Lessons Western marketers should learn about the changing consumer in China
When you are living and breathing the China market, it's often easy to forget the breakneck speed with which it changes, writes Chris Dobson, creative strategy director, Imagination APAC.
China: changing at breakneck speed
Preparing a presentation last week for the ‘Profiting from experiences’ seminar at Imagination London prompted me to re-look at China, and also prompted something of an epiphany.
While it may be true that
Why do I say this?
In 1990 only 26% of Chinese people lived in cities, today it’s 52%, by 2020 it will be 60% or some 850 million people. And these cities are changing. Most major cities now have growing, or fledgling metro systems that are turning today’s urban sprawls into more cohesive cities. This is helping to close the gap between people and brands – making them more relevant, and readily accessible.
And the people in them are changing too. In the next 10 years some 160 million people will enter the urban upper middle classes - that’s almost the entire size of today’s mass middle and upper middle classes combined. These are the people who will fuel
But things won’t come easy
People in the West tend to think and talk about
Advertising scores back this up. Recent research by Millward Brown shows the chances of having an ad score well on basic metrics like ‘enjoyment’ in two cities is only 52%. Between Tier One cities it is even more pronounced. Between
So, how do you get ahead?
Well, and this is kind of obvious, the first thing is to accept that
While we’ve been complaining about the death of the High Street,
While we’ve been arguing about media buys,
Here are five things that I would encourage anyone serious about
1) Be prepared to innovate: Forget what you think you know, and approach everything with an open mind.
2) Really embrace storytelling:
This master brand campaign for Pepsi celebrating Chinese New Year is a great example, garnering over 100m views in the first week, and over 500m total views. The thing is, it’s 25 minutes long. So, 500 million people (
3) Socially amplify: 564m internet users, 600m social media users, 88% active, 46 minutes daily average, 66% follow brands, 50% visit an e-commerce site direct from social media. Do you need me to go on?
4) Have an e-commerce strategy: In a country the size of
5) Invest in experiences: Experiences create memories that are more powerful than any ad could.
Experiences shape perceptions and behaviours.
If you are a consumer brand, invest in experiences that bring your brand to life (for a great example, look at the Johnnie Walker House in
The coming years will see the truly creative, and innovative rise to the top. The big question is, are you up for it?
This article was first published on marketingmagazine.co.uk
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