The Wenhao Dong Interview

Navigating Business Success: A Journey Through Intelligent Marketing Strategies

Q1: Thank you very much for taking the time to participate in our interview. I see that you have rich experience in managing businesses in various industries. Could you please share more with us?

A: Thank you for your question. Indeed, I have extensive experience in business operations, managing companies in areas such as real estate, automotive agency, wind power generation, and more. I have achieved commendable results in these fields. Here, I would like to focus on discussing two companies.

Firstly, there is Taihang Zhixin Automotive Trading Co., Ltd. in Changzhi City. Taihang Zhixin is the exclusive dealer of Shanghai Volkswagen Skoda brand in Changzhi City, Shanxi Province. The company has been established for 8 years, and as someone who has witnessed and experienced the company’s growth, I have strong feelings about it. Regarding automotive agency, I had no prior experience. In the initial stages of company formation, I conducted extensive preliminary research and eventually chose to collaborate with the Skoda brand. From my perspective, this decision was based on my alignment with the brand’s philosophy: Skoda emphasizes “Simply Clever” in car manufacturing, and its customer care is based on the “Human Touch” standard. In essence, it’s about putting people first. Customers are the users of automobiles, so whether it’s the brand or the dealer, understanding user habits and needs is crucial. Since Taihang Zhixin is the only dealer of this brand in the local area, our initial focus was on how to root the Skoda brand in the hearts of the local people. As it is well-known, intelligent marketing has gradually become the mainstream trend in the marketing field. After thorough discussions, we decided to adopt a dual approach of “traditional marketing + intelligent marketing.” We retained traditional in-store marketing methods, focusing on enhancing customer experience through various activities. Additionally, we utilized digital methods to comprehensively promote the Skoda brand in the local online domain, ensuring that people in Shanxi understand what Skoda is and why they should choose Skoda. Our efforts have yielded positive feedback. In the early days of the company, Taihang Zhixin received honors such as the “Excellent Market Award,” “Outstanding Dealer,” and “Outstanding After-Sales Service” from SAIC Volkswagen Skoda, the dealer in the northwest region. These honors were like a shot in the arm for Taihang Zhixin, firming up our direction and boosting confidence. In the past three years, Taihang Zhixin has consecutively received the title of “Seven-Star Dealer” from SAIC Volkswagen Skoda, the highest honor that an automotive dealer can achieve. I believe this is a significant recognition of our efforts over the years.

Next, I would like to talk about Shanxi Jincheng Hando Machinery Co., Ltd. I took over this company in 2021, and prior to that, Hando Machinery was already a leading castings production company in Jincheng City, Shanxi Province. Managing a strong local manufacturing enterprise, I have been contemplating how to build new heights on a solid foundation. After careful consideration, I identified two main strategic directions: focus on technology and expand outward. Technology is the lifeblood of manufacturing enterprises, and this goes without saying. With a solid technological foundation and local influence, I believe it is imperative to lead Hando Machinery into broader Chinese and international markets. In the process of business expansion, I must mention the role that intelligent marketing plays in helping us understand the needs, culture, and habits of target markets, as well as diverse and effective overseas promotion methods. I believe our success has set a good example for various industries, demonstrating the possibility of combining traditional enterprises with intelligent marketing.

Q2: You have mentioned several times how intelligent marketing has helped you in managing businesses across different industries. Can you discuss your understanding of this marketing trend from a macro perspective?

