Marketing China Ad Spend

The majority of global CMOs will increase ad spend in China next year


By Charlotte McEleny | Asia Editor

November 13, 2018 | 4 min read

The rise of connectivity and the middle class in China is an attractive prospect for marketers as four in five chief marketing officers say they will increase ad spend in the country in the next 18 months.

China flag

CMOs place China as a high global priority in 2019

This is according to research by The Trade Desk, which worked with Forbes on a survey of almost 250 chief marketing officers. The study found 62% of top marketers were placing China as a key focus in their marketing and advertising campaigns over the next year.

The reasons for this was global economic trends (46%), geographical diversification (41%) and both the market size (39%) and the emerging middle class (38%).

Susan Vobejda, chief marketing officer at The Trade Desk told The Drum, “According to our study with Forbes, 80% of chief marketing officers will be increasing their investments in China over the next 18 months. These brands know that the opportunity in China is very real.

"There are over 1.4 billion people living in China – and 772 million of them are currently connected to the internet. Those numbers keep growing. And what’s more, we’re seeing the rise of the largest middle class in history in this region. So the ability to advertise in China opens brands up to an absolutely huge new pool of potential customers with increasing disposable income.”

A lot of global marketer will be planning campaign from afar, without local knowledge of China. The research found that European marketers were least confident about knowing how to market to Chinese consumers, with just 8% claiming to have knowledge of rules and platforms. In North America that number rose to 15% and to 21% in Latin America.

China’s media buying industry is complex. Programmatic ad buying in China is developing rapidly, but there are limited players with access to premium inventory. Brands who want to leverage data in their digital media buying are looking for strong partners in China," added Vobejda.

Other challenges in reaching customers in the Chinese market include a lack of media transparency (27%); risk of fraud and pirated content (24%); the complex media buying structure (21%) and the walled gardens making it difficult to measure (20%).

This weekend saw the biggest sales day of the year take place in China, of which over 18,000 of the brands taking part were international, from over 74 countries according to Alibaba.

Marketing China Ad Spend

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The Trade Desk

The Trade Desk™ is a global technology company that empowers buyers of advertising. Through its self-service, cloud-based platform, ad buyers can create, manage, and optimise more expressive data-driven digital advertising campaigns across ad formats, including display, video, audio, native and, social, on a multitude of devices, such as computers, mobile devices, and connected TV. Integrations with major data, inventory, and publisher partners ensure maximum reach and decisioning capabilities, and enterprise APIs enable custom development on top of the platform. Headquartered in Ventura, CA, The Trade Desk has offices across North America, Europe, and Asia. To learn more, visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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