Wavemaker set to make waves

Updated 2017-11-24 11:33:12 China Daily

Content company to expand digital business, clients to maintain its growth in China

Wavemaker, the new specialist content agency created through the merger of MEC and Maxus, under GroupM, the world's largest advertising media company in terms of billings, said this week that it would continue to focus on expanding its clientele and digital business in China.

"Nearly 70 percent of our business in China comes from digital initiatives and we will continue to focus on that," said Gordon Domlija, chief executive officer of Wavemaker China.

"This is partly deliberate and partly because this is how our business has grown."

Wavemaker China will be officially launched in December in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Nanjing.

According to Domlija, the company's proportion of digital business is greater in China than in any other market. Same is the case when compared with other multinational agencies present in China, he said.

Even people who do not directly work in digital have to be digitally minded, because the information generated and used to make the right decisions comes from digital sources, said Domlija, who has over 20 years experience in media and marketing in the UK and China.

The new company will have a huge analytics team that processes and reports on data, he said.

Domlija said he believed the new company's growth will be driven mostly by local businesses, and the company will continue injecting investment into understanding China's micro and macro-economic trends within the marketplace.

"Some 85 percent of our business in China is generated locally, and the percentage is much higher than our peers for international agencies," he said.

"There will be more localized decision-making and more local customers."

MEC and Maxus have been focused on driving Chinese brands in the past few years, including Huawei, China Mobile, Bank of Communications, Shanghai Automotive, UnionPay and Meituan.

"The resource and capability we build, focusing on local business will be the cornerstone of how we will continue to grow and how we plan to develop our business," he said.

According to Domlija, China's Belt and Road Initiative will create huge growth opportunities for Wavemaker as well as other companies.

Western companies are angling actively for a piece of the trade initiative, with multinationals like technology and manufacturing company Honeywell and General Electric tweaking their businesses to win more orders.

Zhang Jianping, director of international economic cooperation at the National Development and Reform Commission, said the initiative enables domestic and multinational firms to jointly explore overseas markets.

Many Western firms are interested in being a part of China's Belt and Road Initiative, offering either technological edge or knowledge of local conditions, he said.

"The initiative offers huge opportunities to companies that can understand how Chinese brands work," said Domlija.

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