ABOUT CHINA CMO
This book is written for those who are ready to dig deeper into the nuances and complexities of China’s market. It’s for those who would rather put in the hard work to pave their own way to top with their own flair rather than follow a five-step plan to success. What’s common across all of the CMOs featured in this book is that none of them followed a predefined formula to achieve brand prominence in the market. These CMOs fine-tuned their craft after-hours, taking the time to learn the ins and outs of non-traditional media firsthand, leveraging talent and integrating departments to work together as joint and muscle, and sharpening brand strategy through testing and learning.
This is their story.
We were fortunate to get one-on-one access to eighteen CMOs in China. These in-depth, face-to-face, interviews were conducted in English and Chinese through November and December 2013, with the broad mission of getting the personal stories and perspectives on the challenges of marketing in China from the CMOs themselves.
In a country of 1.3 billion individuals spanning much more than a geographic, socioeconomic, generational, or historical spectrum, how could anyone even begin to capture all the degrees of separation in such a question?
A long history of innovation shows that good design is not about staying within redefines bounds. It’s about borrowing ideas across categories, improvising solutions out of a set of pressing constraints or a fresh insight.
With China’s export economy overtaking the United States as the world’s largest, it will come as no surprise to find that everyone wants a slice of the action.
The capacity for growth in China is unparalleled. As China continues to expand its economy, hundreds of millions will join the middle classes. Cities that no one outside of China has heard of are positioned to become economic powerhouses in their own right.
There’s no shortage of skilled labor in China, yet finding the right people is often seen as problematic. Chinese education focuses on conformity over creativity. The most powerful sign of the Chinese Zodiac is the Dragon. The key to marketing success is to discover the dragons that have risen through the ranks.
As if the Mainland wasn’t already a tough nut to crack, China’s thriving and ever-evolving digital space poses a while new set of challenges for brands looking to forge true connections in a country with over 500 million netizens.
While multinational agencies have fared well supporting China’s CMOs in recent years, it’s still the home of over 143,000 local agencies, all fighting for the market share.
Trust is a hot commodity in the Chinese market, and overseas brands have embraced these issues as opportunities, coming up with innovative ways to drive sustainability. How can your brand create a good news story that matters to China’s storytellers?
No one really knows how China’s marketing industry will change as we move forward to 2020 and 2030. But we think of the voices of the people in this book may at least give us a guide to our future.
MEET THE CMOS
As the AB InBev APAC Vice President of Marketing, Rex Wong is the head of Marketing and New Products of AB InBev in China. Among his many achievements at AB InBev China, Rex Wong spearheaded Budweiser’s positioning as the “King of Beers” and led his team to create the award-winning ant campaign for Budweiser. Rex was behind the crafting of Budweiser’s entertainment marketing strategy in the China market for large scale activities such as the 2008 Beijing Olympics campaign, Budweiser Music Kingdom, and the FIFA World Cup cooperation since 1998.
Jens Meyer started with adidas as a Senior Marketing Controller in May 1998. He has worked in Japan as Head of Strategic Marketing, in Europe as a Senior Account Marketing Manager, and Business Unit Director for Running. He then moved to adidas’ Global HQ as Vice President, Marketing, Sport Performance, before taking up his current role in 2010 as Vice President, Marketing, Sport Performance of the Greater China Area.
Simon Millar started his career in Hong Kong with Nike Asia Pacific. He joined adidas in 2005 as a Business Unit Manager. He was promoted to Marketing Director for Sport Performance and then Sport Style. In 2011, he became Vice President for Sport Style in adidas, Greater China Area.
Mr. Anthony Lau
Bank of Communications
Anthony Lau spent 20 years at HSBC in Hong Kong and left his final position as Head of Strategic Projects for the Asia Pacific Region to move to the Bank of Communications. He is now Marketing Director for the bank’s credit card unit, known as Pacific Credit Card Centre. He is responsible for its overall marketing strategy, brand building, product development, customer acquisition, usage and retention, etc.
