How to reach China's Mass Affluent Class males
26 April 2017

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Jing Daily has published findings of a study by Singapore-based media network Carat into the characteristics and behaviors of China's "Mass Affluent Class (MAC) males".

Following are some key points.

General characteristics of MACs:

  • Ages 25-40
  • 72% university graduates
  • 90% own property
  • 76% prefer to live in Tier 1 cities
  • Prefer experiential leisure activities (e.g., travel) to more status-based activities like golf.
  • Expected to account for 51% of China's total monthly household income by 2020.

Lifestyle segmentation:

Carat has developed 5 lifestyle groups of MACs on 2 dimensions:

  • Loud & Showy vs. Sophisticated and Refined
  • Established vs. Aspirational

Bling Kings tend to be established and loud/showy.

Aspirants also tend to be loud and showy but are (no surprise) aspirational - haven't yet arrived.

Bling Kings and Aspirants are spontaneous and crave attention.

Epicureans are more often aspirational, but don't run to extremes of showiness or refinement.

Skeptics and Aficionados are both generally established, and on the sophisticated/refined side.

Aficionados and Epicureans are connoisseurs of style and fashion, and early adopters; for them. entrepreneurship is about improving people's lives.

Bling Kings and Aspirants believe that entrepreneurship is more about following intuition and seizing opportunities.

All groups agree that entrepreneurship is about making people's lives more convenient, along with making money.

Warm and fuzzy "social entrepreneurship" is an alien concept to all of these groups.

Their role models are successful international and local Chinese business and tech entrepreneurs.

Marketing implications:

  • All use digital devices, and mainly seek content related to their industry of interest vs. general concepts like "entrepreneurship."
  • They prefer mobile devices for day-to-day communication.
  • They expect immediacy and personalization in communications.
  • They demand details and proof in content.
  • They use search engines to find in-depth information, and to amplify and clarify content consumed.
  • Aficianados, Skeptics and Epicureans have low susceptibility to advertising.
  • All MACs tend to form their own perspectives by communication with close associates and peers.
  • Top 3 kinds of TV programming watched:
    1. Business and tech news
    2. Serials
    3. Films
  • Top 3 kinds of Internet video content watched:
    1. Films
    2. Serials
    3. Business and tech news
  • Brands need to reach them through respected, established entrepreneurs, who are the primary influencers of MACs.
  • Need to demonstrate connection with achievement of their ambitions.
  • Need to be able to influence their inner circle of peers/associates.
  • Providing exclusive experiences that convey status is another opportunity for reaching MACs.
  • Storytelling by brands appeals to Aficianados and Epicureans.
  • Aspirants and Bling Kings have consumption-driven lifestyles and want to acquire bragging rights through exclusive early adoption.

So, some actionable things:

  1. Start with your brand/product and consider which MAC group(s) is/are your best prospects.
  2. For Aficianados and Epicureans, tell stories. And don't try to fool them with stealthy advertising. Be up front.
  3. To Aspirants and Bling Kings, offer exclusivity and extreme personalization to give then something to tell their inner circle about.
  4. Skeptics - a group defined by their skepticism - are going to be the toughest sell, and aren't the group I'd go after first.
  5. For any/all:
  • If you can get a respected, established entrepreneur to endorse your brand, do it.
  • Show them how buying your stuff can help them achieve their ambitions.
  • Get favorable coverage for your company in media they are consuming, particularly respected media that cover your industry.
  • Be findable in searches using mobile devices.
  • Don't make "social entrepreneurship" the centerpiece of your campaign.

- David

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