Building a Digital Sales Platform in China

  • 2019 - 2020
  • Business Intelligence
  • CRM Integration
  • Web Development
  • Search Advertising
Tech Stack
  • Baidu Marketing Platform
  • Power BI
  • WeChat
  • Custom WordPress Theme on AWS China
  • IBM Notes CRM

ILLIES offers industrial companies a comprehensive service portfolio in Asia: from the development and implementation of machine projects to complete turnkey solutions and after-sales support. ILLIES teamed up with CERTAINCE to optimize their digital marketing and business intelligence processes.


As a leading trading company in Asia, ILLIES quickly recognized the growing importance of digitization in regional sales. The company commissioned CERTAINCE to define a digital strategy for sales in China. The focus was on the generation of new customer inquiries, more effective processing of inquiries in the CRM system, and analysis of available sales and marketing data in the company.


In order to meet the requirements, three project modules were defined: (1) development of an online marketing platform in China, (2) development of CRM processes for inquiry processing, (3) implementation of a central business intelligence solution to integrate existing data sources.


The content of the online marketing platform was created based on interviews with Chinese sales staff regarding local customer preferences. This content, mainly industry publications and case studies, was then to be distributed via Chinese search engines, social media, and a local website.


The website was set up on on Chinese cloud servers to ensure fast loading times and a correct appearance. This required approval by the responsible authorities in China, in particular the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Once set up, the website was embedded in WeChat, the main communication tool for personal and business use in China. Customers could now receive push messages and view the website in the WeChat app. Since all customers use WeChat on a daily basis, access to product information and the ability to answer individual questions has been made much easier. CERTAINCE and ILLIES developed a clear process for handling relevant questions and handing over qualified inquiries to the sales team.


To ensure the site ranks above other search results when searching online, CERTAINCE and ILLIES created an advertising and analytics account with leading Chinese search engine Baidu. They then launched targeted advertising campaigns and optimized search terms and ad copy based on the measured effectiveness. The local team used custom reports in Baidu Analytics (the local version of Google Analytics) to do this.


To enable both the local team and headquarters in Germany to track the results (Baidu Analytics is only available in Chinese), the results were brought together in Power BI as a central business intelligence tool. Data from the CRM system was integrated with local web, email, and social media analysis tools to gain the best possible insights into marketing effectiveness. The results were presented in automatically updated dashboards and reports.


As a result of these activities, ILLIES expanded its CRM database with hundreds of contacts and tens of thousands of data points that support today’s sales and marketing planning.


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