industry (such as webcast e-commerce, community group buying, etc.), and impose restrictions on marketers in their subsequent marketing strategies and promotion activities.


Industry: Volatility, uncertainty, ambiguity, and complexity forces marketers to increase their ability to respond to changes. Marketing professionals need to understand and master the different permutations and combinations of short-term, medium-term and long-term effects.


  1. To achieve short-term results, it is necessary to balance long-term construction. For example, the short-term sales drive of live broadcast marketing should be combined with the building of brand marketing, which can be achieved by connecting with experts and providing educational content.

  2. The marketing department should become an information centre, not only to deliver brand information to the market, but also to give full play to the role of information collection/market research, and in turn, deliver market information to the brand.

  3. Keep advertising share and search share. During economic difficulties, letting the advertising share not be less than the market share is the correct way to maintain the brand's position; if the marketing budget must be reduced, the search share can be monitored and the signs of losing market share can be detected early.

  4. Expand the share of voice volume through channel integration. The role of online channels should be to bring consumers more experiences beyond sales, such as social interaction and content interaction.


Creativity: Creativity needs to break through the circle of interest and meet individual needs. New cooperation methods such as national tide culture, cross-industry co-branding, KOL cooperation, and interaction with e-sports players have emerged one after another; while international brands use local culture to reach young consumers, they need to use local culture on the basis of truly understanding the audience, to convey a brand spirit that praises and encourages young people to bravely accept their own culture.


Case studies –

1. [Society] - Dubai Tourism X KEEP Fitness Challenge

The Dubai Tourism Bureau cooperated with Keep, an emerging fitness platform in China, to find a “big health” fit for the newly introduced national fitness program, and attract Chinese users to actively participate.


By launching the Keep "30-day clock in the legendary city" online challenge, everyone is encouraged to enjoy a healthy life. Users exercising for 30 minutes a day can unlock famous landmarks in Dubai, integrating scene-based experience into fitness activities, and also great for future outbound travels.



2. [Technology] – Volkswagen AI Video

Volkswagen wants to create a car model that focuses on human-computer interaction in the car, and takes advantage of the young consumers' preference for new technologies and entertaining

content to create a scientific and technologically interactive series "Knock Sounds Tomorrow".

The love-themed interactive feature film "True AI is Coming" in the album allows viewers to choose the ending of the story. Volkswagen obtained samples of the audience through user interaction, and learned their preferences through user choices in the story, and used these insights. In the development of future models.


3. [Economy] - Huaxizi wins with national cultural values

Huaxizi, a local cosmetics brand that has only been established three years ago, is based on the concept of "Oriental Makeup". Its "Miao Impression" series of products are designed to inherit the traditional Miao silver craftsmanship and have been widely recognized. Huaxizi won the double 11 in 2020. This was second place in the Tmall cosmetics sales list.


Huaxizi and "People's Daily" filmed an intangible heritage documentary to create high-definition makeup, presenting the beauty of traditional Miao silver, and giving the tradition a sense of fashion.


For more case studies & details of “STEPIC” – talk to us to get the full report & strategies on your china activations.

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