Mass Marketing Still Has A Place

Tom Doctoroff, CEO of JWT Greater China and Northeast Asia Area Director, has a new book out.
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Billions, published by Palgrave Macmillan, cracks the supposedly indecipherable code of marketing to the New Chinese Consumer—all 1.3 billion of them. In the book, Doctoroff illuminates the critical role of Chinese culture in shaping buying decisions and translates consumer insights into strategies for long-term success in the Middle Kingdom.
“The only way for multinational companies to succeed in China is to fully embrace the fundamentally different world view that China represents. Outsiders can only penetrate the market by understanding its dramatically different cultural and operational landscape,” said Doctoroff.
For instance, brands used inside the home are locally produced and cheaply made. Brands shown publicly are foreign made and expensive. In a Confucian society, social status is an investment, so consumers will pay a huge premium for mobile phones and high-end alcohol. At home, price sensitivity is extreme. There are no designer bedspreads. Victoria’s Secret doesn’t stand a chance.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.