Digital Marketing in China

I am doing my best to learn about digital and content marketing in China. This is a huge, high-growth market, with a very different digital ecosystem than we have in the U.S. or in Europe. This post will just be the beginnings of what I am learning, and I am wide open to advice on how to learn more about this topic.

The Great Firewall of China changes the game in terms of platforms and tools. Baidu is Google, Weibo is Twitter/Facebook, YouKu is YouTube, and WeChat is texting/SnapChat/ecommerce/banking/etc. Baidu is particularly interesting as paid search techniques are not only welcomed, they actually influence your organic rankings positively, too. Sounds almost like bribery to my narrow, Western mind.

Language will be an issue. Culture must be respected. Any perception of an American company marketing to Chinese (vs. a Chinese arm of a global company) will not be well-received. Partnering with Chinese colleagues is a must.

At last year’s Content Marketing Institute, Pam Didner explained how the social media platforms in China may be different, but human behaviors and desires are the same.

I think I’ve got to launch into this venture with my eyes wide open, and with a great cultural sensitivity. Any resources you would recommend, or warnings you could share with me?

Image credit:

Saved Replies in Facebook Messages

This is a pretty interesting feature that Facebook is testing for customer service, though I am not sure about the negative impact it may have on humanizing your brand: saved replies in messages, enabling brands to quickly respond to common requests with personalized, yet canned messages. Would you use this?

Don't worry about Chaar's privacy, pretty sure he isn't a real person. ;)
Don’t worry about Chaar’s privacy, pretty sure he isn’t a real person. ;)

Spotted in Facebook Messages and Tech Crunch.

Mention: brand monitoring tool

I’ve written before about monitoring the web for interesting Twitter content, and most of that post applies to monitoring for any information online, including brand mentions. I just came across a new tool called Mention, a web and social media monitoring tool that looks pretty similar to Google Alerts, but with a little bit of extra technology layered in for noise filtering and team task assignments. It comes out of the box with mobile, Mac, and Chrome apps and a decent free tier before getting into any monthly costs.

Signing up and downloading the app was simple and straightforward. Creating alerts is a little more intuitive than on Google, though you are doing the same things. Here is a sample one I set up for work:

Create your alert


You can choose which web sources you want your alerts to come from, and filter out junk you don’t want to see.

Manage and filter your sources


Here is what my mention feed looks like after just a few minutes of searching/populating. Pretty cool! The interface is a little sluggish as I try to read through a long list of items in the Mac app, and the inability to do an “AND” search for multiple required keywords is limiting. A “mark all as read” would be extremely handy as well. I will give this tool a try over the coming week or two to see how it compares to other brand monitoring tools like Google AlertsSproutSocial, and

Mention monitoring screen


If you are interested, sign up at and let me know what you think!


** Update! I found the “mark all as read” option under what appears to be a share icon. I guess they ran out of places to put things in the UI?
Mark all as read or share alert

Now, more than ever…

The kindness of strangers
Now – in the age of global, mobile, social, 24/7 – more than ever…

  • …it’s about who you know – especially for your career.
  • …it’s about building relationships and making emotional connections.
  • …it’s about meaningful conversation.
  • …it’s about working together toward a common goal.
  • …it’s about doing what’s right.
  • …it’s about leading.
  • …it’s about making a difference.

Photo by Ed Yourdon


Recently, I thought through how I truly prioritize work. Beyond the mental “is this hot?” exercise, what really makes something rise to the top of the list and get done? Admittedly, I thought about it more than I would on a day-to-day basis, and that is partly why the GTD framework recommends a weekly review – you get a chance to step back from the work and plan/prioritize.
Here is what my framework looks like for prioritization of the limitless requests for my time and energy:
  1. The first criteria is always doing the right thing, remember?
    Ask yourself, “is this the right thing to do?” If not, the priority is pretty clear.
  2. Urgent/Important grid
    I love this one. This concept is from Steven Covey’s excellent book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People*. As a former IT guy, I find myself comfortable in the top-right corner of the grid, fighting fires. This is stressful though, and doesn’t allow you time to get to your high value-add projects and goals. Try to work on important things before they become urgent. Oh, and stop working on things that aren’t important. Yes, stop it!
    Urgent/Important Grid
  3. Value to the customer or stakeholder
    This is clear some of the time, and other times, you may want to do a fuller stakeholder map to understand who will be impacted/affected by your work.
  4. Manager’s expectations – what does your manager expect of you…yes, this can override some of the others.
  5. Deadlines – they work, even when self-imposed. Put it on your calendar.
  6. Time and energy required for next action vs. current personal state – this is a GTD principle, and you need to know yourself. If I do my best creative work at 9pm, I shouldn’t save the mindless report I need to pull together until then. I know a lot of peak creative hours are spent processing email, and it takes discipline to schedule your work around your work methodologies and preferences.

Obviously, you can’t just ignore deadlines and claim you were working on next year’s big project! Clearly communicate when deadlines will be missed, set expectations long before the deadlines hit if possible. Any factors I missed? Too many?

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