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World's second largest search engine Baidu targets UK brands


By Stephen Lepitak, -

March 21, 2013 | 3 min read

The world's second largest search engine Baidu, which runs on average five billion search queries a day, is seeking European brands to use it as an advertising platform targeting its Chinese users.

UK paid search agency Net Media Planet is working alongside Chinese agency Charmclick to promote the search engine to brands across Europe, with Baidu claiming to have an 82 per cent share of the Chinese search marketplace, with a user base of around 564 million people at the end of last year.

Speaking to The Drum, Johnny Zhu, CEO of Charmclick, which is the exclusive European partner of Baidu, said that local advertisers are a focus for Baidu.

Zhu added that members of his team had been travelling around Europe speaking to Baidu clients, including Real Madrid.

"We don't only sell PPC and keywords, we also try to provide more detail on industry information. For example if a jewellery retailer wants to sell in China but doesn't understand the details, we are able to assist them. We have a huge team working on industry research. So a client can request details from us on the search behaviour of that category to send to them to support their position," he added.

Sri Sharma, managing director of Net Media Planet, explained that there were two categories of brands that they were focusing on engaging with as potential customers for the search engine.

"We're targeting brands that already have an international exposure and are looking for a broader net where they may already have some exposure in China and want to know how to capitalise on that. Then there are brands who are aspiring to grow internationally. If they are interesting in doing that then they could find this a good conduit to testing a channel in a market where they can grow their brand awareness through search and awareness on Baidu, use paid search advertising on Baidu, learn from the experience and gain insights from what sells...It's going to be for brands who are thinking big."

In order to highlight the potential opportunities for brands, while speaking at the Internet Retailing Expo in Birmingham yesterday, Zhu said that UK brands such as Mothercare - (400+), Harrods - (350+) and Marks and Spencer - (1,000+), were receiving customer searches through Baidu each day naturally, despite having no presence in China.

According to statistics provided by Baidu, Google currently has a 7.4 per cent share of the Chinese search market in comparison.


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