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.

China CMO

Please complete the form below to download an excerpt from the book.


Rex Wong

AB InBev

Jens Meyer


Simon Millar


Mr. Anthony Lau

Bank of Communications

Stephen Drummond


Mr. Tony Zhang


Mr. Mark Wang


Ms. Camilla Hammar


Ms. June Bu

Johnson & Johnson

Mr. Gary Xie


Ms. Christine Xu


Ms. Haiyan Wang


Mr. Zhao Hong


Mr. Paolo Mercado


Mr. Lawrence He


Ms. Marie Han Silloway


Ms. Vivian Pan


Ms. Melissa Bell



The Drum, China CMO

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