Chinese community marketing: Study promises solid data on Chinese media new association in Vancouver is poised to conduct a major media study to convince mainstream marketers of the viability of the Chinese market and the worth of …

The Vancouver Chinese Advertising Marketing Media Association is hoping for a minimum sample of 700 for its study covering the Vancouver cma.Cross-referenceThe study, which is set to start this fall, will cross-reference media use to product categories, thereby presenting agencies with...

The Vancouver Chinese Advertising Marketing Media Association is hoping for a minimum sample of 700 for its study covering the Vancouver cma.

Cross-reference

The study, which is set to start this fall, will cross-reference media use to product categories, thereby presenting agencies with a clear picture of media use by advertising category.

The vcamma was formed last November to address the concern of major Chinese-language media that they are undervalued by mainstream agencies, and the assertion by these same agencies that Chinese-language media are not presenting them with the research they need to justify a media buy.

The main stumbling block has been a lack of comprehensive and objective data.

‘You have to have [research] that is scientific and unbiased,’ says Aida Liang, associate media director of Scali McCabe Sloves in Vancouver and the driving force behind the vcamma.

‘You have to prove the media habits and lifestyle of the consumer in a believable way, with a sensible sample size, the way mainstream marketers are used to,’ Liang says.

Liang says for the data to be useful to national marketers, it will be important to undertake a similar study in the Toronto market.

To that end, she has initiated discussions with the association’s counterpart in Toronto, the Canadian Chinese Advertising Marketing and Media Association.

Low rates

The rate structure of Chinese media has traditionally been undervalued, says Jimmy Hung, general manager of the Ming Pao Daily News, a Hong Kong-based newspaper that publishes local editions in Vancouver and Toronto.

‘I would like to see that with this study, the Chinese media would be able to work out a more reasonable – and I would like to emphasize the word reasonable – rate structure,’ Hung says.

‘Second, we will be able to know more about what the Chinese consumer wants from the Chinese media,’ he says.

‘And, also, using the survey results, we can sell through to the mainstream marketers, with a more scientific approach, not by simply claiming our circulation or audience.’

Liang says the number and sophistication of Chinese media in Vancouver have increased significantly over the past five years, adding, ‘there are better marketers running these incoming media.

‘Need tools’

‘They know how to sell to the national agencies,’ she says. ‘They know they need to have some sort of marketing strategy. And they need selling tools.’

Edward Ylanen, general manager of CJVB Radio, a multiethnic station which devotes 75% of its schedule to Chinese-language programming, says his station commissioned a Decima Research study in 1991 to convince agencies of its reach in the Chinese-language market.

‘[Decima] said we had 65% reach, with over 20% of [the average listener's] time being spent listening to our Chinese broadcast,’ Ylanen says.

‘[The agencies] said, `No, this can’t be,’ ‘ he says. ‘The results can’t be that good.You must have influenced it somehow.’

Liang says part of the problem with such media-commissioned studies may have been the lack of agency input in the types of questions asked.

‘This is an opportunity to upgrade the quality of the media scene, by sitting down and discussing the issues with the media, by letting them know what is expected of them from the agency’s side,’ she says.

Liang also points out Scali would like to expand its markets to get more ad dollars.

‘Also, because I am ethnic Chinese, I would like to have the Chinese market presented in a professional way,’ Liang says.

‘I want advertisers to understand it’s not just the uneducated, back-alley consumer anymore,’ she says.

Ylanen feels the vcamma study will provide agencies with solid research to back up anecdotal evidence that the majority of recent immigrants from Hong Kong to Vancouver, where the Chinese population at 190,000 is the second-largest in Canada, are middle class, well-educated and affluent.

‘[Agencies] have been saying, `When you come back to us with real figures, we’ll believe it,’ ‘ he says.

Founding members of vcamma include Liang and Hung, as well as Joe Chan, president of Fairchild Communications, owner of CJVB Radio, Cathay TV and ChinaVision; George Feng, director of AM1320; Kenneth Fung, general manager of daily newspaper Sing Tao; Ken Koo, president of Ken Koo Creative Group, and Anthony Chow, president of Colorama Productions.