China is a huge, untapped market. An ever elusive country, it’s difficult for companies from the West to work out how to get in and do business successfully. Society and culture are vastly different and the business culture on it’s own is completely different.
British Airways Marketing Manager for the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, Paul Rogers, discussed how Britain and the brand are understanding the needs of the Chinese consumer on Marketing Magazine this month. Their approach has been ‘Made for China’ rather than ‘Made in China’. The programme needs to be different in order to communicate effectively with Chinese customers.
Here are his 5 points on cracking the Chinese market:
1. Localisation of product elements and selling techniques is absolutely necessary to succeed
Understanding and introducing local culture while exploiting opportunities presented by new and digital media.
2. Interpreting the local social and media landscape
Sina Weibo is China’s answer to social media and should be used to an advantage.
3. Use relevant content
The Chinese admire “Being British” and doing things right. BA have used this in content to stimulate conversation and reinforce the brand.
4. Create a solid foundation in local service and selling tools
Launching on WeChat (the app that uses location to to chat with and connect to local users) means they can stay ahead and increase presence.
5. Knowing our customers better
“Having a more profound relationship with our customers using social and servicing tools is obviously our ultimate goal. The more information we have about what our customers want, the better we are able to tailor our service to their needs.”
What do you think? Read more about Paul and BA’s plans to win over the Chinese market here.