Earlier this year, my classmates and I from the 2nd year Bachelor Fashion Marketing program at IFA Paris in Shanghai had the opportunity to visit Razorfish, a leading digital platform under Publicis.Sapient group. Razorfish is the main company of Publicis.Sapient. Apart from Razorfish, Publicis.Sapient also holds 2 other companies, which are SapientNitro and DigitasLBi with more than 20 years experiences. Some of the clients that they have worked with previously were Cartier, L’Oréal, even American Airlines.

Together with lecturer Camilla Gleditsch for Media & Advertising, we arrived at The Henderson Plaza on West Nanjing Road followed by a warm welcome. The students were first introduced to Alex Misseri, the Head of Retail. He gave us a great insight about the Omni channel retail environment in China, while pointing out that China would continue to grow stronger over the next 10-20 years, due to the capabilities that China have accomplished until now.

For the second session, Joyce Ling, the Vice President of Strategy for China, talked about the difference between Chinese consumer´s shopping habits in relations to other countries. She highlighted the fact that in China smartphones have become their only need of activity. Further Joyce resented an interesting selection of 10 types of Chinese consumers you can find in this millennium era. One type was the multi-career entrepreneurship. Joyce told us that, “The average age of multi-millionaires & billionaires in China are below 35 years old.” This is one of the reasons that so many young people today start their own businesses next to their main job as they see the opportunity of earning big money through having their own business.

The open question round allowed us to ask Joyce questions that we had in mind. One of us asked why apps have become so popular in China compared to other markets? Joyce´s reply was that people in China are extremely dependent on their mobile phones, they find it easier to use the device rather than a laptop or a PC. It just has become a matter of convenience. Sites like online shopping giant Taobao, multinational online transportation network Uber, the food delivery service ele.me and many others, all offer a user friendly, timely and handy shopping experience.  She continued by telling us that eventually, everyone is able to do everything on their smartphones, from paying your electricity bills to getting your medicine delivered in an hour, it is already happening. Joyce’s topic helped us understand that today online is everything and you need to adapt to the changing requirements in technology. If you want to tap the market, there is no way to ignore it.Razorfish Shanghai

Before we left, Razorfish showed us some of their bigger projects, one of them was Dove. For Dove, the brand under Unilever, Razorfish worked together with daughters to help them show their own mothers their beauty. The purpose of the campaign was to encourage all women to embrace their real beauty at any age. The video touched most of us, and it was interesting to see such a cleaver way to reach out to consumers, especially when you are able to touch on someone hearts.

The class left with a greater knowledge on topics like the rise of China´s new consumer class, future consumer behavior & trends and the world of advertisement. A little taste to what the future in an established creative agency like Razorfish would look like. It was truly a pleasure to have had the opportunity to hear and learn from experts in the advertising and creative field. We thought the company visit was one of the best field trips ever.

Thank you Publicis.Sapient, thank you Razorfish and everyone that took the time to come in and talk to us. We really appreciated it.

This article was written by Sidney Scarlett, student of the Bachelor Fashion Marketing program at IFA Paris in Shanghai.