I hope everyone is doing well! My apologises for the lack of blog posts and engagement. University life has hit me hard and I’m not entirely out of the holiday mood, even though it’s almost week 4!
So, in terms of China. Why China? Where did I go in China? What did I do? Why was it amazing?
- China is a huge country that is jammed packed with over a billion people. It’s an entire market on its own in Asia and it’s one that every business should try to get into. There are so many opportunities (and risks) which I will discuss further in later blog posts!
- I got to travel to Shanghai and Beijing whilst in China
- I went to China to study for 2 weeks as part of the Global Study Program in Marketing with Monash University. It was a group of 16 students accompanied with 3 teachers and 1 tour guide.
- It was amazing because we (myself and the other students) got to speak with CEO, managing directors, general managers and other higher ups about marketing in China. They were all incredibly successful and insightful. It has motivated me and ignited a bigger flame of passion within me to pursue marketing as a career. I look forward to the challenges ahead!
In the beginning, I thought a lot about what I would write about in terms of my blog posts… I thought long and hard about what would be inspirational and compelling for people to read about. I’ve decided to walk you through what I’ve learnt about marketing in China through multiple blog posts, starting with this one.
In this first section of “Marketing in China”, I will go briefly explain what a “marketing insight” is and what marketing insight I discovered during my time in China.
A marketing insight is a “deep understanding of some future direction likely to impact business, consumers or society”. It’s important to understand the definition of a marketing insight compared to a basic insight because the end goals are different. A marketing insight focuses on its consumers, the society and how things are going to affect the business, whereas a basic insight looks to understand someone or something.
When trying to discover a marketing insight in China (as part of an assessment), I found it extremely difficult because I was looking for the “right” answer. It has taken me a lot of time and patience to come to realise that there is no “right” answer when it comes to discovering an insight. Insights come from observation, looking at trends, and analysing events. There is no “right” answer because when discovering an insight it’s about trying to understand why an event has occurred in the first place.
The insight I discovered during my time in China is that Chinese consumers purchase behaviours depend on the value of their purchase. What I mean by this is that, when I saw someone buy something it was very dependent on whether or not the product/service had value. Obviously, value is subjective to everyone however I found that Chinese consumers had a similar idea of a definition in value. Value to Chinese consumers meant it would be long-lasting, it is worth the price, it will actually mean something to themselves and their family.
I came to this conclusion when I was shopping with my friends in Shanghai. We decided to go to the fake market, underneath the Science Museum, and looked around for some designer handbags and shoes. One of my friends had already been previously so she introduced us to a friend she had made that worked at the market – this person’s name was Julie.
Now if you’ve ever been to a market in Asia, you know that majority of the stores look exactly the same just with different variations of brands or types of products that the owners could bulk sell items if they could. However, we didn’t buy anything from these stores. Julie brought us to a secret back room that had limited edition fake designer handbags that are only shown and sold to women/men of the owner’s choosing. It was an incredible sight. I had never ever seen anything like this.
So, how does this relate to my marketing insight about value? It has everything to do with it. I observed and listened to women and men bargaining for different designer goods left and right, front and centre. It was insane how much bargaining there was going on! My marketing insight works both ways in terms of buyer and seller. The buyer bargains for the best price because their value is based on how much they are willing to spend. Whereas, the seller bargains for the best price because their value is based on how much money they can make.
I said in my video assessment that I had the assumption that Asian people were “stingy” and didn’t like to spend money but I was proven wrong when I was in China. Chinese consumers have money to spend and can spend lots of it in a very short amount of time. It is very dependent on how much value they can gain out of the amount of money they spend.
But how is this a deep understanding of some future direction likely to impact business, consumers or society? Well, it affects any country that has Chinese tourists. If you’re a marketer in a country where there are loads of Chinese tourists visiting yearly, you would need to understand their wants, needs, and also behaviour. From my understanding in the little time I had spent in China, I found that Chinese consumers spend their money dependent on value of their money. It drives future direction that may impact business because it’ll affect how businesses (that have lots of Chinese consumers) advertise, operate, and sell. It impacts Chinese consumers because businesses are customising their business model towards them. It impacts other consumers because they may also start adopting to the trend of value.
I hope my blog post has made some sense. It was very difficult to wrap my head around when I was in China and trying to explain my thoughts on camera (video assessment).
If you’ve ever been to China, tell me your thoughts below about what you think of my marketing insight! And do you have any marketing insights about China of your own?
Until next time, give this post a like and leave a comment!