Cindy Gu 谷晓丹
Sep 3, 2019

KOLs vs KOCs among hot topics debated at Brand Summit China

Photos & highlights from Campaign's Brand Summit China event in Shanghai.

More than 100 top brand marketers, and leading marketing experts gathered in Shanghai last week for Campaign's Brand Summit China to share best practices and tackle the issues they face in China's hyper-evolving market.  

Among the hot topics was a closer look at leveraging 'key opinion consumers' (KOCs) instead of 'key opinion leaders' (KOLs) in branding strategy. Violet Fu, general manager of AdMaster Shanghai discussed how to avoid wasting marketing expenses through false traffic by using more refined operations in managing KOLs.  Fu added that systems for managing KOLs can be more efficient in terms of controlling content quality, while running KOC campaigns may involve higher costs.

Q Chen, general manager of advertising and sales at Xiaomi expanded on the brand's AIoT strategy, combining AI and IoT.  Chen argued that in such a fragmented digital advertising market, brands need a marketing strategy around a complete consumer trajectory through in-depth use of data, cross-platform and cross-media. “Such coverage is the only way to establish brand-user relationship in depth for brands," he said.

Yi Li, Director of Docu TV from SMG spoke about new trends in elevating brand engagement by leveraging entertainment marketing. “It's become more and more difficult to combine the content production and brands," Li said. Advertisers must first think about how to improve the content, then consider how to combine the brand and content.” 

Meanwhile, Ruey Ku, managing director of Publicis Media Content China spoke of new opportunities for brands as a new circle of subcultures gradually surfaces.  Interactive content and new trends like   “Guo Chao” -- whereby older Chinese brands are rebuilding as the find fashion and popularity among young people -- are worth focusing on, Ku said. 

Gap Greater China CMO An-Ching Chang also shared insights on building a stronger brand, while Campaign Asia brand director Atifa Silk and James Gong, VP of Nielsen Global Media reviewed the trends coming out of this year's Asia's Top 1000 Brands survey. 

Peng Chen, VP of Focus Media Group explained how outdoor media is evolving through digitalisation, with technologies finding new ways to reach consumers. Carey Wang, general manager of Mindshare China, meanwhile, took a closer look at the rise of social commerce.

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