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China, WTF?!

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The only podcast to ask: China, WTF?! What’s The Future? Tune in now, to find out what tomorrow may look like, globally, by dissecting China's today. Hosted by Arnold Ma, founder of Qumin, it focuses on Chinese tech disrupters, people and cultures.
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In this episode, Arnold Ma chats to Bessie Lee, formerly the CEO of WPP China and Group M, a China marketing guru in her own right, about her experience, tips and predictions of doing marketing in and to China.Arnold addresses 3 main topics: The difference between Chinese and Western marketing (strategy), Chinese creativity, and marketing technology in China and the West.Bessie, currently the Founder and CEO and Angel Investor of Withinlink, a China-based start-up incubator and early-stage venture fund has over 30 years of experience in the media communications industry in Greater China, exclusively across a number of WPP companies. As CEO of WPP China, beginning in 2013, she was responsible for 14,000 employees and more than $1 billion in annual revenue.Timestamps:0:38 An intro to Bessie and her extraordinary career6:30 Who censors and what do they censor? The shift of censorship from the Chinese government to the Chinese people.9:54 Is there a difference between marketing in China vs in the West? (Marketing principles vs platforms and innovation)14:08 How consumers in Beijing and Shanghai are different to those in lower-tier cities15:04 Why China presents the unique opportunity to re-start a brand from scratch16:02 The difference between Western and Chinese decision-making processes and why China is ahead of the game19:15 Advice for smaller brands entering China22:15 China is no less creative than the West – what is Chinese creative?23:51 China’s absence from Cannes Lion and why the West should broaden their categories and go to China to discover Chinese creative27:00 Why there should be more Chinese award entries and Western brands should work with Chinese agencies to create outstanding work28:05 The challenges with marketing technology and integrating data in China 28:27 Why the biggest obstacle to innovation is not data or technology, but it’s people and their relationship with change and automation31:28 Why there has been a lack of change and automation in the agency industry in the last 40 years33:26 Why appointing a Chief Technology Officer is a big mistake and the responsibility to innovate should lie within everyone in the business 34:12 The most disruptive MarTech in China right now: Bessie’s example of a Chinese marketing research technology that can save you months, even years39:39 Why brands often go with the safe choice, not the right choice 41:54 What’s the future? Why Chinese AI is a “national movement” and the biggest thing to watch out for in 2020If you like this episode, follow us/subscribe for more. You can also watch the full video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/_DdGtNyAgbMFeel free to contact us on China.WTF@qumin.co.uk with comments, thoughts and suggestions.  
China was an innovation and tech powerhouse in 2019, with many trends emerging ready for the new decade.This episode is all about what marketers looking to China should watch out for in 2020.Host Arnold Ma chats to Thomas Nixon (Qumin Co-Founder) and Louisa Loehrig (Qumin’s Marketing Manager) about 3 pillars in particular: people, technology and how these affect marketing.The keywords are: Lower-tier cities, 996, health&fitness, sustainability, traditional values vs modern expectations, short video, live streaming, facial recognition, 5G, from influencers to creatorsTimestamps are:01:04 The rise of consumer spending power in lower-tier cities (xiachen) and what makes the people in smaller cities different to those in Beijing and Shanghai 05:08 996 working culture, the power of having spare time and the emergence of the night-time economy 09:15 The new availability of products and saturation of top tier cities11:50 Why the Chinese people have made health, entertainment and fitness the biggest growth sectors in China 14:00 Sustainability - why people are starting to care, but why it must be 'top-down', but then people are starting to care 16:52 “Your health is the most valuable thing in the battle for success” - Why in 2020 the Chinese are returning back to cultural values19:08 Traditional values vs modern expectations and the rise of uber-confident, self-expressive young Chines people 19:35 Tech19:48 Short form video really took off in 2019 - why it is so popular?22:56 Creativity and the willingness to experiment is the key to a whole new array of content coming from China 24:36 Live streaming – not just for e-commerce (e.g. on Taobao) but also reviews (e.g. Xiaohongshu) and knowledge-based platforms (e.g. Zhihu)25:58 Facial recognition in East and West and the ethical dilemma – should you scan your face to get the tube?29:24 5G and why it is not just about the increased download speed, and more about what kind of tech it opens up31:35 Marketing - from influencers to creators and why ‘followers’ are no longer a metric 32:52 Why influencers are creating and selling their own products and co-branded content is more important than ever35:59 Why you should view China as a continent and not a country and how hyperlocal campaigns can help brands reach consumers in lower-tier citiesIf you like this episode, follow us/subscribe for more. You can also watch the full video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/jL6qcDsC6BQFeel free to contact us on China.WTF@qumin.co.uk with comments, thoughts and suggestions.  Happy 2020 from all of us at Qumin!
