How to influence Chinese consumers

December 11, 2006 at 2:52 pm 1 comment

James (Singapore) writes:

I was just reading this Engaging China blog post (thanks for the link, Paul) and I got an overwhelming sense of deja vu. A new survey research has highlighted the differences between Chinese and American consumers, in terms of which media influence them:

China: reading an article about a product, internet advertising, TV, magazines and cable.

US: word-of-mouth is the biggest influence on what young men buy, followed by magazine advertising, articles mentioning the product, internet advertising and in last place, TV.

Only 22% of Chinese men say that word-of-mouth was important to them compared to 54% in the US.

Over the years I’ve seen this result repeated over and over again in China, but never quite believed it. Then recently, a colleague and I were discussing car marketing in China. He pointed out that most car buyers in China are buying their first car. They don’t have a network of expert and experienced parents, uncles, siblings and neighbours to consult. So the most powerful influence is the media – both articles and advertising.

OK, now I believe it.

And of course, with the Big Switch in full swing, everyday Chinese consumers now have the power to consult an unlimited world of articles and expert opinions.

Entry filed under: china.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Alefiyah Faizullabhoy  |  December 19, 2006 at 4:25 am

    This has shades of simillarity with India.
    With technology changing swiftly, cars, mobile phones and laptops as well as white goods are studied on the net and decisions taken. However, this is largely true of the metropolitan Indian consumer.

    The large mass of Indian consumers even now trust their very own “Local Shopkeeper” who knows the consumers and gives them personalised feedback and advice on the products/brands they should be investing in. This is as true of buying a bar of soap as it is for a car.
    Not to say that advertising does not work – it just works in tandem with other factors, which cannot be ignored.

    But the urban Indian consumer is moving fast. He might just verify what he has seen on the net with what the local expert has to say.


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