10 questions to Val Kaplan a marketer in China

Today we interview Val Kaplan, a marketer based in Suzhou blogger of Marketing.

Can you introduce yourself ?


[VK] My name is Val Kaplan, a marketing executive in China and a blogger at chinamarketingtips.com. Before moving to China, I’ve spent 8 years living in other Asian countries: Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Korea.

How many year have you been in China, and what your learnt ?


[VK] I’ve been in China for the last 7 years, living in Shenzhen for the first 2 before moving to Suzhou where I stay now. First thing I’ve learned in China is that you can’t rely too much on your experience in the West as many things are done quite differently here. So, keeping an open mind and being able to adapt, especially when dealing with people, is what determines one’s chances of success. The second thing I’ve learned is, that overall, Chinese are surprisingly open to new ideas and are constantly curious about the outside world. They are much less China-centric as one would expect, considering China’s size and position in the world. If you have something interesting to offer, you certainly can find a receptive audience in China. Another thing that was a revelation to me is that the younger generation of Chinese is by far more creative, open minded and efficient compared to the older one. It is even more true for women as, in terms of women empowerment, China is ahead of most other Asian countries.

Could you explain to us why you have your blog ?


[VK] My blog, chinamarketingtips.com is designed to provide advice and share information on marketing and selling in China. In my work as a marketing executive, I find that there is a serious lack of quality information when it comes to marketing strategies designed for Chinese market. As a result, many companies, big or small, are often at a loss about how to even begin approaching this enormous market.

China tips

Who are the readers of your blog ?


[VK] My target audience are anyone who is interested in the subject or doing business in China as well as business people who are looking to establish their companies in Chinese market.

What are the top 3 best Articles of your blog ?

[VK] My best articles:

The Rise of Chinese Middle Class

12 Tips on How to Succeed Selling on Taobao

Creative Ways for Leveraging WeChat for Brand Marketing

What do you plan to do in 5 years ?


[VK] There is no other place I’d like to be in other than in China. I think that in 5 years’ time things will only get more interesting here. So, I’d like to continue working in marketing field, learning and implementing new ideas and expanding my company’s business.

What are the 3 best Market opportunities in China ?


[VK] When it comes to opportunities related to marketing (clearly, there are plenty of other business opportunities besides that) here is my list:

Number 1: mobile marketing that holds potential to make advertising more relevant in content, time and place.

Number 2: big data – ability to crunch and analyze enormous amounts of data on your customers and to improve marketing efficiency.

Number 3: marketing automation – integrate many channels and automate the delivery. Ideally, all of the above should also be interconnected.

What tips can you give to western Marketers for China ?


[VK] Keep an open mind and study your competitors first before jumping in. If they are successful, the chances are that they have already figured out the right formula, you just have to make it better. Another tip – don’t try to do everything yourself, just find professionals that can do it for you.

What tips would you give to a new blogger ?


[VK] I don’t think there is much new I can add here. First, collect the data, read through it and draw on your own insights while writing. Don’t just copy others’ ideas or write about stuff everyone already knows already. Focus on practical advice, this is what most people are looking for. Post regularly: if you go for too long without writing anything you will quickly lose your audience. Use lots of engaging imagery, infographics are the best.

Thank you, anymore question to Val Kaplan ?


Marketing China

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