Business / Opinion

Time to do something different in China

By Saurabh Sharma (China Daily) Updated: 2014-06-16 07:07

Another area of opportunity is online platforms. That's especially so if you have expertise in an area - be it Persian carpets or travel destinations, or if you are passionate about something that people understand and value - like wine appreciation, social etiquette, or cross cultural understanding. Or even if you are a great connector of ideas - linking technology with society and philosophy or travel and apparel and history - then you are sitting on a potential online platform idea.

The cost of creating a platform in the online space is virtually zero. Yes, you sure need server space etc, but if your idea is great, you will find partners who will help you do it for free.

So, if you have an idea that can help people, go ahead and create an online platform for it. It could be about "how to learn new technology for free", or "how to get vital travel tips for cultural destinations", or "how to learn social media marketing for free" - as long as you can teach something that is useful for others, things can even be free.

The bottom line is that if the platform is based on a real need, it will not only get traffic but sponsors and collaborators, too.

So what can a marketer do?

These are not just opportunities for start-ups. These are as much marketing opportunities for brands as they are business ideas for entrepreneurs.

For marketers of luxury products, this is the time when they can start to think of their value beyond being a product.

They now need to create and curate stories and experiences that can live far beyond the product. For example, a luxury hotel can become the source of interesting stories about how sophisticated taste has been shaping cultures and personalities since time immemorial.

For marketers of food and beverage brands, there are opportunities in telling sourcing stories. And there are opportunities in engaging customers with their sourcing stories. These brands can also help users with tools and assist in choosing the right product.

The author is planning partner, Ogilvy & Mather, Beijing. The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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