He has overseen the rise of the bank’s credit card business and directed award-winning marketing campaigns nationwide in China, such as “Crazy Spending” and “Red Hot Friday”. He also played a significant part in the Shanghai Expo of 2010 with a campaign for Pacific Credit Card known as “Let the World Enrich Me”. This integrated campaign showed how credit cards could enrich the lives of 25-35-year-old Chinese people with an international perspective and a sense of curiosity about the world.
He now manages a team of more than 100 people in the Marketing Department. They are focused on driving business growth by being customer-centric in everything they do.
Stephen Drummond joined Coca-Cola in 2011 following a successful 25-year agency career. Previously working with JWT, Lowe, Y&R, and Nitro, Stephen is a planning specialist committed to the Asia region, where he’s been working and living since 1995.
Today Stephen Drummond works as the Senior Director of Integrated Marketing and Communications for Coca-Cola China. He believes in strong dynamic partnerships with agencies to realize the potential of the brands he supports. His main focus is on creative development.
Mr. Tony Zhang
Tony Zhang is a local success story. Previously at Danone in Shanghai and Guangzhou, Tony has brought rich experience and local insight to drive Ferrero’s rapid growth and maintain its top position in the local market.
Mr. Mark Wang
Mark Wang is a graduate of Tsinghua University, one of China’s most prestigious educational institutions. He studied in the United States at Washington University in 2002 where he earned an MBA and a Master’s degree in Information Management.
He began his career with IBM in 1998 where he worked as a product manager before later moving to Dell as a Senior Marketing Manager. Mark Wang joined Lenovo in 2007 as Marketing Director.
His focus is on increasing the company’s share of the local market while simultaneously improving its global market share.
Ms. Camilla Hammar
Camilla Hammar is a Master’s graduate of Stockholm University in International Business. She started her marketing career in Stockholm in the mid 1990s and moved to China in 2000.
After relocating to Hong Kong where she worked with high-end and luxury retail, she was Marketing Director at Shanghai Tang before she moved to IKEA of Sweden in 2006 as a Commercial Manager. She went on to join the global team as the Global Catalogue Manager before taking the job as Marketing Director for IKEA Retail China in 2010. Her vision is to drive communication, branding and brand development through strategic marketing.
Ms. June Bu
Johnson & Johnson
June Bu has been with Johnson & Johnson for over twenty years. She is currently the Executive Director for Elsker Mother and Baby Care since January 2013. Her role is to promote excellence within the mother and baby care segment by providing the highest standard of skincare products and education, catering to the evolving needs of Chinese mothers and babies.
She has been involved in several key product launches in China, including Johnson’s Baby, Oral Care, and Women’s Health.
During her time with Johnson & Johnson, June has played an integral part in developing a category penetration of over 95% in the last two decades.
Mr. Gary Xie
Gary Xie moved to Kimberly Clark from Danone Biscuit China where he’d been a senior brand manager for three years. In April 2009, he began work as the Marketing Director for the Family Care Sector, reporting directly to the China President.
In June 2012, he assumed responsibility for the Baby and Child Care Sector. Gary Xie is responsible for managing the category brand marketing team and the professional marketing team.
Ms. Christine Xu
Christine Xu graduated from Fudan University in 1992.
She’s worked with a diverse number of major international companies, including Unilever, Pepsi, Kodak, Philips, and HSBC. She gained a wealth of international experience in Thailand, the US, and Singapore before joining McDonald’s in China in 2009 as Marketing Director. Her strong leadership and clever brand promotions have enabled McDonald’s to be embraced by Chinese consumers. She was named Vice President of Marketing for McDonald’s China in 2011. She spends much of her time formulating and implementing the brand’s marketing and brand strategies for the country. From March 2013, she took the role of Chief Marketing Officer for McDonald’s China. Christine Xu is the first Mainland Chinese to hold the position of CMO for McDonald’s in China. She was recently recognized as one of Advertising Age’s “Women to Watch in China”, reflecting the imprint she is making in the broader industry.
