Digital marketing spending in China to grow 20% in 2021, says China Digital Marketing Trends 2021 report


Lately, the Miaozhen Academy of Marketing Science (MAMS), the Global Digital Marketing Summit (GDMS), and Media 360 jointly released the China Digital Marketing Trends 2021 report. With a strong rebound projected for the China economy, this report highlights national marketing trends and investment focuses with the goal of helping advertisers, publishers, agencies, and more strategize for China’s ever-changing marketing landscape in 2021.

Peking Tan, President of MAMS, says that marketing in China today both enjoys a vibrant outlook for future development and faces challenges in a complex landscape. This series of reports was launched in 2017, our hope is to use them to conduct empirical research and analysis in order to aggregate professional viewpoints, provide insight into trends, and discover crucial problems to solve in the China marketing industry.

The report is based on surveys of nearly 300 advertisers from over 20 industries (including food & beverage, beauty & personal care, education & training, auto, consumer electronics, and baby food/baby products) and in-depth individual interviews and desk research with representative advertisers. Key takeaways for 2021 include:

  • 47% of advertisers expect China marketing investment to increase. Total marketing spending is projected to grow 17%, after 8% actual growth in 2020
  • 78% of advertisers said they would increase their digital marketing spending. Digital marketing spending is projected to grow 20%, after 16% actual growth in 2020
  • Advertisers are focusing on branding goals and performance goals by approximately the same amount
  • Increasing marketing performance/ROI is the biggest challenge to advertisers in selecting a platform
  • Advertisers will invest more in mobile internet marketing than other marketing resources
  • Among online resource types, advertisers are focusing most on short-form video and social media platforms, with 78% and 75% of advertisers respectively increasing spending on them.
  • 67% and 60% of advertisers are increasing spending on short-form video ads and influencer ads, 54% and 51% of advertisers will invest more in newsfeed ads, and performance-based ads.
  • Social marketing spending is projected to grow 19% in 2021, after 15% actual growth in 2020. Social marketing will focus on short-form video and influencer marketing
  • Content marketing investment will focus on online resources. Advertisers are most interested in web variety shows, web series, and TV variety shows
  • Data mid-end and content tagging are the most widely used digital marketing technologies

MAMS is an industry research institution for innovation in marketing science and applications. It was founded by Miaozhen Systems, China’s leading provider of omni measurement and business intelligence and analytics solutions. It uses scientific methods to solve practical and theoretical marketing problems and build a measurable, verifiable, predictable marketing science methodology and knowledge base. MAMS’s ultimate goal is to foster industry cooperation and further scientific progress.