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How Marketing in China is Different Than in the US

How Marketing in China is Different Than in the US
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By    |   Tuesday, 05 December 2017 07:36 AM

As the biggest shopping season of the year quickly approaches, marketers have their work cut out for them – regardless of their geographical location.

Everyone is scrambling around to get their friends and family gifts for the holidays and several stores are having outrageous sales, from Black Friday sales to just general winter sales. And, marketers play the role in generating ads, content, and other impactful avenues to attract as many shoppers as possible to their specific store or website. Marketing plays a major role in the purchasing decision of consumers.

But, while all marketers will face challenges of all sizes, regardless of their geographical location, their geographical location does determine just how their job works. While marketing has the same basic definition globally, it does present itself in a different way and entails different avenues and methods based on the locality of the target audience. For example, how marketing in China compares to marketing in the US:

Personal Appeal vs. The Desire to be Seen

When comparing people of higher status in China to those in America, one difference is that there are several Americans who would regularly be caught in average clothing, no branding, just a plain Jane t-shirt, so to speak. But, Chinese people, on the other hand, would only be caught in clearly name brand items and furthermore, only those name brand items that carry an exponential amount of value with their name.

So, why is this?

Well, because China is more about the desire to be seen, whereas America is more about personal appeal.

In China, consumers choose products based on the type of social status it will project; they wear name brands to project the amount of wealth they have and how high of a social status they have. But, Americans are more focused on what appeals to them personally – regardless of the brand.

This is where the difference lies in marketing…

When marketing an item to China, it is more important to focus the marketing around the name brand and the quality of that name. Whereas, when marketing that product to the US, it is more important to focus the marketing around the functionality of that product and how it fits into everyday life in America.

Innovation vs. Credibility

There is a crisis of trust in China – not only between Chinese people and their government but also between Chinese manufacturers and their consumers

Chinese people have been faced with several products that suffer greatly from quality problems. This also contributes majorly to why they rely heavily on brand names – not only do they demonstrate social status but they help provide Chinese people the reassurance they so desperately need.

For the Chinese people, a big brand name that is well-known demonstrates the endorsement of a quality product. And, they are always looking for that brand credibility.

But, when it comes to the US, consumers are accustomed to a quality-guaranteed market where the media is much more transparent. Most US consumers feel confident that they have access to the information they need, so they do not seek brand awareness, brand history, and brand credibility as much.

Instead, they are seeking innovation; they crave something new and creative.

Personal Preference vs. Recommendation

While those in the US do review product recommendations and ask their friends or other consumers what they think, most Americans rely more heavily on their own instinct. If they feel the product is good quality and what they need or want, then they will purchase it.

However, Chinese rely almost entirely on the recommendations and reviews from others on products. In fact, it has previously been noted by Forbes that more than 300 million Chinese people report only moving forward with a purchase after getting consent from their peers on social media.

For marketers, this means in China it is more important to heavily push people to review your product. Offering things like rewards for a recommendation or a review could be of great benefit in your overall marketing strategy.

The Final Breakdown

While marketing is marketing, and it is all about getting the word out about your product to consumers, it takes skill and knowledge. What works in China, might not work in the US.

Consumers vary greatly based on region, ethnicity, religion, and several other outside contributing factors. Just to recap a bit on this topic, the Chinese people do not trust their government and brands near as much as Americans do, so where you might already have the trust of an American, you need to constantly work on building and maintaining that with the Chinese.

Any effective marketing strategy takes a bit of research and a solid understanding of the region – no two regions are identical. Therefore, no two marketing plans should be identical.

Michael Michelini is host of the GlobalFromAsia.com podcast, an online radio show to help business owners grow their companies in Asia and around the world.

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MichaelMichelini
Any effective marketing strategy takes a bit of research and a solid understanding of the region – no two regions are identical. Therefore, no two marketing plans should be identical.
marketing, china, us
826
2017-36-05
Tuesday, 05 December 2017 07:36 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

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