Last updated on March 18, 2019
To succeed in China you really need to get a China game on, otherwise you will just be another of those also rans.
Since 2003, working with many non Chinese firms entering the China market we spend almost as much time providing education and pastoral care as we do on marketing services. Too many foreign brands contacting us seem woefully under-prepared. Lack any real time understanding of the China market.
There is a huge knowledge gap and the yawning chasm between what many overseas companies think about marketing to China, and the reality. They have not taken time to get a China game on.
Enter the Age of WeChat
In recent years, the explosion of mobile and digital in China has sharpened this disconnect between myth and reality. The enormous and rapid impact of WeChat as the #1 China marketing tool has aggravated the situation to the point where many foreign business are sadly ignorant of life and marketing here.
Ignorance is probably a prime reason why around 50% of foreign businesses fail or falter within a couple of years in China.
Sure, it may not be a level playing field, odds maybe stacked against foreign firms in some cases , but:
Setting your sights are on China is no different than facing the All Blacks. You need to prepare, research and make sure your game is at it’s peak- or- get a China game on,
To be fair, most of our guests have done some homework. They understand and know their own product. Have a fairly clear objective of what they want to achieve here. Yet, for may of them this is their first visit to China. THAT is where it all comes unstuck.
Don’t base your marketing plan on what you read on line
Judging by the WOW effect, everything they thought they knew about China has been learned via the media which understandably is coloured by media people’s own personal and corporate culture.
Ie: China is a Communist country and so most stories flow from that, whiles others source content via Social Media.
In short: most of the mainstream media I read is unfortunately biased against China. They focus on scandalous, negative issues because that’s what sells. What drives advertising revenue.
But as a business person investing in China, you need more than that,.
You need to read wide and deep to try to get a balance and understanding. Understanding spawns wisdom creating a better environment for you, enabling wiser business decisions- a China game on.
Basing your ideas of China on 3rd or more hand opinions you read on line or in Social Media, means your understanding is woolly at best. If you base your business and marketing planning on that knowledge, they are fatally flawed.
Feel free to contact us with questions or free advice.