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Published on

January 16, 2020


bay to bay, marketing

As China continues to remain a priority market in the United States, and continues its ascension as one of the largest, innovative economic hubs, gaining an understanding of the market is still proving itself challenging. In order to grasp a clearer vision of U.S. marketers' perceptions of and knowledge in navigating the unique marketing landscape, we polled 350 senior marketers across a variety of industries. The results? While the Chinese market remains a priority for most businesses, a level of overconfidence amongst U.S. marketers remains high, leaving brands with room for error in this lucrative country.

Our report, “Decoding China,” is the latest installment of the Bay to Bay series – referencing the dual centers of tech innovation, from the San Francisco Bay Area to China’s Greater Bay Area. The series was launched in 2018 with the goal of exploring global innovation, entrepreneurialism and leadership culture between the two regions.

The next iteration of the series, “Decoding China,” dives into the importance of tapping into the world’s second-largest economy, U.S. marketers’ perceptions of the Chinese marketing landscape and strategic insights on successful market entry.


The results reveal the growing prominence of China as a major market for U.S. brands:

  • 71% of brands are currently marketing their products or services in China 
  • 55% are planning on increasing budgets next year 
  • 80% feel their marketing efforts have been successful 

While these findings illustrate the grasp U.S. marketers feel they have on the Chinese marketing industry, 77% cite a lack of transparency in the industry as a barrier to further marketing efforts, leaving great room for risk.

The study explains that with 23% of respondents citing difficulty marketing in China, there are two major areas of knowledge gaps amongst U.S. marketers:

  • Market Understanding, 41% of respondents apply the same marketing plans in China as they do in the U.S., despite the vast differences in platforms, demographics and culture
  • Technical Knowledge, 30% are not all or only somewhat familiar with Chinese social media and e-commerce platforms

With the findings and insights that “Decoding China” provides, U.S. marketers can better equip themselves to succeed in China at a pivotal time. As the country continues its reign as the next global economic hub, it’s the brands that do their due diligence and take a strategic approach to marketing in China that will find success. To learn more about the Bay to Bay series, or how we can help your brand succeed in China, contact us today and check out our services across the marketing spectrum.

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