(Or... How to Market to Chinese Consumers 101 - China Grass Roots Campaigns)
How do you tap into a market that is 1.5 billion strong and where advertising on national TV, magazines and major newspapers is expensive and not even logistically practical (or possibly simply not in your budget)... ?
It is not highly publicized, but the truth is, even the large corporations (that can actually afford the enormous advertising campaigns in China) are tapping into the China market via this often-overlooked but highly effective marketing technique – grass-roots marketing in China.
The China market is now officially swamped with a vast array of imported goods from all over the world; from the USA to Iran from England to Cuba from South Africa to Zimbabwe... Additionally, there is the fact that the Chinese do not typically have a brand-history/brand-loyalty to guide them and they often do not even have the most basic knowledge of the various brands (besides Gucci, LV and other powerhouses), nor are they aware of what we may consider the “obvious” differences in quality or even the processes that make one style of an item different from another style of that same item (let's say difference in types cheeses or between wine varieties or micro-brewed beers VS imported VS mass-produced beers etc.) ...
This all means one thing... an ignorant - and MASSIVE - market.
(Please note : these people are not “stupid”. “Ignorant” simply means not yet familiar with or not yet taught something. For example I am ignorant of the French language... but I could learn it - if I wanted to - and that lack of knowledge/skill does not mean I am stupid, it simply means I am ignorant.)
While, in general, the China market is by no means at all saturated there is an "oversupply" (and, obviously, marketing issues) of many imported goods at this time and some items are just sitting on shelves. This is clearly visible in the Chinese middle-class to high-end grocery stores - where expiry dates are a concern. Their shelves are now becoming cluttered with unsold, reduced price, fast-approaching-expiration-date imported foods (and yes, at a rate higher than the USA's wasteful 30-40%)... (In spite of this Chinese grocery stores are still expanding their already large selection of imported wines, cheeses, beers etc. with a selection that could even compete with a high-end grocery store in an American cosmopolitan regarding varieties of brands and food selection.)
One way to overcome the ignorance, - consumer ignorance and "marketing expert" ignorance - the high mass advertising fees, and other "red-tape" involved in the China marketing forum is a well planned, well planted and well watered/cultivated... grass-roots marketing campaign.
The power of a successful grass-roots marketing campaign should not be underestimated. However, just like slow-growing grass, it will take some time to to see fruitage but – also like real grass – it can also prove to be pervasive and enduring.
What are the keys to a successful grass-roots campaign?
- You want to get the consumers sincerely interested in your product. (think educating, differentiating, promotions, rewards...)
- You want them to enjoy your product – or profit from promoting your product - so much that they want to tell others. (think rewards, commissions, free training etc...)
- You want to help them to be your advocate. (think free promotional gifts, advertising tools etc.)
Now, of course, there are “secrets” and tips to doing these things successfully - we have the insights you need. WQS China Marketing has the experience you need in China to get your grass-roots marketing campaign planned, executed and maintained.
With a successful grass-roots campaign you can find you product permeating the vast China market and at a fraction of the cost that traditional marketing campaigns would set you back.
Ready to explore grass-roots campaigns in China?
Contact WQS China Marketing now for a free initial consultation on how to plan, launch and execute a successful China grass-roots marketing campaign.