Football has climbed its way up to second place in China’s favourite sports. With over 300 million Chinese football fans and counting, China has become a hot market for international club managers. This episode is not just about Football and Sports Marketing in China but also has a special focus on Chinese fans: how to resonate with them, entertain and, ultimately, win their respect. Host Arnold Ma chats to Tom Nixon, Qumin’s Co-Founder and Client Services Director, who originally learnt Chinese to become a football coach in China, and New Business Executive Sean Ekon, a registered football agent for the FA. Tune in for: 01:36 When football was still new in China  05:00 Tom’s China story and why he didn’t end up opening a Chinese takeaway 08:50 Sean’s China story 11:15 The development of fan culture in China and why ‘translating’ no longer equates to ‘localising’ 15:10 The fine line between being respectful and offensive  16:35 Chinese fans’ lack of patience 18:02 Gaining reach, resonance and reaction from Chinese fans 20:14 How to avoid being orientalist by tapping into everyday culture  25:27 Sponsorships or programmatic advertising? – Short- vs long term strategies 28:20 Why great creative work requires good clients – Watford FC’s brief for Qumin 29:20 Fake engagement in China’s football industry and the West’s transition from metrics to meaningful connections 30:40 The best platforms to generate real engagement and commercial return: WeChat vs Douyin (TikTok) 34:00 Qumin’s Manchester United campaign (culture, social CRM, gaming, and Manga) 41:03 Understanding people and cultures – the only way to stand out as a Western brand in China  42:33 Why the target audience for football clubs is the same as for any other industry 44:10 ‘Playing it safe’ in China vs wacky cross-industry collaborations  45:10 Street culture in China and its knock-on effect for the popularity of sports 46:22 The difference between football and fashion influencers  47:00 Building a football brand and creating true brand ambassadors to secure sponsorship deals and merchandising  50:40 The French federation’s terrible Mid-Autumn Festival greeting 52:00 Why football entertainment is understood differently in China   If you like this episode, follow us/subscribe for more. You can also watch the full video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/2eOUEM4jUVg Feel free to contact us on China.WTF@qumin.co.uk with comments, thoughts and suggestions.  
There are Chinese shoppers… and there are RICH Chinese shoppers. China now has more millionaires than the US and they are fast becoming an important target for Western brands. But how do these wealthy consumers tick? What do they care about, which marketing messages do they respond to and where? Qumin invited the one person who knows China’s high-end industry and people better than anyone: Sara Jane Ho. Sara has made it her business to educate the Chinese super-rich on Western etiquette through her finishing schools and her book, as well as her own TV-show which introduces Western lifestyles and celebrities to Chinese audiences. Do you know how to pronounce ‘Versace’ or how a game of Tennis is scored? Of course you do – tune in to hear why it matters and what this has to do with your new understanding of rich Chinese consumers.Arnold Ma, founder and CEO of Qumin, chats to Sara about:00:58 Sara’s story and her affiliation with Marc Zuckerberg03:00 2012, the year Chinese people began upgrading their lives to become citizens of the world04:19 How Sara, in line with the Chinese government’s vision, re-defined the meaning of ‘etiquette’ in China08:54 Can social disposition change fast enough to catch up with economic growth? 11:20 What drives the purchasing decisions of high net- individuals (Brand heritage or quality)12:08 Demographics of Chinese millionaires and why they are different to those in the rest of the world 15:00 What rich Chinese people spend their money on (Home design, brands, cosmetics or self-care)16:28 Will Chinese people stop buying flashy luxury brands and pay more attention to quality and craftsmanship? From peer approval to self-gratification18:00 Why short video platform Douyin (TikTok) and review/lifestyle app Little Red Book (Xiaohongshu) have become essential marketing tools to capture the attention of high net individuals 22:00 The best foreign brands in China and why they are successful24:31 Where Sustainability stands on Chinese consumer’s priority lists26:10 The rise of affordable luxury 28:24 Why Chinese people are starting to look domestically for luxury products (Bosideng example) 30:21 What Chinese brands can learn from Western brands 32:44 What’s The Future?! Is the Chinese growth is slowing down and do brands need to stop relying on Chinese consumers? If you like this episode, follow us/subscribe for more. You can also watch the full video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/L0JUTDTSx0M  Feel free to contact us on China.WTF@qumin.co.uk with comments, thoughts and suggestions.   Our next episode will be on Football and Sports Marketing!
