This article was born from frustration, originally published back in 2013.
Looking at the rapid increase in tech in China since that time, coupled with the explosion of Apps and the tangle of KOL’s and celebrities it seems it is still relevant today. In fact, it possibly makes a reprint quite timely.
However, if I am teaching my granny to suck eggs, apologies – please skip to another article.~
Let’s be clear from the get go, this is from our perspective, having been a marketing firm in China since 2003, working with a coupe of different brands. It also, to an extent, embodies and expresses our philosophy.
Let’s look at it this way. Marketing companies, whether they be large multi nationals, smaller local studios or simple one person consultants, generally share one benefit. They have indepth knowledge, cutting edge tech and market and consumer trends. They also, more likely have an open wider ranging view whereas yours may, understandably, be more focused.
Which is why you engage them. You can effectively boost your small, in house or 2 person marketing come something else team. They are not just marketers, but guides mentors and teachers. Marketing consultants are an effective tool to add to any SME’s in house marketing team. This is especially true if you are an offshore business looking to boost your presence in the China market. A local China based agency or company can have big advantages and produce greater benefits.
They may not actually have previous working experience of your particular industry- but that is not always critical. Sometimes a virgin, outsider, with an objective viewpoint can be refreshing. Of course, there are industries, such as FMG or F&B where proven past experience, especially contacts, relationships etc are golden. That is a major advantage you would be foolish to ignore if that were your niche.
But they will always lack one thing. Intimate hands on working knowledge of your company, your product your competitive advantage, your value proposition, your goals and aims.
No one knows these as well as you and your team.
So, make sure these are crystal clear in your mind before you go into a meeting. Know exactly what you offer that is better than your competition and what exactly you expect as a result of the campaign
Let’s imagine you are a mid sized dentistry.You have a convenient, suburban location close to transport, the latest tech, highly trained Drs and caring, professional nurses. You use the best EU equipment and have a warm friendly environment. That’s great!
But so do about 80% of your competition.
Put yourself in your customer’s pants. Why should she come to you?
Remember, humans are selfish, she wants to know: “what’s in it for me?”
That’s what you need to convey and convince.
Most people could care less if you have pink walls and the latest Vogue magazines.
Sell the sizzle, not the steak.
ID what she wants and how to satisfy that.
Simple marketing since the stone age: find a need or want and satisfy it.
Likewise your aim. It maybe to get more bums on chairs generally. It may be to attract more professionals, it maybe to raise your brand. Know what you want to get from the marketing consultant before you begin. Exactly. Precisely. Define KPI’s.
A good marketing studio will usually probe- ask searching questions- to draw this info from you. But not all. Others will devise their plan around what they think best. It may or may not be best for you though. Don’t take the risk
Now you are possibly thinking: “yeah well so, this is all common sense.”
Agreed. It is, or one would think so.
But you would surprised just how many CMO’s or owners front up with only vague wandering generalities instead of meaningful specifics.
A great marketing firm can work wonders and create spectacular results.
But we are not gods, although maybe, some act as if they were, not mind readers, not miracle workers, not magicians.
If that’s what you want, talk to David Copperfield!
At the end of the day they are, or should be just highly experienced and knowledgeable professionals. Simply, a tool for you to use to help grow your business.
By all means, enjoy the tea or coffee, but never lose sight of your goal; make sure your marketing partners know exactly what you want.
Just as in life and relationships, if you don’t communicate to your partner what you want, what you like, don’t blame them if you never get it.
End of lecture!
In 2003 Everlyne Yu co-founded WPBeijing Marketing Studio with Englishman Peter Bic, now known as Bicyu / Aim2D. She began Uengager, a company focused on customer engagement, as a SaaS MarTech company in 2017.
Everlyne is also a key note speaker, lecturer and KOL on MarTech in China. She is CEO of Uengager, business development officer for Bicyu.
Everlyne hs been privileged to work with a variety of international organisations, from VW, Cushman Wakefield, Sodexo, Bristol Myers Squid to local Chinese firms such as Midea, and OK Order.
Hello, Nihao, I’m Everlyne.
I love to talk about and help people understand the amazing ways MarTech and SaaS can work to strengthen your business engagement with Chinese consumers.
I know you have questions or want to talk about your brand or business in China so please, drop me a line opposite. If you prefer live chat, call and talk to me live, in person direct.
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