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How content is driving ecommerce

Kim Leitzes, co-founder of the influencer marketing platform ParkLU, provides insight into the evolution of digital marketing and the analytics and science behind it.

“I think the biggest thing that social media did was allow a direct conversation with consumers, because it used to be that how you got to consumers was shelf space and then the marketing dollars to build exposure. But now with social media and influencers, it's a direct conversation" says Kim. 

"You are dealing with a person who's creative, who has feelings and has emotional connections to products and services."

Kim Leitzes


A key opinion leader, also commonly known as a KOL, is an influencer. This is someone who has created an audience online. Kim moved from the US to China 10 years ago, and when she first arrived, the concept of a KOL or vlogger was relatively unknown. "The KOL is a mini content agency. They're creating original content about your product or your service" says Kim. 

Kim explains how, generally speaking, the evolution in digital marketing is largely the advances in the analytics and science behind it. With social media marketing today, there is much more information available on who you are talking to and who you want to talk to. "There is the science of it, which is who are their fans? In which tier cities? And which age groups and interests? But then there's also the softer arts, and that's where the good old skills of public relations really do matter" says Kim.

"How products are shared are sometimes completely upfront and you might even say commercial, but the commentary's real."

Kim Leitzes

Kim explains some of the interesting innovations with shopping in China. One is the concept of group-buying. She says Groupon existed in the United States, but it went to a whole other level with Pindoudou and people buying things in China. "It was at a scale that group buying had never seen before" says Kim. 

Kim also explains the rise of live streaming, where people are commenting and their comments are crossing the screen. With live streaming, there's a lot of engagement happening that doesn't exist with TV. "Live-streaming in China is one to tens of hundreds of thousands" says Kim. For example, a top beauty live streamer once sold 15,000 lipsticks in five minutes. "Are people shopping all the time? No, they're consuming content all the time, right?" says Kim, "and so the question is, does that content influence them to purchase?".