Welcome back to the only podcast to ask: China, WTF?! What’s The Future?In this episode, we chat about Douyin, China’s hyper-developed TikTok twin. It is no secret that short-form video is taking over the world and that brands need to jump on the social train, so now is the right time to be looking at Douyin when you’re thinking about China marketing. Although Douyin and TikTok are owned by the same Chinese giant Bytedance, they are rather different in many ways. We touch on the different features and focus, as usual, on the people that use Douyin, their user behaviour and how that influences the content on the platform. Of course, brand strategies and monetisation models are also introduced. Here are some time stamps for reference:02:00 Differences between TikTok and Douyin03:10 The figures on short form video in China04:28 Douyin’s AI and interest-driven content feed07:24 China’s other popular short video platforms (Kuaishou, Xigua, Huoshan, etc.)08:19 Kuaishou and the competition between Tencent (WeChat) and Bytedance10:49 Difference in content and users on Douyin and TikTok14:13 User motivations (‘Uses Gratification Theory’) and clever ‘undercover’ adverts 16:34 Seamless E-commerce on Douyin: ‘see now buy now’19:02 The future of social media: combining the best part of social media and the best part of e-commerce19:46 Influencers / ’content creators’ on Douyin and how to work with them21:49 Meritocracy and the global influencer movement from lifestyle and commentators to talent and creators (led by Douyin)25:26 The importance of Douyin search, trends and rankings 27:37 Paid media and monetization of platforms in the West vs China29:11 Brand accounts and stores on Douyin (low barrier to entry)31:02 Myths and huge missed opportunities: You needn’t focus on WeChat and Weibo and pay to play - Douyin is a good platform to gain organic traction 34:09 What’s the future?! Influencer fraud and click farms, platform competition and innovationIf you like this episode, follow us/subscribe for more. You can also watch the full video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/QNcRZIJvFTc  Feel free to contact us on China.WTF@qumin.co.uk with comments, thoughts and suggestions. The next episode will be on wealthy Chinese consumers!
Welcome back to the only podcast to ask: China, WTF?! What’s The Future? Arnold Ma, founder of Chinese creative agency Qumin https://qumin.co.uk/, gets to the bottom of what tomorrow may look like, globally, by dissecting China's today. The podcast focuses on Chinese tech disrupters, people and cultures.In this episode, we shine a light on the millions of Chinese people living overseas and highlight their value to Western brands. We invited Vera Wang to share her own experience of living abroad and working with Western brands.With a million followers across social media, Vera Wang aka WG Empire is a famous Chinese Influencer living in NYC. Aside from being nominated the first Chinese blogger in the US, she created her own public relations company ‘WG Empire’ and recently launched ‘Verified’, a brand that showcases Chinese designers to the world. Her goal is in line with Qumin’s: Connect China and the West. Topics include:00:36 Vera’s move from China to New York and her journey as the first Chinese blogger in America02:28 Being a Chinese blogger in 2012 (Qumin was founded at the same time) 04:10 Bloggers are ‘free’ brand consultants06:15 Chinese people in China value the authentic stories provided by Chinese bloggers abroad 10:00 How brands can ‘dip their toes first’ before they go into China11:33 Three key myths about (overseas) Chinese consumers: they care about lanterns, dragons and red envelopes, they don’t use Instagram or YouTube, they only notice marketing that’s in Chinese 15:50 The need for different marketing strategies for Chinese people in and overseas Chinese 17:07 Why on the ground teams are essential when marketing to Chinese people in China 23:55 The creative industry in the West vs technology innovation and service design in China 26:48 Brands can be more experimental with overseas Chinese, as they are more open to different beauty standards27:26 Although Chinese people are still very traditional culturally, China isn’t behind – it’s just different, and changing rapidly 28:13 Brands should tap into existing cultural tensions 29:57 More people are going back home to China and becoming advocates 31:27 Being Chinese is a USP for Chinese bloggers overseas If you like this episode, hit subscribe for more and follow 'Qumin' on LinkedIn for the latest updates. You can also watch the show on YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSCZyPj532E&feature=youtu.be 
