Market Glocally to Chinese Inside and Outside of Canada

Market Glocally to Chinese Inside and Outside of Canada

According to the Wikipedia, “Glocalization (a portmanteau of globalization and localization) is a term that describes the adaptation of international products around the particularities of a local culture in which they are sold”. However, it just states one side of the glocalization. With the increasing number of immigrants and travellers around the world, glocalization describes the adaptation of local products around the diversities of multinational cultures,too. To businesses in Canada, these two descriptions are of same importance if we look on its limited and extremely fragmented domestic market. In other words, Canadian marketers on one hand have to deal with 35 millions diversified consumers. On the other hand, they have to extend their vision to market outside of Canada.

New population projections from Statistics Canada suggest that at least one in four people in this country will have been born elsewhere by 2031. It’s not an issue on numbers of immigrants, but challenges on languages and cultures. Chinese, one of the visible minorities in Canada,  has no way to be invisible to marketers in Canada, especially when a possible recession is foretold. There are more than 1.3million Chinese living in Canada. And many of them, especially new immigrants, are wealthy and likely to spend more than others. A recent opening premium outlet near Vancouver Airport attracted flocks of Chinese there to line up outside the stores.(  Similar scenes have been seen when Apple launched new iPhone and when Nike launched new Air Jordan shoes. However, it’s not easy to get the money out of their pockets.  While adapting themselves into Canada, they cannot leave behind what they used to. They seek advices from local people, and usually choose the brands they have known well about in China. They visit an Italian fine dining occasionally, and go to Chinese, Japanese or Korean restaurants frequently. They make friends with people from all over the world, and they still spend many of their time on connecting with friends in China or other Chineses living in Canada. Marketers in Canada have to know not what they are but what they were. More complicated, they cannot be viewed as a whole. Originated in more than 30 different provinces of China, they often disagree with each other in many ways. The same tricky they have played with the marketers in China as well. Marketing in China has never been easy. People from East China prefer exquisite lifestyle in Tokyo or Paris, while people from South China like free and enjoyable style in Mardrid or Osaka. Those from North China are more likely to mimic those in NewYork or London. To market to Chinese is somewhat like to market to the whole world. But it does not mean a mission impossible, thanks to the virtual world and the fantastic data science. Whatever new marketing technology we have been applying onto customers in English or French world, can be adapted into the Chinese community. Every marketing action, digital or non-digital, can find an adaptation. It’s not just a language translation, but a deep understanding, with the help of sciences and technologies, of their behaviours and values, which can keep them in the loop for long.

As what says at the beginning, glocal marketing means that marketers have to look after the market outside Canada for a bonus. Compared to a market with only 35 million population, below two extended segments cannot be ignorable.

One is the surging tourists from China since Canadian government granted more super visas in 2014. Toronto saw 230,485 recorded Chinese visitors and Vancouver saw 229,654 in 2014. The numbers are increasing at a rapid pace.  And the average Chinese tourist spent $838.72 during a visit, more than double the American visitor average of $405.21 according to Tourism Vancouver. ( ) To influence their spending in Canada, not only airlines and hotels but restaurants and retailers, have to start the contact long before they land, since they usually seek for travel and shopping tips and prepare their itineraries much earlier than their departures. Keep in touch with them through their preparation, their journey and after journey. Chinese usually are active in sharing stories in travel with their friends or relatives. Again thanking to the virtual world and digital technology, we don’t have to invest a lot for profits. We, here in Canada, can reach these upcoming tourists by understanding their behaviour patterns.

The other segment is the bursting “haitaozu海淘族”, global on-line shoppers in China. More than 20 million Chinese shopped globally through on-line platforms and the size was more than 20 billion Canadian dollars in 2014. ( The concerns on safety and high tariffs in China have been pushing people shopping in other regions or countries. Safe and healthy products from Canada are desirable by people living in China. Before on-line shopping was available, people usually ask their friends or relatives in Canada to buy and then mail them or have someone bring with them into China. Now e-commerce makes it more convenient to shop outside China. Same as targeting on the tourists, we can target and touch these on-line shoppers without leaving Canada.

Three above segments are similar to each other, while different to each other. They share same rooted values while shopping with different motives. They are physically separated but virtually linked . They are influencing each other either in attitude or in behaviours. The global success of Uncle Tetsu Cheesecake ( cannot be done without the virtual share among Chinese all over the world. In other words, we might win all the segments if we can win in one of them. In this sense, thinking glocally and marketing glocally is not that challenging to our marketers.

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