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Integrated Marketing Communication in Chinese market: A Case Study of NIKE CHINA
by
Reicho Murakami
A thesis proposal
submitted in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Global Business Journalism
Tsinghua University
2018
ABSTRACT
As nature, human need to interact with each other and connect with each other. We need to express our own thoughts and emotion effectively and well demonstratively. To have an effective and well demonstratively way to express or deliver what you want in your mind or thoughts are they key of having a successful relationships or successful business. Everyone desires to have a successful relationship with one another. To have a successful relationship or successful business need to know who you are going to have a conversation or communicate. To know your audience or customer or person that you will delivery message is most important. Accordingly in this thesis the aim was to guidance to understanding the influence of culture on the interpretation of various communication efforts that will benefit to the company?s integrated marketing communications (IMC) strategy.
This thesis case study was done using a NIKE company as a case study, and analysing their IMC efforts in their way to communicate Chinese customer to brand awareness in the Chinese business market. Associate with Chinese culture and to develop a better understanding of how influenced the interpretation of the marketing material in China given by the case study company.

Most of people understand how important China is specially the role in the global economy and market. Although research on China and uniqueness of Chinese culture is increasing and has been cross examination in a variety of contexts, studies however looking specifically at the role of Chinese culture in the interpretation of integrated marketing communication in an international corporate or brand context, have not been demonstrated. This research thesis aim to prevent misinterpreted communication or deliver message inefficiently which might cause huge negative way on the international companies.

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Discover that Chinese culture does have a major process on interpretation of IMC. The study discovered that the Chinese are still strongly influenced by specifically Confucius and Tao philosophies and traditional Chinese teachings in their interpretation and understanding of communication. Understanding these principles can the basic element methods of Chinese communication. Most important discovery was that the fundamental aspect of Chinese communication was based on relationship-building “Guanxi?.

INTRODUCTION
China became as an economic powerhouse with a population of approximately 1.3 billion which is the world?s largest spending power (Na, 2013, p. 1). These reason made China an attractive and important market for international businesses to expand their brand or corporate and culture to research in a context.
As Chinese culture is often misunderstood and underestimate by Western businesses, to their own detriment (Graham & Lam, 2003, p. 4). However in order to develop critical business relationships, successful communication is powerful. For this reason any information that can benefit businesses in strengthening their communication with Chinese consumers and business customers and which can contribute to business people developing reliable channels for communication, is imperative. Regardless of the industry, China can be difficult to operate in (Zhao, 2000, p. 210).
Consequently this study absorbed particularly on markets in China and aimed to research the role of Chinese culture in the interpretation of integrated marketing communication, exemplify a NIKE CHINEA’s communication with its Chinese market.

1.2 Background and motivation for the Study
Even though China is keep on developing and be the global economic power house for over a decade without none stop, it is an increasingly insignificant area of research. There is not enough information to be found particularly aspect of business communication and culture in China contempt it being necessary for businesses to have understanding of this Chinese unique market, Chinese customers taste and Chinese communication practices, to be successful. These reasons have accordingly determined motivation for this particular study. Global businesses can have a clearer communication of initiation strategies that are needed before managing business in Chinese markets by analysis the function of Chinese culture and business practices in the interpretation of integrated marketing communication.
Guanxi a cultural practices is heavily important function in marketing in China Chinese and the network of relationships (Chen, Chen, ; Huang, 2013, p. 168). Guanxi? is an individual connections and close relationships with people. (Graham ; Lam, 2003, p. 5; Gao, Knight, Yang ; Ballantyne, 2013, p. 2).
Specifically at Chinese understanding and interpretation of communication research studies published few (Fang ; Faure, 2010, p. 2), consequently the limited literature and theory provides support for the necessity of this research study. (Gao and Prime 2010, p. 150) support this statement by stating that there is “a lack of literature that synthesises a systematic framework for effective Chinese-American communication”.

1.3 Statement of the Problem
Chinese economy has grown and developed as China?s market, Chinese consumer base as well as purchasing power parity have made China the global export market of choice (Felipe, Kumar, Usui ; Abdon , 2013, p. 810). Global businesses have focused and actively pursue to strategy to breaking into the Chinese market and making some of huge market share (Gebauer, Wang, Beckenbauer ; Krempl , 2007, p. 126).
However, many global businesses have not been unsuccessful because lack of understanding of how to communicate with the Chinese as well as how to relate to their culture and perceptions and in require to develop these key relationships (Gao, Knight, ; Ballantyne, 2012, p. 456).
As these companies attempt to integrate their communication across various media and platforms this problem is exacerbated. Consequently this study is investigating the way that the Chinese interpret integrated marketing communication and how their culture impacts Western brand and Western communication style.

