Robert Ray, managing director of global business at PHD, shares his input and insights on M&M Global’s article “Seeking out media and marketing’s hottest markets”, where he talks about China being one of the markets where can the hottest talent and most innovative media and marketing ideas be found…

This article was first published on M&M Global

For Robert Ray, the managing director of global business at PHD, who also oversees global business and leads client Unilever’s global strategy team, China and India are deserving of particular note, collectively covering the five main disciplines he says are driving the media industry’s global agenda.

Whereas a decade or so ago, expats represented the media talent in China, today the “local talent has really up-skilled,” he says.

“There are three big things in China that are interesting,” he adds, pointing out it is a country of massive scale, with 160 cities each with populations of more than one million. “The first is that it’s an online-video-first market, and multiscreen planning is probably at a more advanced level than pretty much any market in the world.”

New media has leapfrogged traditional media in markets such as China, giving its talent a forward-focused approach to marketing — where perhaps Western counterparts are still glancing wistfully back over their shoulders at old media.

“If you’re a 20-something living with your parents and your grandmother upstairs, and in the corner of the room is the telly which is playing state TV, which is awful, you are really wanting long-form content from your phone,” says Ray.

“The second interesting piece in China is the whole digital ecosystem, with the likes of Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent [and] the way that the big operators are working across everything from ecommerce to social to online payments, to entertainment and video. It means you’ve got people in the Chinese market who are really used to dealing right across those ecosystems [in a] much more integrated way than perhaps the more familiar Silicon Valley companies.”

For Ray, China’s third and final discipline of note is online retail, with the country’s standing as “the most dynamic ecommerce market in the world” speaking volumes.

To read more about the other markets mentioned in the article, click here.