Arnold Ma is the founder of Qumin, a speaker, a writer, a podcast host, and a technophile. The official line is that ‘Qumin delivers creative marketing campaigns based on Chinese audience behaviours’. But over a steamed bun in Camden Town, he’ll tell you that his bigger purpose in life is to ‘Open The World To China’. And his belief is that only Digital can make that happen quickly. You’ll find him on LinkedIn, WeChat, Instagram and 9gag. He still wears flip-flops to work.
In this episode, Arnold Ma chats to Bessie Lee, formerly the CEO of WPP China and Group M, a China marketing guru in her own right, about her experience, tips and predictions of doing marketing in and to China.Arnold addresses 3 main topics: The difference between Chinese and Western marketing (strategy), Chinese creativity, and marketing technology in China and the West.Bessie, currently the Founder and CEO and Angel Investor of Withinlink, a China-based start-up incubator and early-stage venture fund has over 30 years of experience in the media communications industry in Greater China, exclusively across a number of WPP companies. As CEO of WPP China, beginning in 2013, she was responsible for 14,000 employees and more than $1 billion in annual revenue.Timestamps:0:38 An intro to Bessie and her extraordinary career6:30 Who censors and what do they censor? The shift of censorship from the Chinese government to the Chinese people.9:54 Is there a difference between marketing in China vs in the West? (Marketing principles vs platforms and innovation)14:08 How consumers in Beijing and Shanghai are different to those in lower-tier cities15:04 Why China presents the unique opportunity to re-start a brand from scratch16:02 The difference between Western and Chinese decision-making processes and why China is ahead of the game19:15 Advice for smaller brands entering China22:15 China is no less creative than the West – what is Chinese creative?23:51 China’s absence from Cannes Lion and why the West should broaden their categories and go to China to discover Chinese creative27:00 Why there should be more Chinese award entries and Western brands should work with Chinese agencies to create outstanding work28:05 The challenges with marketing technology and integrating data in China 28:27 Why the biggest obstacle to innovation is not data or technology, but it’s people and their relationship with change and automation31:28 Why there has been a lack of change and automation in the agency industry in the last 40 years33:26 Why appointing a Chief Technology Officer is a big mistake and the responsibility to innovate should lie within everyone in the business 34:12 The most disruptive MarTech in China right now: Bessie’s example of a Chinese marketing research technology that can save you months, even years39:39 Why brands often go with the safe choice, not the right choice 41:54 What’s the future? Why Chinese AI is a “national movement” and the biggest thing to watch out for in 2020If you like this episode, follow us/subscribe for more. You can also watch the full video on YouTube: free to contact us on with comments, thoughts and suggestions.  
China was an innovation and tech powerhouse in 2019, with many trends emerging ready for the new decade.This episode is all about what marketers looking to China should watch out for in 2020.Host Arnold Ma chats to Thomas Nixon (Qumin Co-Founder) and Louisa Loehrig (Qumin’s Marketing Manager) about 3 pillars in particular: people, technology and how these affect marketing.The keywords are: Lower-tier cities, 996, health&fitness, sustainability, traditional values vs modern expectations, short video, live streaming, facial recognition, 5G, from influencers to creatorsTimestamps are:01:04 The rise of consumer spending power in lower-tier cities (xiachen) and what makes the people in smaller cities different to those in Beijing and Shanghai 05:08 996 working culture, the power of having spare time and the emergence of the night-time economy 09:15 The new availability of products and saturation of top tier cities11:50 Why the Chinese people have made health, entertainment and fitness the biggest growth sectors in China 14:00 Sustainability - why people are starting to care, but why it must be 'top-down', but then people are starting to care 16:52 “Your health is the most valuable thing in the battle for success” - Why in 2020 the Chinese are returning back to cultural values19:08 Traditional values vs modern expectations and the rise of uber-confident, self-expressive young Chines people 19:35 Tech19:48 Short form video really took off in 2019 - why it is so popular?22:56 Creativity and the willingness to experiment is the key to a whole new array of content coming from China 24:36 Live streaming – not just for e-commerce (e.g. on Taobao) but also reviews (e.g. Xiaohongshu) and knowledge-based platforms (e.g. Zhihu)25:58 Facial recognition in East and West and the ethical dilemma – should you scan your face to get the tube?29:24 5G and why it is not just about the increased download speed, and more about what kind of tech it opens up31:35 Marketing - from influencers to creators and why ‘followers’ are no longer a metric 32:52 Why influencers are creating and selling their own products and co-branded content is more important than ever35:59 Why you should view China as a continent and not a country and how hyperlocal campaigns can help brands reach consumers in lower-tier citiesIf you like this episode, follow us/subscribe for more. You can also watch the full video on YouTube: free to contact us on with comments, thoughts and suggestions.  Happy 2020 from all of us at Qumin!