Welcome back to the only podcast to ask: China, WTF?! What’s The Future? Arnold Ma, founder of Chinese creative agency Qumin https://qumin.co.uk/, gets to the bottom of what tomorrow may look like, globally, by dissecting China's today. The podcast focuses on Chinese tech disrupters, people and cultures.For Episode 4 Qumin take a journey through time and replace the magic carpet with a phone. Arnold, Sam and Louisa whizz through 24 hours on both a UK and a Chinese phone and pinpoint differences and similarities. They look at user behaviours and habits, as well as the platforms these manifest on. Sam Phillips is Qumin’s Account Director who looks after all the global brands, while Louisa Loehrig takes care of Qumin's marketing.Topics include:3:37 The Chinese Dream vs ‘Generation sensible’ 6:15 Why mobile apps are so powerful in China9:30 Mornings in the UK vs in China12:34 ‘Jinri Toutiao’, Bytedance’s hyper-powered news platform13:19 How WeChat replaced email: The convergence of professional and social spheres16:03 How AI algorithms and interest-driven content feeds cater to heightened user expectations19:01 The commute to work: transport, in-transit entertainment and breakfast 20:42 Omnipresent signal: zero downtime in China23:41 What the fierce competition between Chinese corporations (e.g. Alibaba vs Tencent) means for consumers33:01 The biggest difference between Western and Chinese platforms: Social operating systems34:01 ‘Digital self’: Profiles and online identities in China vs in the West35:27 The importance of desktop in the UK 37:21 Work in the West is doable without a phone, but in China: no phone/no WeChat, no business40:50 The Chinese favour culture42:07 Red envelopes and social currencies connect life and work on WeChat45:29 Ordering a takeaway for lunch in China: Cheap, quick, convenient services enabled through manpower47:01 Saving time and convenience are key with mobile service design in China48:24 The importance of food in China 53:01 The death of TV in China and the rise of mobile short form videos56:50 China’s content marketing is a preview of the futureIf you like this episode, hit subscribe for more and follow 'Qumin' on LinkedIn for the latest updates. You can also watch the show on YouTube: https://youtu.be/avrSGAjOVlw 
Welcome back to the only podcast to ask: China, WTF?! What’s The Future? Arnold Ma, founder of Chinese creative agency Qumin https://qumin.co.uk/ , gets to the bottom of what tomorrow may look like, globally, by dissecting China's today. The podcast focuses on Chinese tech disrupters, people and cultures. Episode 3 is all about Chinese consumers!We always talk about people and cultures at Qumin, as it is the people who drive the platforms and innovations. Only if we understand the people behind the platforms will we be able to stay ahead of the curve. In this episode, we talk about the shift in consumerism, how consumers have evolved in China, how they've matured and how they are now leading the global economy. Selling to Chinese consumers is becoming more and more challenging for Western brands, so understanding them is fundamental. Marketing is downstream from culture, after all. Topics include:02:49 Qumin’s mission: ‘connecting the world to China’ 03:25 From copycats to innovators, the evolution of ‘Made in China’ 07:29 Chinese consumers are starting to get used to foreign brands in China. However, they see the brands (e.g. Burberry) differently to Western consumers, as they don’t have the attachment to brand legacy.08:58 The QR code format and why it hasn’t taken off in the West12:36 Chinese consumers had to deal with a lot more changes, a lot faster, compared to Western consumers15:09 Why WeChat has become so popular with Chinese consumers: An introduction to the Guanxi culture20:15 Independence culture vs collective culture: the difference between Chinese and Western consumer culture22:18 The evolution of true social commerce In China and how it’s driven by the consumers and not the platforms26:28 Why Chinese consumers never had brand.com websites and moved straight on to true social commerce31:14 Consumerism and mobile e-commerce is bridging the gap between the rich and the poor and the rural and the urban in China 32:12 Brands launching in China need to focus on lower-tier cities, as that’s where the growth is36:15 Marketing is downstream from culture: brands need to understand Chinese culture to understand the consumers39:50 Young Chinese consumers only know China as a superpower 42:00 Being a foreign brand is not a USP anymore as domestic brands are becoming more and more popular 43:32 Chinese consumers aren’t ‘cash cows’ anymoreIf you like this episode, hit subscribe for more!You can watch the episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/_c44aVaAuQQ
