HONG KONG (AdAge.com) -- China is the world's largest internet and mobile-phone market, as well as one of the smartest when it comes to tapping digital media as a marketing channel. So it's no surprise Aegis Group turned eastward this year and hired Shanghai-based Jean Lin, 44, to fill a new role in the company: global chief strategy office of its digital-marketing division, Isobar.
"The Greater China region is becoming more and more important for all global clients. Jean's experience of building a successful and innovative business in China will be a tremendous asset in helping our clients and Isobar to see new opportunities," said Nigel Morris, who recently was promoted to North American chief of Aegis Media from Isobar global CEO in London.
He wants the Taipei native to expand Isobar's global website, building capabilities and lead global marketing initiatives by drawing on cutting-edge campaigns coming out of the mainland.
"China doesn't lead in all areas of digital marketing. South Korea and Japan are more advanced in mobile, for example, but there are tremendous energies going into different formats and using different devices right now," Ms. Lin said.
The market is also dominated by local sites that have outwitted global rivals in China and require a localized strategy.
"Things happen here in quantum leaps. The market develops much more quickly, which creates interesting opportunities," said Ms. Lin, who is already an old hand at new media. She founded a digital-marketing agency in Taiwan, Wwwins Consulting, in 1999, when marketers there were still fiddling with banner ads. Aegis acquired her business in 2004 and shifted her to Shanghai as CEO of Greater China, while setting up offices in other markets such as Beijing, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.
Wwwins has become a powerhouse shop in the region, developing some of the most sophisticated digital campaigns to date for advertisers such as Coca-Cola Co., Adidas and Procter & Gamble Co.
"She's a visionary in the field and has a good understanding of both the business side and the technical side [of digital marketing]," said Andres Kiger in Shanghai, Coca-Cola's senior director of marketing in China. "We need a good platform but also campaigns that make sense for our brands and connect with consumers."