Football has climbed its way up to second place in China’s favourite sports. With over 300 million Chinese football fans and counting, China has become a hot market for international club managers. This episode is not just about Football and Sports Marketing in China but also has a special focus on Chinese fans: how to resonate with them, entertain and, ultimately, win their respect. Host Arnold Ma chats to Tom Nixon, Qumin’s Co-Founder and Client Services Director, who originally learnt Chinese to become a football coach in China, and New Business Executive Sean Ekon, a registered football agent for the FA. Tune in for: 01:36 When football was still new in China  05:00 Tom’s China story and why he didn’t end up opening a Chinese takeaway 08:50 Sean’s China story 11:15 The development of fan culture in China and why ‘translating’ no longer equates to ‘localising’ 15:10 The fine line between being respectful and offensive  16:35 Chinese fans’ lack of patience 18:02 Gaining reach, resonance and reaction from Chinese fans 20:14 How to avoid being orientalist by tapping into everyday culture  25:27 Sponsorships or programmatic advertising? – Short- vs long term strategies 28:20 Why great creative work requires good clients – Watford FC’s brief for Qumin 29:20 Fake engagement in China’s football industry and the West’s transition from metrics to meaningful connections 30:40 The best platforms to generate real engagement and commercial return: WeChat vs Douyin (TikTok) 34:00 Qumin’s Manchester United campaign (culture, social CRM, gaming, and Manga) 41:03 Understanding people and cultures – the only way to stand out as a Western brand in China  42:33 Why the target audience for football clubs is the same as for any other industry 44:10 ‘Playing it safe’ in China vs wacky cross-industry collaborations  45:10 Street culture in China and its knock-on effect for the popularity of sports 46:22 The difference between football and fashion influencers  47:00 Building a football brand and creating true brand ambassadors to secure sponsorship deals and merchandising  50:40 The French federation’s terrible Mid-Autumn Festival greeting 52:00 Why football entertainment is understood differently in China   If you like this episode, follow us/subscribe for more. You can also watch the full video on YouTube: Feel free to contact us on with comments, thoughts and suggestions.  
There are Chinese shoppers… and there are RICH Chinese shoppers. China now has more millionaires than the US and they are fast becoming an important target for Western brands. But how do these wealthy consumers tick? What do they care about, which marketing messages do they respond to and where? Qumin invited the one person who knows China’s high-end industry and people better than anyone: Sara Jane Ho. Sara has made it her business to educate the Chinese super-rich on Western etiquette through her finishing schools and her book, as well as her own TV-show which introduces Western lifestyles and celebrities to Chinese audiences. Do you know how to pronounce ‘Versace’ or how a game of Tennis is scored? Of course you do – tune in to hear why it matters and what this has to do with your new understanding of rich Chinese consumers.Arnold Ma, founder and CEO of Qumin, chats to Sara about:00:58 Sara’s story and her affiliation with Marc Zuckerberg03:00 2012, the year Chinese people began upgrading their lives to become citizens of the world04:19 How Sara, in line with the Chinese government’s vision, re-defined the meaning of ‘etiquette’ in China08:54 Can social disposition change fast enough to catch up with economic growth? 11:20 What drives the purchasing decisions of high net- individuals (Brand heritage or quality)12:08 Demographics of Chinese millionaires and why they are different to those in the rest of the world 15:00 What rich Chinese people spend their money on (Home design, brands, cosmetics or self-care)16:28 Will Chinese people stop buying flashy luxury brands and pay more attention to quality and craftsmanship? From peer approval to self-gratification18:00 Why short video platform Douyin (TikTok) and review/lifestyle app Little Red Book (Xiaohongshu) have become essential marketing tools to capture the attention of high net individuals 22:00 The best foreign brands in China and why they are successful24:31 Where Sustainability stands on Chinese consumer’s priority lists26:10 The rise of affordable luxury 28:24 Why Chinese people are starting to look domestically for luxury products (Bosideng example) 30:21 What Chinese brands can learn from Western brands 32:44 What’s The Future?! Is the Chinese growth is slowing down and do brands need to stop relying on Chinese consumers? If you like this episode, follow us/subscribe for more. You can also watch the full video on YouTube:  Feel free to contact us on with comments, thoughts and suggestions.   Our next episode will be on Football and Sports Marketing!
View 6 more appearances
Share Profile
Are you Arnold? Verify and edit this page to your liking.

Share This Creator

Recommendation sent

Join Podchaser to...

  • Rate podcasts and episodes
  • Follow podcasts and creators
  • Create podcast and episode lists
  • & much more

Creator Details

Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
7 hours, 44 minutes
Podchaser Creator ID logo 566011