Digital Marketing in Taiwan: The Landscape, Top Trends, and How to Prevail Over the Competition

Japan famously became a global manufacturing powerhouse in the decades following World War II, but the young nation of Taiwan was not far behind. While much of Taiwan’s former manufacturing capacity has since emigrated westward, the island of Formosa is still a hotbed of industrial and commercial activity. 

With a per-capita GDP more than three times that of the People’s Republic, Taiwan also has a thriving, dynamic consumer market. Its affluent citizens are some of the world’s best-connected in digital terms, as well. 

All these factors and others combine to make Taiwan a place of particular, perennial interest to marketers and businesses the world over. A look at Taiwan’s unique situation will reveal that it is full of opportunities to be explored. The latest, strongest digital marketing trends in Taiwan are ready to be leveraged by any company with the right goals and types of support. 

This Gateway to Asia is Always Open and Online 

The “Taiwan Miracle” of the 1960s transformed a formerly quiet place into one of the world’s most active, impressive economic incubators. Political liberalization a few decades later did away with the dictatorship that had ruled Taiwan since its founding, creating an opening for the growth of a pluralistic civil society. 

Although its industrial base has declined in terms of its contribution to the overall economy, Taiwan remains a prominent member of the global manufacturing elite. Better known elsewhere as “Foxconn,” for instance, Hong Hai Precision Industry Co. manages its 750,000-strong electronics-producing workforce from a headquarters in New Taipei City. 

Taiwan’s economy has also become a lot more diverse than it once was, with relatively young Fortune Global 500 companies like financial firm Cathay Holdings and insurer Fubon calling it home. Combined with pillars of Taiwan’s short history like state-owned petrochemical giant CPC, businesses like these contribute to an economy that looks as modern and sophisticated as any other. 

Taiwan’s consumers play the part just as well. With plenty of disposable income to work with, they are some of the world’s most avid e-commerce shoppers. As of January 2020, “internet penetration in Taiwan stood at 86%,” according to a report assembled by Hootsuite. 

In other words, modern Taiwan’s economy looks a lot like the ones many professionals from North America and Europe are familiar with, at least in its broadest strokes. Taiwan’s unique history and its rapid evolution over a short period of time have made it more welcoming and accessible than many other nations in the region. 

Heavily hierarchical, tradition-minded countries like Japan and South Korea, for instance, are notoriously difficult to penetrate and come to grips with. Many Southeast Asian countries have been growing so rapidly that businesses from elsewhere find they make overly fast-moving targets. 

Taiwan, by contrast, seems both mature and stable while also being very much open to the wider world. From its industrial economy to the finer details of its consumerism, Taiwan is a place that simply makes sense to people from all over. Building up a presence in Taiwan is a proven way for businesses to establish a beachhead that can take them just about anywhere, including massive markets like those of the United States and China. 

Today’s Top Digital Marketing Trends in Taiwan 

As might be expected, digital marketing trends in Taiwan often track fairly closely to those prevalent in many other countries. Even so, Taiwanese professionals and everyday consumers have distinctive habits and preferences that need to be respected. 

Given this, it will always be best to have access to digital marketing talent that reflects an understanding of both the global environment and Taiwan’s unique culture and economic position. That will allow a business to respond appropriately to marketing trends of both kinds, like the following. 

Trend #1: Adding Value With Freshness, Authenticity, and More 

People everywhere are tired of ads and other forms of marketing. This is just as true of jaded professional purchasing agents as for avid consumers. 

As particularly tech-savvy, digitally oriented individuals, Taiwan’s citizens are some of the world’s most resistant to forgettable, unremarkable marketing. Digital marketers who stick to dated, formulaic playbooks often find their efforts yielding little. Successful digital marketers in Taiwan are breaking down barriers by focusing on: 

  • Personalization. Taiwanese consumers appreciate a personal touch as much as anyone else. Savvy digital marketers have many ways of personalizing their messages and strategies to cultivate more productive connections. Even in the B2B world, thoughtful personalization keeps things moving in the right direction. Skilled B2B salespeople inevitably have the ability to connect at a personal level, but digital marketers in Taiwan are becoming just as adept at it. 
  • Authentic value. Nothing makes marketing easier to ignore than an obvious lack of authenticity. Taiwanese consumers are especially sensitive to companies that try to pretend they are things they are not. The slow-moving B2B sales funnel includes many opportunities for inauthentic content to get in the way. Digital marketers need to be intimately familiar with the industries they focus on to avoid setting traps for themselves. 
  • Novelty. Marketing that feels overly familiar and rote will always have a lessened impact. Creative, pleasantly surprising forms of digital marketing are just as likely to work with consumers as on B2B leads. New, interesting takes on the same products and services always attract more attention. 

Trend #2: Elevating User Experience 

For far too long, people were expected to conform to the demands of the digital devices and applications they used. Taiwan’s most influential digital marketers now consistently see the value in improved, refined user experiences. 

A website that becomes easier to read and navigate can generate more leads than many realize. Even PPC ads and their landing pages are being tuned to produce more satisfying, natural user experiences. 

Improved user experiences reduce friction at every point of contact. That makes a difference when courting consumers, but it can be especially influential over the course of a long, complicated B2B marketing process. 

