The ReStart Live Series is hosted by Laure de Carayon, founder of China Connect, which holds events about consumer trends, digital marketing, and innovation in China for brands and professionals. In this episode, Laure speaks about the future of experiential marketing with Jiapeng Song, Senior Experience Designer at AKQA, Matthew Nolan, Partner at MINDSHARE China, and Thomas Piachaud, Director Brand & Marketing Consulting at KANTAR.
China was the first country to be hit with the coronavirus pandemic and the first to begin recovering.
As Laure points out, it therefore makes sense to see how the crisis played out in China to understand the future elsewhere, especially for strategists, agencies, brands, and their partners, who need to continually find better ways to connect with customers.
For Thomas Pichaud, key insights from China include increased internet usage—internet surfing, social media use, and online video consumption has increased 76%, 70%, and 64% respectively after the outbreak—and more consumers shopping at smaller, more intimate settings like convenience stores and vending machines.
Chinese people’s interest in green and health products has also gone up, underscoring an newfound interest in nutrition, exercise, sleep health, and work-life balance.
Matthew Nolan agrees that COVID-19 has mostly sped up trends that were already underway.
“When we analyzed consumer behavior at the end of 2019, we were already seeing a rapid evolution,” he said. “There was enormous growth in mobile time-spent, which is not surprising in a nation that is already mobile first.”
In turn, creators and KOLs have become a more powerful force in marketing, especially those who produce live streaming content.
The week’s episode focused on “experiential marketing”, which refers to using live, branded installations to interact with customers.
Unsurprisingly, in the new world of social distancing and lockdowns, this practice was the first to be upended. Jiapeng Song says the situation has been a catalyst for innovation, as brands turned to temporary, digital measures to connect with people.
Watch the full episode or listen to the audio below.
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