What Every Marketer Can Learn From Chinese Food
I’ll admit it – I love to travel and I love to eat Chinese food! I am also a marketer always on the hunt for new ideas and inspiration.
I have lived in and visited many states and countries. I always eat Chinese food, at least once, no matter where I am in the world. Recently, I lived in Chile and traveled around South America. That’s when it hit me…Chinese food just blends with local tastes.
There is a lesson here for every marketer!
When I went to college in St. Louis, I heard of crab rangoon for the very first time. When I went home to Dallas for Christmas I asked the guy at the Chinese restaurant if he’d ever heard of it, and he responded no.
I’ve lived (at ate Chinese food) in New York, Atlanta, Vegas, and San Francisco. Some places call duck sauce sweet and sour sauce and visa versa. But American Chinese food shares one common characteristic – it’s usually fried and drenched in heavy sauces. It makes perfect sense from the perspective of a marketer.
Moving right along to Norway. What a beautiful city and, of course, finding a Chinese restaurant made my trip complete. The food was very European. I believe I had General Tsao’s chicken with white rice. It included plenty of steamed vegetables and I could adjust the ‘hotness’ to my taste. The meal was yummy and very elegant. It was reflective of the vibe I got from Norway.
The light bulb went off when I moved to Chile in 2010 and decided to stay until…I decided to leave. I had several Chinese restaurants in my comuna of Providencia and tried them all! To my surprise, the food was…very Chilean. It had very little seasoning with light sauces that tasted like variations of sauces from traditional Chilean restaurants.
Each Chinese restaurant that I’ve ever visited around the world took local foods and wrapped them in wonton wrappers and cooked meat and vegetable dishes in sauces that combined local flavors with elements of traditional Chinese cuisine.
My time in Chile made me realize something that every marketer should take note of.
Chinese restaurateurs around the world maintain a consistent message, but modify the delivery for individual audiences. After all, why would Brazil’s health-conscious population want to eat fried cream cheese?
The same applies to our marketing strategies. Your Facebook audience may respond better to images and polls that spark interaction, whereas your Twitter audience would expect short messages with links that can be easily retweeted. Whatever your strategy may be, the key is to better understand your audience so that you are able to connect with them, making for more effective marketing.
I would like to hear your thoughts on the subject and recommendations on where to find the best Chinese food (smile)!