Previously it has been disclosed on Weibo that Tencent is connecting its “QQ Marketing” to Wechat Official Platform, so that its enterprise clients can reach their customers through both mobile terminals.
As it turns out, WeChat launched the new “QQ Marketing for WeChat” on April 16, 2014. This new version of “QQ Marketing” came with an enhanced backstage management system, allowing enterprise clients to sync QQ with WeChat in customer management, as well as to use new functions such as image display, client communication, interactive marketing, online sales, tracking analysis, etc.
QQ Marketing mainly targets companies dealing with online customer service or product marketing. It comes with various built-in management functions based on Wechat Official Platform, including online call center, CRM, user tracking, user information storage, mobile site developing, etc. What’s remarkable about QQ Marketing is that whether or not the users initiate voice counselling on Wechat Official Platform, companies can always track user behavior, set up user behavior database, thus classify and label their customers by “value” according to their levels of activeness, frequency of interactions and clicking rates of different contents. This is certainly an important step toward customized marketing and long-term maintenance.
The fact that one of Tencent’s enterprise marketing product is connected to Wechat Official Platform exemplified the platform’s remarkable business value with its public account system and over 600 million users. As mobile marketing is leading the trend, the advantages of big data become all the more prominent. This, for Tencent, means popular mobile apps it owns such as QQ mobile and WeChat. Earlier this month, Tencent announced that the number of its mobile users simultaneously online topped 200 million, among which QQ mobile users accounted for 70%. In the meantime, Tencent’s financial report revealed total WeChat active users, in domestic and oversea markets combined, had reached 355 million by the end of last year. With this enormous user base, Tencent is confident enough to announce its plan to launch a self-service advertising platform, where verified public account owners and advertisers will have direct access.
However, on the part of WeChat, the team seems more interested in creating a better platform for service, as oppose to for marketing. The objective is to provide a new mode of interaction between businesses and customers, and thus materialize Tencent’s ambitions in O2O development. In line with this motive, WeChat team has just adjusted its group messaging policies for service account on the public platform, allowing verified service accounts to send at most 4 group messages per month to every follower. WeChat team insiders expressed that WeChat public account is designed to serve as CRM platform. It is now moving from stage one, i.e. “interactive communication”, towards stage two, namely “user management”. By the time it reaches the third stage, WeChat will start cooperating with banks and institutions of such kind, providing its users with customized services.
The question of how to balance service with marketing in O2O business might pose as a major challenge for WeChat in the future.