iClick Interactive Partners with Tencent to Launch Recommendation Management Platform for Culture and Tourism Content

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iClick Interactive Asia Group Limited, an independent online marketing and enterprise data solutions provider in China, announced the launch of a new recommendation management platform for culture and tourism content, jointly developed by iClick and Tencent Culture and Tourism.

The new platform leverages Tencent Culture and Tourism’s strong data capabilities and iClick’s rich content resources and data tracking expertise, to provide operators of domestic tourist attractions in China with a rich array of features including customer preference analysis and ranked selections of recommended travel content. The information and features provided by the platform will help iClick’s travel industry clients improve operating efficiency, manage content resources, enhance the popularity of their business and increase consumer conversion rate.

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This SaaS platform integrates multiple capabilities such as multi-terminal data collection, real-time user behavior analysis and user profiling to create a map of user needs and content preferences, helping tourist site operators optimize their content marketing strategies by choosing the most appropriate type of content for their target demographic.

“With domestic tourist sites among the businesses in China to be hardest hit by the impact of COVID-19, iClick’s new joint initiative with Tencent Culture and Tourism couldn’t come at a better time, as the nation recovers from the epidemic,” said Jian “T.J.” Tang, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of iClick. “Our tourism content recommendation management platform represents the ideal comprehensive solution for tourist site operators, with Tencent’s vast dataset allowing for detailed peer analysis and consumer profiling for essential market insights, while iClick’s expertise in marketing resources and advertising placement ensuring they are able to reach their target demographic with the highest level of efficiency.”

The new platform has three major features:

  • Peer analysis: The platform analyzes the relative popularity of different tourist sites and compares user characteristics, helping clients benchmark peers in real time to gain more market share;
  • User insights: Analyzes audience trends, consumer profiling, demand maps and content preferences of comparative scenic spots, provides real-time insight into potential user needs, and captures user preferences.
  • Content recommendation: Based on user insights, the platform recommends the tailored content resource packages to attraction operators, including packages that can create an enhanced image for the site in Chinese vertical tourism media, as well as original content created and promoted by online influencers on popular social media sites such as RED (known as “Xiaohongshu”) and Bilibili.

Data predictions from the Chinese Tourism Academy (CTA) indicate that the COVID-19 outbreak has had a dramatically negative impact on China’s tourism industry. CTA projections show that overall numbers of Chinese domestic tourists in the first quarter of 2020 dropped 56%, with overall income from tourism dropping 69% compared with the same period of last year. The CTA also predicts that 932 million fewer Chinese will make domestic trips this year, and that overall income from domestic tourism in China will drop by RMB 1.18 trillion. Despite this, Dai Bin, director at the CTA has stated that the market fundamentals of China’s domestic tourism market have not changed, and there is a strong possibility of a rebound in domestic tourism spending.

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The epidemic’s spread has meant that domestic tourist attractions in China can no longer rely on their traditional methods of offline marketing, and must take an approach that combines both online and offline data in order to make informed marketing decisions, making iClick and Tencent Culture and Tourism’s new platform an attractive proposition for when the industry recovers.

The total number of internet users in China is now around 854 million, with 600 million of these internet users being followers of online influencers, known in China as “Key Opinion Leaders” or “KOLs”. The content types and industry categories covered by these influencers have continued to diversify, which makes using them an increasingly attractive option for companies seeking to promote their products in China. iClick has particularly produced large quantities of travel related content, building on the Company’s experience in providing content marketing services to over 100 international and domestic brands. iClick has signed partnership agreements with almost 100 KOLs, whose content is distributed on more than 20 popular Chinese social platforms including WeChat, Weibo, Bilibili, Douyin and Tmall. 40% of the KOLs iClick partners with are specialists in the travel and tourism category, and their combined followers on popular social e-commerce platform RED is more than 20 million fans.

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