Welcome back to the only podcast to ask: China, WTF?! What’s The Future? Arnold Ma, founder of Chinese creative agency Qumin https://qumin.co.uk/ , gets to the bottom of what tomorrow may look like, globally, by dissecting China's today. The podcast focuses on Chinese tech disrupters, people and cultures.In episode 2 our guest is renowned WeChat expert Matthew Brennan!Aside from racking up a humungous following on Twitter and LinkedIn (37k+ followers), Matthew has delivered presentations for large corporations including Google and has been featured across global media.We chat (get it?) about the fascinating potential of the super app. Did you know Facebook's taking a page out of WeChat's playbook? Topics include: 2:06 Matthew's book on WeChat4:54 Matthew's China story10:08 When mobile payment was still new12:20 How China merged online and offline with mobile payments: China is leading the new retail movement15:02 Introduction to WeChat and social OS 21:45 How brands can use WeChat for marketing: Is advertising on WeChat a drop in the ocean? 23:49 WeChat Mini Programs: How retail brands are using them and why every brand should invest in them 29:45 WeChat and social e-commerce: What is the new Haowuquan (Goodies circle)?33:32 How WhatsApp is emulating WeChat: WhatsApp pay and brand profiles34:30 Why brands value WeChat: Customer service and CRM37:27 Facebook pay: the potential and the struggles41:02 Why WeChat Pay is so convenient and good for business41:50 Why China is so good at innovating and what WeChat has to do with this45:00 Side note: The reason behind TikTok's success in China49:12 China2020: 5G, Gaming, VR and ARIf you like this episode, hit subscribe for more!You can watch the episode on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7z1N9AMX_TI&t=830s
Welcome to the only podcast to ask: China, WTF?! What’s The Future? Arnold Ma, founder of Chinese creative agency Qumin, gets to the bottom of what tomorrow may look like, globally, by dissecting China's today. The podcast focuses on Chinese tech disrupters, people and cultures.In this first episode, we chat with Lauren Hallanan about Influencer Marketing and Live Streaming in China.Lauren is the VP of Live Streaming at The Meet Group and a Chinese social media marketing expert focusing on influencer marketing, live streaming, and social commerce. She’s the co-author of the Amazon bestselling book Digital China: Working with Bloggers, Influencers, and KOLs, a contributing writer at Forbes, Jing Daily, and PARKLU, and host of the China Influencer Marketing and Stream Wars podcasts. Part one - Influencer Marketing in China - covers:The cultural reasons why influencer marketing in China works so wellWhy your brand heritage story might not resonate with Chinese consumersThe difference between Western and Chinese consumers and their use of influencersThe difference between working with Western vs Chinese influencers from a brand’s perspectiveThe different types of influencers in China and which type Western brands should work withThe cost of working with Chinese influencersThe best Chinese platforms for brands to work with influencers on in 20192019's biggest trend in Chinese Influencer MarketingPart two - Live Streaming in China - looks into:An overview of live streaming in China compared to the WestDebunking the QVC / teleshopping image people have of live streamingChallenges and tips for brands doing live streaming and working with live streamers / live streaming influencers in ChinaGood examples of how brands used live streaming to promote their brand, products, and servicesWhether live social commerce is just a fadWhy live streaming is especially important when targeting lower-tier cities in China Finally, Lauren answered the all-important question: WTF? And shared what she thinks China might look like in 2020.
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