In China, slightly more than 50% of internet-using moms of young children visit the parenting site Babytree, said CEO and co-founder Allen Wang, who spotted a need for a place to turn for parenting tips in a country full of only children raising only children. Before starting Babytree in 2007, the U.S.-educated Mr. Wang was a McKinsey management consultant, a Procter & Gamble brand manager for Pringles, and Google's CMO in Asia. Babytree, which is sponsoring Ad Age 's inaugural China's Women to Watch dinner in Shanghai on Sept. 5, is a Chinese-language site but deliberately selected a global-sounding name. Ad Age talked to Mr. Wang about Babytree's growing role in China.
Five Questions With Babytree CEO Allen Wang
Ad Age : How does Babytree differ from
BabyCenter, the U.S. and global parenting site?
Mr. Wang: In China, you don't find one or two general platforms quite like Facebook. We think of ourselves not as an information site [but] rather as a Facebook for parents. We're a network of moms trying to help themselves and each other.
It's a slightly different philosophy from BabyCenter, which relies more on experts. In our case we believe in the authority of experts and we also believe equally strongly in the power of other moms on a parenting site to educate their peers. Most of our traffic is from parents asking questions and addressing issues by other parents.
We have more moms visiting Babytree -- 90% of them are in China -- than the entire collection of sites BabyCenter operates in the U.S. and worldwide. On an average monthly basis we have 27 to 30 million unique visitors, mostly moms with children up to age six. [A BabyCenter spokeswoman said BabyCenter reaches 13 million U.S. moms and over 29 million moms monthly in 22 markets, including China].
Ad Age : Where is Babytree's growth coming
Mr. Wang: We predict we'll be the largest parenting site worldwide. Our composition isn't as global as BabyCenter; about 10% of our parents are outside China.
Our internal goal is to reach 80% of parents who are online [in China] and have them visit Babytree on a monthly basis. That's our one-year goal. We wanted a global name, so one day we could cater not just to a China audience but to a global audience.
We receive roughly 30,000 to 40,000 questions a day. We generate more than 150,000 answers per day. It's likely within 20 or 30 seconds you"ll get your first answer. It could be from an expert but it's more likely from another mom.
Ad Age : How do marketers work with
Mr. Wang: Advertisers don't want to just give you a budget for banners. Specifically we've noticed three areas where they want more help. They want to send their content to their target audience. They also want to find a specific group of influencers or opinion leaders for their brand. And send products to the women making decisions.