Over the last few years, China has seen an explosion in the number of internet and mobile users. Rapid development in communications infrastructure has provided millions of Chinese access to broadband connectivity and 3G networks. Advances in technology have enabled local hardware manufacturers to produce sub-$150 smartphones which have become popular across China and are used by consumers for socializing, entertainment, information search and shopping. This has given birth to a plethora of mobile internet services in the country. With Chinese consumers turning away from traditional sources of information and entertainment en masse because of censorship and lack of credibility, Chinese internet companies have stepped in to fill the void by offering a range of social, informational and entertainment services.
Food & Beverage brands are leveraging mobile social media services to deliver exciting content to consumers to create deeper engagement and differentiation as a means to retain consumers and drive revenues. Additionally, the shift from desktop to mobile advertising has added new dimensions to the nascent stage of social media mobile advertising in China, and which continues to fuel impressive growth in the Chinese social media mobile market. A number of new players have emerged which includes both start-ups and established players, which is driving innovation and fundamentally reshaping the brand-consumer communication. As such a combination of mobile and social media has put forward a strong value proposition for food & beverage marketers to target niche consumer segments. Leading international and local brands such as Pepsi, Nestle, Heineken, Wu Liang Ye and Huiyuan Juice have used videos, games and apps integrated with social media extensively in their marketing campaigns. Convergence of different delivery formats is enabling marketers to leverage their respective strengths in integrated campaigns that not only inform, engage and influence consumers but also drive purchases.
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