Marketing In China - The Basics

Marketing & The Chinese Markets

Today the western and eastern consumer markets are the biggest global selling prospects of the world. There are millions of consumers bringing in billions of revenue for companies and marketing agencies are working on new marketing strategies to bring in more consumers to buy their brands, and services. 

Where marketing is one of the prime tools in penetrating the markets, however, the Chinese market brings in a challenge as the Chinese consumers are responsive to different marketing strategies. The principles of china marketing is different from the western approach. Where in the west the consumers are more inclined towards product and services that are affordable and brings in value for money, the Chinese markets are brand conscious and are more responsive to marketing strategies that put the products and services as an elite offering to the consumers.

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Where western marketing agencies present their products with a universal appeal of comfort, affordability, and convenience, the same strategies are not applicable to the Chinese market. In China, western companies build their marketing and promotion strategy in building a prestigious image for their products and services. China is a developing market for millions of consumers who prefer prestige and pride when they select a product or service. So while it is common for marketing firms to promote an ice-cream brand as an affordable delight the same marketing approach will not work in the Chinese market. In China, the marketing agencies will market a Western product such as an ice-cream as a luxury brand that could be a part of the high-end lifestyle of the Chinese and sold in boutique stores.

While the western market looks for affordable products and prefers the advantages of the products over the brand reputation, Chinese are more concern with products that project social status as well. The western brands develop new strategies to penetrate in the Chinese market where they introduce their brands revealing its full history as Chinese emphasize on the brand history and prefer products with a history instead of a new product.


There are restrictions and imposition on western marketing that makes it difficult for the western market to fully capitalize on the potential of the Chinese markets. Where the western countries have raised many issues over Chinese restriction over marketing strategies, in reality, China is too big of a market for the west to ignore and they try to work with whatever options is available to them. Often Chinese companies restrict western companies to rely on technology, products, and marketing services that are developed and controlled by Chinese institutions.


Chinese have millions of consumers who are exclusively using the Chinese social media on daily basis. This is another difference in Chinese marketing as the west have to adapt to Chinese social media. China is not relying on any western media platforms, and have banned social media giants like Facebook back in 2009. China uses its own social media such as WeChat, Youku Tudou and other platforms that are the biggest hub for communication in China. Western marketing strategies are working to capitalize on these social media platform channels in China to reach a wider audience to sell their products and services.