A: Sure, I would say that through managing various types of businesses, I have gained a better understanding of what intelligent marketing is. I have applied this understanding to the practical work of business operations. The emergence of intelligent marketing is an inevitable trend in the development of this era. The advancement of science and technology is breaking down the boundaries between platforms, scenes, and the virtual and real worlds, even causing them to disappear. In the past internet world, various platforms had specific roles, each meeting different user needs. However, today, the internet serves as the main platform, providing a continuous stream of infrastructure, and a more diverse range of services has stitched together the boundaries between different types of platforms. Market marketing, after many years of development, is becoming richer in form, with intelligent integration trends in forms such as images, videos, and interactive advertisements. In terms of technology, the application of data and algorithms is becoming more mature, making advertising smarter and providing consumers with new experiences. All of this makes the emergence of intelligent marketing a natural progression. In my view, what sets intelligent marketing apart is its emphasis on a consumer-centric marketing concept. In the past, marketers regarded “the customer is God” as a marketing philosophy, while also labeling consumers as “leeks,” and consumers self-identified as “leeks” on public platforms but still desired “customer-centric” service. This unequal consumer concept has accompanied the development of the marketing industry, causing the industry to lose the expressive rights granted by traditional media. Intelligent marketing, on the other hand, is based on understanding consumer needs and behaviors, conducting product design and cultural value exploration around user needs. Many cases have proven that “precision positioning of target audiences and consumer experience first” is one of the paths to differentiate brand marketing. Based on the closed-loop marketing model that intelligent marketing emphasizes, which includes “technology + service + product + creativity,” the setting of services and scenes determines the quality of user experience. In terms of accumulating reputation, intelligent marketing uses social marketing to integrate relevant topic data, presenting users with a data-driven, visualized status. Therefore, I believe that intelligent marketing, whether from the essence of marketing or the technological level, is closer to the demands of contemporary enterprises and consumers.

Q3: Thank you for sharing. I see that you are also involved in technical research and development in the field of intelligent marketing. Could you discuss one of the more representative technologies in this area?

A: In terms of exploring technical research and development, it initially arose from the needs of my own company. In this process of learning and accumulation, I gradually discovered some industry problems in the field of intelligent marketing, leading to a series of subsequent achievements. Take the “Intelligent Marketing Advertising Placement and Operation Platform V1.0” as an example; this achievement was published by me in April 2020. Although there are quite a few advertising placement platforms on the market, the number of platforms that can truly achieve the expected marketing value is relatively small. I believe that to truly achieve precision marketing, the key lies in the application of big data. Therefore, the platform I developed is associated with a “super data market.” Based on 400 million monthly active users on the internet and 800 million basic user data, using classification, association, clustering algorithms, and combining more than two thousand dimensions such as geography, age, and income as keywords, I built a precise user profile database. The platform generates the optimal advertising strategy intelligently based on the enterprise’s placement needs, utilizing the precise user profile system and powerful data analysis capabilities. Currently, this achievement is not only applied in my own company but has also been widely promoted in the market, helping multiple companies create outstanding brand benefits and achieve good economic returns. In my opinion, the best quality for a developer is persistence and continuous effort. Engaging in technical research and development was not a sudden whim for me. Although I have achieved some results at present, technology is advancing, the market is changing, and new demand points are always emerging. I will continue to advance with enthusiasm for technical research and development, hoping to contribute my part in the industry’s upward development process.

Q4: For current practitioners in the field of intelligent marketing and newcomers about to enter this industry, as a seasoned professional, what advice can you offer them?

A: I remember that in 2016, the Huayang Digital Marketing Research Institute released statistics: among the hundreds of cases that won international marketing advertising awards that year, nearly one-fifth of the companies underwent intelligent reconstruction and intelligent marketing for their brand products and services. This included pioneering enterprises such as Midea, Haier, Great Wall Motors, Huawei, and Lepu Medical. This data indicates two things: firstly, intelligent marketing is gradually being widely accepted by various industries, and many industry-leading companies are making attempts in this direction. Secondly, although there are many successful cases of intelligent marketing in the industry, many companies still cannot truly meet the standard of “intelligence.” This also provides ample market opportunities for intelligent marketing practitioners. We should help these companies understand intelligent marketing, identify marketing hotspots, and change marketing paths. Through the intelligentization of products and services, we can keep pace with the evolution of consumer behavior. Additionally, due to the borderless nature of intelligent marketing, cross-industry marketing will be the future trend. However, cross-industry marketing is not about mixing cross-industry products together or using cross-industry as a long-term product management method. Instead, it is about finding a focal point of “harmony in diversity” while adhering to each brand’s positioning. This requires marketers to pour infinite creativity and inspiration into it, turning it into reality. Finally, so-called intelligent marketing undoubtedly involves digital technology. Therefore, future marketers, if they only understand marketing and not technology, will undoubtedly be eliminated by the times. I want to take this opportunity to tell young people who are about to enter this industry: pay attention to the application of cutting-edge technology in the field of marketing, make good use of fragmented time to learn and accumulate, and only by constantly advancing can you keep up with the times and even lead the times.

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