Authentic content key to connecting with Chinese markets via social media

21 Mar, 2014
Dr Matthew McDougall
Founder and CEO of Digital Jungle, Dr Matthew McDougall

In the fast changing digital media landscape authentic content and narratives are vital to branding no matter who is using it.

That was the message from Digital Jungle’s Dr Matthew McDougall, who in partnership with the Asia New Zealand Foundation and AUT University gave the first in a series of talks that will be hosted at the Auckland campus across the next five months.

Dr McDougall says for New Zealand, both the challenge and opportunity that is China, needs to be understood better by businesses looking to engage with a population that is rapidly shifting up the economic value chain.  He cited a number of big digital enterprises that are China-based and offer customers a slew of digital and communication environments similar to those offered in the West such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

But Dr McDougall says business must recognise the willing-to-spend Chinese shopper wants sound and honest content and without that will find it difficult to gain traction.

He says another aspect often ignored by New Zealand and other Western businesses is that “simple translation” of a web site won’t foot it in a market that is deeply sophisticated and wanting the best.

AUT communications lecturer Richard Pamatatau and senior lecturer in languages Dr Shanjiang Yu were part of the panel that led audience discussion following Dr McDougall’s presentation.

“As an academic teaching and researching in the School of Communication Studies it was rewarding to hear just how ‘spot on’ the work by our community of practice is with the embedding of social media tools in courses.  As part of that the journalism team has been increasing the footprint of social media tools in papers it offers so the tools are seen in much the same ways as a pencil, pen, typewriter and personal computer would have been in the past,” says Richard Pamatatau.

“Localisation with the community is one of the key things for a company to be successful in China. To do that, one needs to understand why Chinese people do things differently,” says Dr Yu.

AUT’s Pro Vice-Chancellor International Professor Nigel Hemmington says:  “The AUT - Asia New Zealand Foundation partnership in delivering the 20th Anniversary Speaker Series reflects the university’s profile in Asia and its significant contribution to the Asia-NZ relationship, not just through the recruitment of students from Asia, but also in terms of academic debate, partnership and business development.”

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