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China 2015: INSIGHTS | DIGITAL

Saurabh Sharma

Head of Planning
Ogilvy & Mather, Beijing 

saurabh.sharma@ogilvy.com 

Two drivers are leading consumer changes in China:

AGE-DRIVEN DEMOGRAPHIC SEGMENTS 

Consumers born in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s are members of three different generations. The generation gap in China is 10 years, not 30 like in many other countries, because of the rapid socio- economic changes.

PERVASIVE ADOPTION OF MOBILE INTERNET

Just about 100 percent of the population has a mobile subscription, and almost 50 percent has smartphones.  Together these two factors are making generations of Chinese consumers both very different from each other (different values due to the generation gap) and very similar (due to access to mobile Internet, which is almost like the new “TV in the living room”). The post ’80s and ’90s generations are savvier consumers, more critical of marketing messages.

Marketing needs to evolve from selling to solving people’s problems. Online campaigns need to be useful and thus need to be born in digital, not adapted for digital platforms. Digital campaign themes need to be long-term customer utilities, not short-term advertising gimmicks. Brands need to partner with
other brands, bring more value to customers rather than just sell their own stuff online.