International airlines, ignoring Taiwan is part of China, according to China, were the latest to get into hot water with their marketing. But China’s sensitivities are nothing new, say Tom Doctoroff and Shaun Rein to OZY. It makes sense to let your China marketing vet by some China veterans, says both.
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China’s deep Confucian roots do influence the way the internet has developed, says marketing veteran Tom Doctoroff, author of What Chinese Want: Culture, Communism, and China’s Modern Consumer, to the South Morning Post. “I call it pride commerce, where there is the idea that you are what you buy … and that sharing your interests is a way to make your identity stronger,” Doctoroff said.
Cartoon Peppa Pig was the latest to get into China’s political crosshairs, but it was not the first and will not be the last, says branding expert Tom Doctoroff. For Mumbrella Asia he gives a quick overview of those problems, and some tips to avoid them, and limit the damage when you get caught.
“Chief Insight Officer” Tom Doctoroff explains change and consistency of China’s consumers in a fast digitalizing world at China Connect Paris 2018. “Basic motivations remain the same.” Doctoroff is author of What Chinese Want: Culture, Communism, and China’s Modern Consumer.
If at any place the switch from brick-and-mortar is going fast, it is China. Permanent online consumers comment, exchange information, and buy 24/7. When you sit down in a restaurant, you first ask the code for the free wifi, before the menu. When you travel abroad, you constantly discuss with friends and family back how, what to buy, or what not to buy.
A new generation is emerging to set their mark on China. Marketing veteran Tom Doctoroff looks at the relative newcomers, and how they differ from past generations, for state-owned TV station CGTN. “Post-90s are proudly patriotic, they want to see a strong China,” he says.
The Chinese government tries to shift its economy from investment-driven towards consumption, with considerable success. And the outside world is equally seeing the consumption power of the Chinese, as they travel more than ever, and spend per head more than tourists from any other country.
But tapping into that huge spending power is not always easy, and is driven by the often hard-to-predict habits of Chinese consumers, policies by the government and the powerful social media. Experts at the China Speakers Bureau are happy to give your efforts direction.
Supermarkets in China (and where not) have been unfriendly for innovation – to put it mildly. But Alibaba’s HEMA’s supermarkets, starting the so-called “new retail”, are causing a revolution, writes marketing guru Tom Doctoroff in AdAge. 25 Stores are functional and dozens more will be open soon.
Making sense out of China has always been challenging, although the questions companies and people have to ask themselves change permanently. From a rather uregulated booming economy, now dealing we a tsunami of new rules, anti-corruption and a – relatively – slowing economy changes the strategic questions you have to deal with And while everybody has an opinion, at the China Speakers Bureau we are happy to have a range of expert opinions on China´s strategic challenges. We have a selection here (but you can always ask for more).
Deep insight in consumer behaviour is what marketing should offer, writes branding guru Tom Doctoroff, author of What Chinese Want: Culture, Communism, and China’s Modern Consumer, on his LinkedIn page. Cluttering that insight with “exaggerated faith in algorithms, programmatic efficacy and hyper-personalization,” is not helpful he adds. And: “Insights are not observations.”