The case study company has used integrated marketing communication techniques, such as WeChat, Weibo, own magazine, activities, classes, campaign, store provides a series of exclusive members-only offerings and social event which have been analysed for the general of this research. These are used to communicate with Chinese customers in the Chinese market. Therefore this study focused specifically on Chinese market and aimed to research the role of Chinese culture in the interpretation of integrated marketing communication, illustrate to a NIKE CHINA’s communication strategy with its Chinese market.
1.4 Research purpose and objectives
The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of Chinese culture in the interpretation of integrated marketing communication in the China setting using a NIKE CHINA?s integrated marketing communication.
The research objectives to determine for the study:
How Chinese businesses communicate
 How Chinese customers respond to Western brand and Integrated Marketing Communication?
 What are the most effective methods of integrated marketing communication in Chinese markets?
How create value?
 direct distribution/indirect distribution
 standardized/some customization/high customization
What is the source of competence/advantage?
networking/resource leveraging
 creative or innovative capability/intellectual
selling/marketing
 information management/mining/info. packaging
How differentiate from competitors’ Integrated Marketing Communication ?
image of operational excellence/consistency/dependability
 intimate customer relationship/experience
 product or service quality/selection/features/availability
 intimate customer relationship/experience
1.5 Overview of the Constructs
The integrated marketing communication (IMC) is this research’s main construct. IMC is “the philosophy and practice of selecting and coordinating all of a brand?s marketing communication elements” (Chitty, Barker and Shimp, 2010, p.402). Schultz, Stanley Tannenbaum and Robert Lauterborn (1994) in their book “The New Marketing Paradigm: Integrated Marketing Communications” mention One of the first times that the term of Integrated Marketing Communications in a publication, "Advertisers, their agencies and the media modified their relations to play new roles and thus the emergence of integrated marketing communications" (Schultz et al 1993 p. 40).
Don E. Schultz, in one of his first publications on IMC in 1996 "Evidence shows that integration is being driven by technology. The future is in one-to-one marketing, and not advertising based on a model of mass production. The question of integration or not is irrelevant. The fact being that it doesn’t really matter. Consumers integrated seller’s and advertiser’s communications although the organization does not;. (Schultz 1996)
All of the different elements of communication a company uses combine as Integrated Marketing Communication. To achieve a consistent and coherent message to create needs to know audiences clearly. The case company in this study expand multiple IMC methods such as online platforms, own private magazine and social event.
Marketers have to deal a challenging and competitive environment to fulfill customers wants and needs. Also develop long-term relationships with the customer, IMC can create coordinated and consistent messages across different channels of communication. Moreover, the concept is especially valuable in that it places great emphasis on the importance of created relationship building through strategic can only be all stakeholder groups and customer loyalty (Jin, 2003/2004; Cornelissen, 2000; Eagle and Kitchen, 2000; Pickton and Hartley, 1998; Miller and Rose, 1994).

China was chosen to study because interested in how in the Chinese market use the Integrated Marketing Communication tools and what significance this has for Chinese customers.

A society?s system for living impacts Culture. It is “the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes one group of people from another” (Fan, 2000, pg.3). Culture influences how people interpret their surrounds and then act on those interpretations. Culture plays an important role in people?s perceptions which then influence their actions. High barrier to international corporates to struggle to effectively communicate with Chinese customers. This case study focused on how culture influences the Chinese market and customers interpretation of the various IMC tools.
1.6 Benefits of research
In Chinese culture is opposite to western business style, relationships come before business (Zolkiewski ; Feng, 2012, p. 16). Which means to have a business with Chinese. Needs to gain the trust first. This reason is the research looks closely at Chinese culture and the importance of relationships within it.
This research hope that will benefit international brand or corporate or business people who wants efficiently expand the Chinese market and communicate with Chances customers in their taste of style.

By understanding Chinese culture and Chinese communication style can benefit from the knowledge of how to grow and support relationships based on Chinese relationship culture and this research thesis mentioned how important fundamental that is.
1.7 Chapter Overview
The literature review focuses on the main concept of the research, specially international marketing, integrated marketing communication, Chinese culture.

Integrated marketing communication (IMC) is highly analysis in terms of tool of communication in global marketing. “Integrated Marketing Communications  is not a fleeting but rather has become a permanent feature of the marketing communications landscape around the world” (Shimp, 2010, p.9).
Integrated marketing communication (IMC) defined as “a communication process that entails the planning, creation, integration and implementation of diverse forms of marketing communications that are delivered over time to a brand’s targeted customers and prospects” (Shimp, 2010, p.10).

Corporate used advertising, public relations, sales, communication with employees to shared information of the perspective of enterprise and media. (Martínez, 2006)
This was simply a response to why corporate need for integrating all the communication tools of the strategical processes (Madhavaram et al., 2005).

This study emphasize sucessful businees in China needs to establish Guanxi which Chinese term of have a successful relationships. For example, Confucianism is guidance and practiced principle still applies to many business managers in China (Graham ; Lam, 2003, p. 6).

The research methodology and philosophy is based on idealist ontology and interpretivist epistemology. The research used a mixed methods measure up to both qualitative and quantitative data observed the survey answers, in-depth interviews, case observations which provide by CHINA NIKE company materials.
The data was analysed using a phenomenological measure to focusing on the phenomena uncovered by the research through deductive thematic analysis and accordingly identifying contents from the discoveries.
In the discovery chapter mentioned the data uncovered from the various research methods in detail. The first chapter explains the sample, and then particularly focuses on the main contents and discoveries from the interviews. The second chapter reviews the discoveries relating to the integrated marketing communication material used by the case study NIKE CHINA company.
The discussions chapter gives a comprehensive analysis of the literature review and the discoveries which in relate to practical Chinese market from the gather data that given a detail of the integrated marketing communication. The role of Chinese culture in interpretation of the different styles of communication mentioned in this research thesis.
1.8 Conclusion
The introduction specified a summary of the research case study to be able to give a synopsis of the in-depth literature, research methodology, findings and discussions. This research case study will merit to people who want to communicate Chinese customer in the efficiently way. This research also aimed to advance integrated marketing communication guidelines for international corporate or brand extend the market in China or entering the Chinese market. The literature review to lead specific describe more clarify the theories and research findings relevant in order to demonstrate a structure for the study.
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