How do medical companies do their digital marketing campaign in China?

Medical brands wishing to expand have no other way but to go online. Should they choose to use the good old ways of traditional distributor they will more likely find themselves stuck in a rut.

It is even more obvious on the Chinese market where everyone goes online when it comes to buying something from the latest computer to a PCR machine

Therefore the key to having B2B leads in the Chinese market is to accept that the Chinese market is just as hard to predict and unfriendly to marketing as its western counterpart.

Bottom line, here is what you need to keep in mind:

  1. Content marketing is critical in a solid marketing campaign
  2. Content must be placed at strategic online nodes excluding the company website.


Let’s say you are in the market for computers, you certainly do not go to the closest IT store and let yourself be talked by the sales associate into buying particular computer. You want to take a look around, compare prices and brands elsewhere in order to give you an idea about the best deals.

It is exactly the same with your Chinese website and the power of SEO : it does not matter how high you you rank or how professional your website looks, nobody is going to buy on your site unless they have already checked many other shops.

Your potential shoppers first go to forums like focusing on medical devices and then decide where to take the next step.

Baidu, China’s search engine knows it. As a consequence only the most resilient and assiduous SEO can beat such portals for medical devices keywords. And even if you can make it to the top of the list your success is far from being guaranteed. As soon as Chinese netizens will realize that you are in fact a commercial site whose aim is only converting, they will quickly go back to those portals

Companies such as Affymetrix have adapted their strategy to the Chinese market as you can see below. This is something very difficult to achieve since these customers are probably the most distrustful of all.

What are the basics

First, they find a good Chinese name : for instance 昂飞申科for Affymetrix

Chinese name is important for Chinese. It has a lot of meanings and will certainly influence buyers. It is especially true on the web.

Second : they go at the right place

They go on specialized platforms such as  where they display their products and many services. This is where they create a Chinese-user friendly presentation as you can see below. It has phone contact, and everything the Chinese user needs. You have to understand that Chinese are very much used to speak with the sellers before buying. They want to make sure everything s fine. In addition we are talking about machines that are used to conduct scientific experiments or design treatments for diseases. If you do not buy the one that matches your specifications there is no telling what the consequences will or how much you may lose later.

Here is an example below with Thermo Fisher Scientific.

product specs


Some companies decide to open a weibo account where they choose to share news, content. This method however is not very efficient because most of the people intending to buy highly technical material such as these machines don’t go on Weibo to find them. They need experts, with renown in their field of expertise. Weibo is too generalist for that.

However, Affymetrix, specialise in gene research and gene chip decided to open a weibo account. Their account includes videos and their latest news:

weibo affy


So much effort for 411 followers, nothing compared to the amount of time spent. This demonstrates that the classic Chinese social network do not work for such a particular sector. Specialized platforms and well-designed websites must be the focus of a digital marketing campaign in China

They are present in several of those platforms, just like affymetrix in


Site Qffy


This webpage is more likely to attract prospects than their weibo especially with a good SEO campaign.

The Chinese wikipedia : Baidu Baike, Shimadsu

You have to be present on Baidu’s encyclopedia in order to be well-known in this sector. Indeed, people working in this sector are very likely to check this part of Baidu to see the reputation of the company. This is what you get when you type the company’s name. The complete history of the company showing its expertise and its history dating back to 1875.

Shimadzu baike


 Online strategy : video matters very much in China

Here you can see the strategy of Affymetrix to be present on Youku, the Chinese Youtube as well in order to impact more people and present a wide range of topics. This indirectly increases the brand name in China by giving credit to the company. Video-loving prospects can rank, comment and share such videos. However they lack something more direct to bring them more prospects such as direct links to their website or the ability to quickly speak to a sales rep. This would have made the videos of Affymetrix even more effective because Chinese people love multimedia content such as videos.

Affymetrix presence on youku1


Sure, a robust marketing strategy requires time and care but in the end it is much more cost-effective

  • If you want to know more about SEO in China it is here
  • If you want to know more about digital marketing strategy go it is here