How to success doing Marketing in China.

According to the Lecture “Marketing in China” taught by Gabor Holch in the EOI Business School Seminar in Shanghai “How to do business in China” (March 2017), there are many factors that must been taken into account when doing marketing in China: politics, economics, socio-demographics and culture.

Since I’m not an expert in the Chinese Market, I would like to give a brief overview about things that attracted my attention and must be taken into consideration from a Marketing point of view.

The first thing that surprised me once I set my foot on the street was the number of malls I saw in just one street: their size, their huge advertisement and the large number of shoppers. By this I mean the high level of consumerism.
That was something I did not expect. Were we actually in China or just in Chinatown of any western country?

It is already happening: China is apparently opening up. Or at least it is changing.

Since the released of the Fifth Plan (1976–1980) China has evolved both political and economically speaking. Its economy has grown at an average of 9.8 percent since 1978, making it the fourth largest economy in the world. Incredibly, China has pulled off the equivalent of reform, renaissance and industrial revolution in 30 years.

But as the old saying goes,

‘All that glitters is not gold’

We live in the customer-centered Era. Companies that succeed are those who target their consumers and adapt their products to the needs and tastes of customers. As a result, companies must adapt to the Chinese consumer if their want to succeed. ­­­

According to Angela Lee, a professor of marketing at the Kellogg School and an expert on cross-cultural issues in consumer behavior:

“Those companies that have a genuine understanding of Chinese consumer culture are better placed to succeed.”

There are psychological differences between East Asian and Western societies that must be taken into account when doing marketing in China. Those companies who understand the nuances of Chinese consumer psychology have a better chance of long-term success.

These are some interesting factors to be aware of:

Though it is a dynamic market and evolves constantly, Chinese tradition still leads the way: “there are elements of consumer behavior that are rooted in the psychology of a culture, and recognizing that can make a big difference.




“Marketing to the New Chinese Consumer” (2001). WFA World Federation of Advertisers and Forbes Insight Report.

“Marketing and Selling to Chinese Businesses”, Matthew Harrison and Mark Hedley. B2B International

“What Chinese Consumers Want”, KelloggInsight (Sep 8, 2015). Based on insights from Angela Y. Lee. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

“Looking back over China’s last 30 years” (December 19, 2008). By CNN’s Beijing Bureau Chief Jaime FlorCruz.


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