Global Differences: Marketing Lessons from China

There's often an assumption that with globalization things are done the same or that people behave the same around the world. This couldn't be further from the truth. Of course there are tremendous amounts of commonality around human needs and what we share with one another. There’s also power, and beauty in the differences, and tremendous opportunity to learn. This is what we see when we look to other places, notably, China. 

When it comes to marketing, how do we change and keep pace with the developments around us – whether in technology or in what we see in people? Do we do the things we do because that’s how they have always been done? Do we assume that a group of customers is going to respond in the same way that a group of customers in a different geography, culture or context? The truth is, we need to continuously reflect, pivot and adapt.

Retail behaviours – whether on or offline gives us many insights. Where do people shop? How do they purchase? What do they dream of? How do their purchases inform their identity? And so on.

What we are getting at here is that to learn from differences, we have to explore widely and openly. So often, especially when the pressure is on, we want quick fixes, solutions and predictable results and hence default too often replicating what gave us success in the past. It’s a safe, human response, but doesn’t necessarily give that edge we seek to achieve and do more each time. It’s important to find the balance between what works in your marketing machine and what needs to change. If every so often we can pause, reflect, tinker, test and iterate, what results or impact could you achieve?

If we pause and explore what’s developing in China, what inspiration can we find towards building something new, elevating our marketing conversation with our customers, and ultimately make a difference in their lives?

Here’s a quick round up of some things that caught our eyes that change the digital marketing landscape:

Gamification, social currency and shopping discounts bundled together in one mobile experience? https://www.voguebusiness.com/consumers/lessons-on-chinese-shopper-from-discount-app

Taking luxury digital and global – adapting to preferred platforms and channels in a across geographies and contexts. https://jingdaily.com/lvmh-digital-china-sales-the-new-definitions-of-luxury/

Next in influencer marketing? Incubators.
http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20190621-chinas-influencer-incubator

Inspiration, reflection and taking action. Tacking a provocation or new input and applying it directly into your work and learning from it is a way to effect a change. Keeping up to date on the marketing landscape can feel like a full time job. At some point we have to stop reading about it and start our own tests to find new ways to express ourselves and support our customers. Over a 6 week period, in our Online Digital Marketing Course you will have a chance to identify areas for change in your marketing funnel, apply new learnings weekly and challenge yourself with the support of peers around the world, industry leaders and Hyper Island facilitators.

Our next cohort begins September 2019.