That’s Numberwang for you

Last week, the MCX team attended the ReTHINK TV Marketing Forum in Doltone House, Jones Bay Wharf – Sydney, where there were plenty of fascinating insights as well as facts and figures showcased by industry leaders and corporate heavyweights. Among them was Tess Alps, the charismatic and passionate Chair of Thinkbox – the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK, who delivered an engaging speech on her vision for the future of television.

In her speech, she joked about the amusing phenomenon she called, ‘Numberwang’ – a reference to a recurring skit from the popular British sketch comedy show, ‘That Mitchell and Webb Look’. Numberwang is a fictitious game show where contestants answer absurd number-themed questions with even more absurd numbers that don’t have any rhyme or reason and can’t be made sense of. She drew the analogy that impressive numbers are often bandied about in marketing circles, without any real credibility behind them.

Well, it got me to thinking, are marketers being numberwang-ed with regards to social media platform WeChat? So I did some digging.

For the savvy marketers among us – and particularly those targeting Chinese and other Asian audiences – you will likely have already heard some pretty impressive statistics about WeChat (called Weixin in China). Side note: Don’t feel bad if you haven’t heard of it yet – The Sydney Morning Herald’s Patrick Hatch called WeChat, ‘The app you’ve never heard of that’s key to cracking China’.

As WeChat evolves and grows, the statistics are becoming even more impressive, and even harder to ignore. Here’s a handy snapshot:

  • The app has a host of features, and is like Facebook Messenger, eBay, Twitter, YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, Tinder and Chat Roulette rolled into one.
  • There are 1.1 billion accounts worldwide, with 570 million daily active users
  • The top country for usage is China, with 70 million users outside of China and 1.5 million users in Australia. This is much less than the 15 million Facebook users in Australia and 2.8 million Twitter users, but the key takeaway is that Chinese are using WeChat.
  • Kevin Rudd sent a Chinese ‘Happy Lunar New Year’ message on WeChat that made real waves on social media in China, so rarely does a popular Australian figure or brand embrace the real trend of how to reach Chinese communities.
  • WeChat recently replaced its App Store with WeChat mini apps (an app within an app – it’s like app-ception).
  • 46 per cent of internet users in China cited WeChat as their favourite app.
  • Australian businesses can use the platform to sell products and services, better connect with Chinese customers, build business relationships in China and get to know their audience.

That’s not numberwang – those are the facts and it’s time to take notice! For advice on connecting with Chinese and other multicultural diaspora audiences, get in touch with MultiConnexions.

By Katrina Hall
Katrina Hall is MCX PR Manager. She has lived and worked in China and the Middle East. Katrina’s firsthand experience and understanding of Chinese culture and language assists MCX clients to connect with the Chinese diaspora. Katrina also speaks fluent Mandarin, which she considers is essential to doing business with the Chinese diaspora.

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