Weixin (rebranded name WeChat) created an all-in-one platform where their target audiences didn’t have to change apps for different purposes. It was like having Youtube , Facebook, Tweeter, Instagram, and eBay, all in one app. Its functions are designed to be straightforward and convenient to users (Mahoney & Tan, 2017). With total accessibility in the palm of their hands, Weixin engaged its customers with its various functions. It was first introduced to China in 2011. By 2014 it had over 300 million users in China, Southwest Asia, and Europe. What did Weixin do in those three years to gain such a large audience?
All marketing should begin with thorough audience analysis (Mahoney & Tan, 2017)
Weixin’s success came from knowing who was their target audience. The platform targeted young urban smartphone owners—people who held their mobile devices as their prize possession. They do not have the time to jump from a browser to browse for their daily online activities. It was now possible for their audiences to read the news or make a purchase all on Weixin.
Weixin ultimately evolved the way Chinese people communicate and socialize online. The application had a record feature that would allow the user to record their messages, which saved typing Chinese characters into their phone. It is a tradition to give monetary gifts to family and friends during the holidays in Chinese culture. It is called Red Envelope. Weixin also launched a unique feature where users can send money to family, sort of like a cash app. It was named the Red Envelope campaign. The feature was launched just before the Chinese New Year of 2014.
Another feature introduced in 2014 was the “Didi Taxi.” The function worked with 350,000 taxi drivers in more than 30 Cities in China. Its users can book a taxi and pay through the Weixin app. By Weixin introducing new functions that satisfy their audiences’ changing needs made them a part of Chinese people’s day-to-day routine.
I am not as young as I look..LOL! I remember when I had a flip phone for calls and an iPod for my music. So when the iPhone was introduced, I was so happy to have both plus internet all on one gadget. Looking back, who would have thought that was the beginning of something huge. Currently, I can do everything and anything on my mobile device. From paying my bills to ordering a cab, all can be done with one touch. So I understand how and why Weixin became so popular. It made its users’ lives a bit easier.