News & Views

WPP / China

by Contagious Team

WPP research on China's increasing influence and importance to marketers and businesses

WPP and the British Department of Business and Skills hosted an event focussing on China's increasing influence and importance to marketers and businesses. China's rapidly changing consumers and the influence they have on doing business in the country was a main theme, explored by WPP-owned research agency Millward Brown.

Magdalena Wong, chairman of marketing insight consultancy Added Value in China, explored the changing demographics and ethnographic features of what she referred to as 'the new abundance', with consumption representing newly found freedom for many Chinese people. During last October's Golden Week (holiday periods in April, October and over Chinese New Year) up to 425 million trips and holidays were undertaken nationally, often with purchasing new household items as the ultimate goal. 

Taking into account these changes in consumer and cultural behaviour is important for brands trying to access the Chinese market, says Doreen Wang, director of Millward Brown in China. She explained that China has entered an era of cautious and discerning consumers, whose attitudes differ vastly across the country and the differently-tiered cities, especially in the Western regions. Brands have to be meaningfully different, need to remain relevant in consumers' lives, have to build up trust and loyalty among their target audience, and have to take into consideration China's complex media fragmentation. Many brands have to maintain a presence on more than five media outlets. 

Martin Sorrell, chief executive officer of WPP, pointed out that China's fast economic growth had slowed, allowing Chinese people and businesses to shift their focus to consumption rather than production, and enabled a more quality-focused growth.