With over one billion mobile devices and a cut of the revenue generated globally across the app stores, in-app ads and mobile commerce that equates to $1 out of every $4 dollars (and 40% of consumer spend in 2018 alone, according to app store intelligence provider App Annie), China's market for mobile and apps leads the world by every measure.
But It's not just a massive market for apps and advertisers. It's home to what Isabel Ge Mahe, VP and Managing Director of Greater China at Apple, recently called a “very admirable community of innovators.” Speaking to Xinhua during the China International Big Data Industry Expo 2019, Ge Mahe, observed that, in part through the Apple App Store, Chinese apps have "entered the global stage," achieving significant and international success.
Indeed, Chinese app companies and developers are gaining traction at every level to leave a lasting impression with apps and campaigns that excite and delight audiences everywhere. A prime example is the short-form video app TikTok (Douyin in China) that has become a social phenomenon, gaining cult status in 150 countries across 75 different languages. It's an accomplishment that has allowed ByteDance, maker of the app, to become the world's most valuable startup. In mobile gaming, Sensor Tower's 2018 Store Intelligence Digest crowned Tencent, China's leading tech company, the global leader for overall revenue across iOS and Android (not counting the third-party Android app stores. It was also the leader in game revenue. Other high-ranking apps included UC Browser, QQ, Youku and Tencent’s PUBG Mobile.
These factors combine to make China the spotlight of the world. On the supply side: China is a country that delivers apps with global reach. On the demand side: China has the most internet users in the world (about 800,000,000 or 21% of the world’s total internet users). Their habits and preferences, particularly related to shopping and banking, are transcending borders. Super Apps that combine commerce and finance are gaining traction. Sales numbers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday are trailing behind Singles Day (November 11), a shopping event that arguably has potential global appeal. (Last October Chinese commerce giant Alibaba formally launched its New Retail strategy, aimed at moving Singles Day beyond China, by bringing Alibaba’s platforms and southeast Asian e-commerce company Lazada – to international shoppers.)
Think Tank bridges the gap
Such developments open up new opportunities for marketers everywhere. At one level, it's important for marketers to adapt their campaigns and practices to excel in the thriving Chinese market. At the other end of the spectrum, it's essential for marketers and innovators in China to do the same to reach audiences at home and abroad. There are mutual benefits in fostering open exchange around the opportunities and difficulties marketers face as they develop strategies to grow the appeal of their apps.
This is what prompted Adjust to host it's first-ever Think Tank in China last May, bringing together eight leading app companies to talk about topics top of their mind. Discussion at the two Think Tanks (held in Shenzen and Beijing), led by Ling Shi, Product Manager, centered on product, strategy and, above all, the pivotal importance of UX.
A big focus of marketing in 2020 and beyond is harnessing data and insights about how users interact with apps to improve product—and China is no exception. During Think Tank Adjust clients discussed their focus on putting users at the center of all they do and the importance of product design strategy from the very onset of the development cycle.
Of course, discussion and learnings flowed in both directions. Clients also provided valuable input to Adjust. "In China, a lot of our clients have launched world-class gaming apps, e-commerce apps and gained significant experience in how to delight consumers with great UX design,” Ling recalls. "So it was great to hear their feedback to teach us how to apply those same principles to our own service."
Overall, Think Tank allowed clients to zero in on key themes, from reporting to campaign automation, that mattered most.
How can marketers have a high-level account health assessment or report system? How can marketers automate campaign management activities to receive detailed alerts? What is the best way to set up rules that monitor performance automatically so marketing experts can focus more on implementing the winning strategies and conducting in-depth data analysis? These were just some of the hot topics clients discussed during Think Tank.
Diverse perspective and great ideas
But Think Tank wasn't all work and no play. Interactive games and activities brought the group closer together, paving the way for a two-way exchange that continues to have an impact. Importantly, Adjust learned more about clients' diverse perspectives. From what marketers love about their work to the pain points they face on the job, it's a rich variety of insights that will fundamentally shape future UX design at Adjust.
Here’s an overview of Think Tank highlights and what a few of our attendees had to say:
Though this is the first Think Tank event, we learned the data architecture and logic behind the existing UI and UX design. At the same time, as users, we also better understood how Adjust can help us improve our business from the data analytics perspective. We are so excited to see that Adjust is determined to continuously optimize the user experience and put customer needs as the primary goal of their product development. And it’s amazing to see the collision from the sparks of brainstorming directly between the product team and the user.
Think Tank is a very meaningful initiative, and a practical community as well. I'm happy to be a member of this community where I see Adjust's determination to listen to clients and provide the leading products. It's a pleasant experience to exchange insights with other professionals in this industry.
As a closing thought, Ling had this to say: “Think Tank is a valuable community for Adjust to get feedback and insight to make sure we always put our clients needs at the centre of our product design and development. I’m elated to see the prosperity of our Chinese clients’ success at a global scale, while trusting Adjust as an essential partner not only in attribution and data analytics, but also for campaign automation, customer engagement and fraud prevention.”
“With a stronger relationship with Chinese clients that we’ve built through Think Tank’s success, we will continue to engage with our community to bring customer-centric products to the market and add greater value to our clients.”
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