August 2018 marks Westwin’s two-year anniversary of acquiring former Microsoft Online’s business and assets. Anderson Liu was the general manager of Microsoft Online two years ago; now he is the CEO of Westwin – a leading marketing consulting firm that focuses on cross-border business.
Cross-border marketing is a challenging yet exciting task for brands who aim to enter foreign countries. Over the past two years, Westwin has been helping companies with strategic consultation, digital advertising solution and localization services to extend their businesses internationally. “Westwin believes that big data is the key driving force for cross-border marketing”, said Anderson Liu in a recent interview.
Cross-border Marketing Connect Foreign Companies to China
China market offers tremendous potential for global companies. According to the latest data released by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, total volume of China’s import and export trade reached US$2.21 trillion in the first half of 2018, growing 16 percent year-over-year. Many global companies are exploring opportunities and cross-border marketing strategies to break into the Chinese market.
Liu thinks that understanding China’s cultural differences and technology scene will have a huge impact on efficiency when foreign companies kick off cross-border businesses in China, including brand promotion, marketing cooperation, investment and M&As.
“Despite China market brings a bright future, many foreign companies now are aware of the challenges. This motivates us to optimize our solution to better help our foreign clients in brand presence, reputation management and operation strategy.” Liu, a cross-border marketing specialist himself, is leading Westwin to help foreign companies enter the Chinese market. Last month, Westwin released “2018 China Cross-border Consumption Report” – the first study to focus on Chinese cross-border consumers. With research conducted by AC Nielsen, this report is known as a guide to Chinese consumers – the interesting facts within will help retailers choose the best media channel and strategy in the Chinese market.
Big Data Drives Chinese Business Expand Abroad
Over the past 40 years, many Chinese businesses have expanded overseas by implementing their own globalization strategies. More recently, the government’s “Belt and Road” initiative is designed to help more Chinese firms step up overseas expansion.
According to available data, Microsoft Online, the predecessor of Westwin, has provided overseas online promotion services to more than 2,000 domestic Chinese businesses. Its core business, “Bing Ads”, helped a list of leading Chinese companies expand to overseas markets including Alibaba, JD.com, Air China and Ctrip. Today, Westwin still remains a key partner of Microsoft’s online advertising business in mainland China.
Nowadays, big data have changed mainstream technology and the methods in which data are handled and it is driving the future of business. Liu believes that advertising, whether digital or traditional, is ultimately driven by latest technology – and now the technology is big data.
“When a business with overseas operations interacts with an overseas user, there must be a demand for what the brand has to offer coupled with the promotion effect,” said Liu. “To meet such a demand, the product or service must be supported by data to optimize the effect.”
Under the wave of globalization, Liu has positioned Westwin as a data-driven marketing consulting firm focusing on cross-border business. Through customized strategy and localized platform, Westwin aims to help foreign brands gain brand awareness and acquire customers in brand new market. Talking about vision, Liu said that cross-border marketing creates an entry point for Westwin. “Eventually we will become a data-driven platform that serves cross-border business on a broader scale.”