Ms. Haiyan Wang
Haiyan Wang is an MBA who began her career for China Resources (Holdings) Co. Ltd. She moved to Kellogg’s a couple years later to become an Assistant Brand Manager. She worked for Nabisco as a Senior Associate Brand Manager before joining Mondelez in August 1998 as Category Director. She is currently the Chief Marketing Officer for Mondelez in China where she manages the marketing for all food lines, including the recently acquired Cadbury’s product line.
Mr. Zhao Hong
Joining Lenovo in October 2005, Zhao Hong started off as Key Account Director at the beginning of 2006 before transitioning to Think Channel Director. Today, Zhao Hong is the China General Manager of Lenovo SMB. Working with IBM since 1998, Zhao Hong has played a significant role behind the success of the Thinkpad, surpassing Toshiba as the number one notebook brand.
Mr. Paolo Mercado
Paolo Mercado is Head of Marketing & Consumer Communications for Nestle in the Greater China Region. A Filipino National, Paolo graduated from Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in Psychology before he went on to pursue post graduate studies in Social Psychology. Prior to China, he served as Global Communication Manager for Nestle’s Dairy Strategic Business Unit in the Head Office in Switzerland. Before joining Nestle, Paolo worked in advertising for more than twelve years in the Philippines and Paris.
Mr. Lawrence He
Lawrence He was the Marketing Supervisor for Central China Region for Shanghai Pepsi-Cola in 1996. From there he joined Danone in 1999 as a Brand Manager. He originally joined Philips in 2001 as a Marketing Manager but took a brief one-year stint with Electronic Arts in 2007 as Product Marketing Director. He re-joined Philips in 2008 and is currently the Vice President and Area Marketing Officer for Greater China.
Ms. Marie Han Silloway
Marie Han Silloway is an international consumer branding executive with over 20 years of experience in consumer products, mobile phone, and talent acquisition industries.
Raised in the US and educated in the US and in the UK, Marie Han Silloway has held senior level marketing and general management roles with the Coca-Cola Company, where she led retail channel marketing for the US and then continued to lead the Sprite brand into a number one market share position in China. At Siemens mobile China, Silloway revamped the distribution system and the retail marketing structure. At Korn/Ferry International she served as Managing Director and Senior Client Partner, heading the Asia Pacific Consumer Practice where she advised clients in the US, Europe, and Asia in organizational development and talent acquisition.
Marie Han Silloway is currently the head of Marketing and Category for Starbucks China where she oversees the marketing, branding, digital, food and beverage products, new product innovation, and field marketing.
Ms. Vivian Pan
Vivian Pan began her career in China as a marketing trainee with Unilever in 1994 where she rose to become Brand Manager for Oral Care. She then moved to Thailand to work in Unilever’s Innovation Center before returning to China as a Marketing Controller for Oral Care. In 2002 she joined the Citibank as retail banking marketing head and then moved to become the Citigroup Corporate Marketing Director in 2007. She took the role of Greater China Marketing Director for Visa in 2010.
Ms. Melissa Bell
Melissa Bell has been in international marketing for nearly 20 years. She won the Young Direct Marketer of the Year award in Australia and more recently was recognized as a “Woman to Watch” by Campaign Asia and Ad Age. She has been in China for over seven years and has worked for agencies and clients. She is very much respected as a marketing leader in the country.
She is currently with Volkswagen Asia in Singapore after fulfilling her role as Marketing Director for Volkswagen Import China managing fifteen separate product lines for over two years. She has been proven to develop local creative briefs which correspond to Chinese consumer requirements and Volkswagen’s exacting international standards. Melissa specializes in product and brand strategy development for new products and services and leads marketing launches across the full range of marketing channels.