How to Win in China’s Media Environment

How to Win in China’s Media Environment

Jesse Goranson, Senior Vice President, Nielsen Greater China; Tao Libao, Vice President, Nielsen China

Today’s Chinese consumers are more connected than ever before, with media playing a growing role in the lives of an increasing number of Chinese—across all age groups and geographic regions. But, the dynamics of the Chinese media market make for a unique environment for marketers and advertisers looking to reach the country’s consumers.

Television is an essential piece of a successful marketing mix model in China, but it can be costly. Recently, increased demand for ad time from local advertisers along with global brands has combined with a short supply of ad space driven by regulations to significantly increase the cost of TV advertising. Despite high costs, TV still offers tremendous reach, particularly as digital options thrive in the country’s most urban areas. Thus, TV will likely remain the anchor of brands’ marketing mix for reach and engagement, and advertisers will increasingly seek greater returns on investment through more effective and efficient TV advertising.

China’s 500+ million Internet consumers and growing mobile/smartphone populations ensure that digital media remain on the minds of marketers as well. And, social media’s increasing importance has consequences for a brand’s total share of voice, as consumers share their own opinions with friends and strangers alike.

In fact, among many consumers, the lines between TV, online, and mobile screens are becoming less and less distinct. Nielsen’s cross-media measurement panel in Shanghai has found that half of Shanghai households regularly engage in multi-screen media consumption while watching TV.


Thus, while digital media offers some precision marketing advantages, its fragmented and sometimes-multitasking audiences mean that digital ad campaigns are most effective when combined with other ad channels like TV.

As China’s media landscape continues to evolve, companies with the most effective marketing and advertising strategies are the most likely to reach and win with China’s increasingly connected consumers.

Learn more about Nielsen’s marketing effectiveness solutions.