First WFA marketing forums in China


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On 28-29 May, the MEDIA FORUM and SOURCING FORUM were hosted for the first time in China. Both meetings were kindly hosted by The Coca-Cola Company in Shanghai.

The MEDIA FORUM welcomed 42 marketers with media buying in their remit for China or the wider Asia-Pacific region. The exceptional turn out appears to demonstrate the enthusiasm for media leaders in China to come together and learn from their peers.

Topics tackled were core to the MEDIA FORUM's global agenda, including media auditing, media KPIs (key performance indicators) as well as transparency in media trading. In a market were 70% of trading is controlled by brokers, achieving complete transparency will remain elusive for a long time to come. However external insight from China Media Consulting Group and peer-to-peer sharing highlighted different approaches towards making media trading less opaque in China, including insisting on full disclosure by individual vendors.

In discussions around metrics, many in the room shared that the major barrier they were facing involved a lack of reliable and robust data. Online traffic often tends to be wildly inflated by 'zombie'/ 'robotic' users who need to be identified and deleted.

The SOURCING FORUM took place on the next day and also boasted more than 40 senior marketing procurement specialists. Compelling member contributions focused on cutting edge agency remuneration approaches as well as marketing procurement structures in China. Guest speaker R3 also shared on sourcing in relation to digital media and marketing

The scale and growth of China as a market is evident. According to some sources quoted in the meeting, this is now the world's second biggest advertising market. With an increasingly complex and rapidly changing landscape boasting approximately 180,000 agencies, China is a region where ongoing shared experience and learning amongst advertisers would be warmly welcomed.

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