Marketing Process of Ugenex Showerheads in Beijing, China

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Decker, Stephanie L.
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Over a period of three months I worked for a Hong Kong company, Solarbrite Co. Ltd., in their Beijing office. My main project was to conduct a marketing report on the various types of showerheads that are sold in the city of Beijing. I needed to collect the data by actually going into the market. This consisted of going to various exhibitions, department stores, specialty stores, and hotels. I had to talk to various people at these places and record any information I could on the products the places had to offer. Aside from the research I was to also try and introduce and market the product developed and manufactured by our company. When I was not working on these projects I was assisting the office in various other needs like editing, phone calls, and attending other exhibitions that were related to different product lines that our company manufactures. Going into this project I had no background. in marketing. I had a basis of the Chinese language, various courses on China or Asia, and some economic courses. I did have experience working for an international company during my career development, but the company hired me based on my past records of human relations. I had various experiences that gave me a wide variety of opportunities to work with many types of people. The company felt that good human relation skills would be important for my job, since it consisted of interacting with many types of people. The time that I spent overseas gave me a chance to really learn and grow. I had to do most of my work independently within a foreign country. Everything was a challenge. Finding a place to live, daily trips into the office or various sites, communication within the office and with Hong Kong, even adapting to the local culture. Learning about the marketing process seemed to be the easiest part of the experience. My knowledge of marketing strictly came from the marketing executive in the North American office a few days prior to leaving for China. He went over some basic things of what they wanted me to look for in the products that I would be researching on. I was told to collect all the data possible on the other showerhead products so Solarbrite would be able to look at their competition and see if they would be able to have a competitive advantage over the other suppliers. The researching and compiling of the information on showerheads was not the difficult task of the experience. The difficult part came in when I had to try and introduce the products to the Beijing market. The company had told me that they wanted to introduce the product to hotels and see what type of response they would get. I learned the hard way that one must be completely prepared before entering the market. Because of time constraints, I tried to start marketing the products without all the proper information about our products. I -tried to push the products into the market without getting the price information from Hong Kong. If I had gotten this information in the time that I was in China I am sure that this part of the project would have been more successful. Everything that I could possibly do on this project I did manage to complete. The project was something that needed more than three months to accomplish and more organization from the company prior to my arrival. I did not get everything done that was originally hoped, but I did do the best that I could with the information and the resources that I had over the three month time limit.
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