Trend #3: Building Stronger Brands (Even For B2B) 

The value of a strong, appealing brand for consumer-focused companies has rarely been in doubt. In Taiwan, as in many other places, even B2B enterprises are focusing more on brand building than in the past. 

While the impact of a brand will never be as obvious as it can be in the consumer sphere, it can still influence even a complex B2B sales process. Companies that become acknowledged leaders in their fields find it much easier to sign the contracts that produce growth. 

It can take many years to achieve the kind of brand status that once gave rise to sayings like “no one ever got fired for buying IBM.” Digital marketers in Taiwan are increasingly convincing their clients that the time to start is now. 

Trend #4: Going Where the Buyers Are 

There are more ways to spend time online than at any point in the past. People in Taiwan are particularly open to dividing their digital time up among many platforms and apps. 

Companies that stick to only a couple of digital outlets can end up missing out on unforgivably large amounts of business. Knowing where to look for potential buyers takes a deep familiarity with Taiwan’s unique digital environment and culture. Although many of the top destinations are just as popular elsewhere in the world, Taiwan also features some interesting, distinctive homegrown alternatives. 

Trend #5: Mixing Things Up While Staying Focused 

Particularly in the B2B sphere, some companies are still wedded to overly simple, predictable digital marketing strategies. This will often mean missing out on opportunities that could have been converted into new business. 

Taiwan’s much-lauded response to the COVID-19 pandemic, for instance, saw millions turning to live, streamed digital events to make up for a lockdown-enforced lack of human contact. Digital marketers who helped their clients promote and host virtual events turned a difficult time into a new opportunity, particularly for B2B businesses. 

Exploring such options always works best when it is part of an appropriately informed marketing strategy. Keeping things grounded but timely and fresh is a difficult art to master but can produce impressive returns. 

Trend #6: Leveraging User-Generated Content 

Consumer-oriented companies have long appreciated the power customers have to influence others. Digital marketers in Taiwan have made the promotion of user-generated content a top priority with many noteworthy recent campaigns. 

User-generated content is almost inherently authentic, which makes it valuable by default in most common cases. Encouraging consumers to post photos of products comes naturally to companies with active social media presences. 

B2B firms often have to work harder to make user-generated content part of their own digital marketing initiatives. Even something as simple as a user-contributed “success story” can lend a lot of credibility to a B2B company’s digital marketing activity, however. 

Trend #7: More, More, More 

Many consumer-focused companies with presences in Taiwan have long since made digital the cornerstone of their overall marketing strategies. B2B businesses are increasingly making the same moves, even in relatively conservative industries like manufacturing. 

Being among the first to push digital over the traditional alternatives means having the ability to set the standards others will be judged by. An especially successful B2B digital marketing initiative can turn an also-ran into a leader in the field. That sort of transformation cannot be achieved by sticking to industry-specific expos and trade journals, but it takes a lot of commitment and expertise. 

Making the Most of Taiwan With the Help of Digital Marketing 

Notoriously hidebound Japanese companies are often faulted for failing to make much use of digital marketing at all. China’s restricted internet and focus on homegrown services can make it feel like a truly foreign place to digital marketers from elsewhere. 

Most outsiders find Taiwan’s digital situation a lot easier to come to terms with. Although Yahoo! was once the leader, internet users in Taiwan now opt for Google’s search engine at roughly the same rates as residents of the United States. 

Facebook is by far the most popular social network in Taiwan, with almost eight in ten citizens using it regularly. While Instagram is not the hit it is in North America and Europe, it and other platforms like Twitter and Pinterest have significant presences in Taiwan, too. 

These facts alone help make digital marketing in Taiwan easier to understand for many people from elsewhere than would be the case with most other countries in the region. At the same time, there are also plenty of Taiwan-specific quirks that make locally informed expertise especially valuable. 

Whereas old-fashioned forums have gone the way of the dodo in many countries, for instance, Taiwan’s terminal-based PTT Bulletin Board System hosts 150,000 active users at its busiest. Interest-specific boards like the ones at Gamer.com.tw draw huge audiences that might have ended up in Facebook Groups or subreddits otherwise. 

Just like with its economy, Taiwan feels like an interesting mix of the novel and the familiar to many marketers and businesspeople from other parts of the world. While especially accessible and welcoming, this makes Taiwan a place where the value of local support will never be in question. 

WWHaT Digital: Your Trusted Digital Marketing Partner 

As one of the leading providers of digital marketing services in Taiwan, WWHaT Digital has everything needed to help your company succeed in an especially exciting, enticing country. From search engine optimization and website design to PPC advertising and social media management, our services are all tuned to produce outstanding results in Taiwan, China, the United States, and beyond. 

Contact us now to learn about how we can help your business get on board with Taiwan’s latest digital marketing trends. Our proven ability to help Taiwan-based companies master the Chinese, American, and other markets consistently generates increased revenues and growth for our clients. 

Whether it’s manufacturing, technology, finance, or retail, our industry-specific knowledge enhances the effectiveness of our marketing services in ways that competitors cannot match. Give us a call now and get your company moving toward new levels of success. 

 

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