Nielsen Greater China Consumer 360

Attended the forum today at Kerry Hotel Parkside … & here are some takeaways.

About the consumers:
– consumers are lazy and are looking for convenience in everything that they do
– consumers are looking for new & exciting things
– consumers are looking for knowledge they can use directly or value which they can immediately utilize

About brands:
– brands are creating products that provides convenience to the consumers, i.e. e-commerce, same day delivery, etc
– brands are creating brand, new product types such as the ready-to-drink milk tea (which is a fusion of traditional milk and traditional tea)
– brands are moving from talking about themselves to sharing tips and real value for consumers

About Nielsen:
– Nielsen has breath in terms of the industries that they cover, i.e. finance, automobile, media, etc, and the countries that they cover
– Nielsen has the depth in terms of what they can study
– Nielsen has cool, new technology, i.e. MYND (TM) – neuro analysis for research purposes


A little about MYND, because that was really one of the most interesting points in the forum.

It allows brands to measure the quality of an ad by recording brain waves of actual test subjects. Research measures 3 factors (a) Attention paid to an ad, (b) emotional trigger by the ad, and (c) recollection of the ad. By researching the most effective parts of the ad, brand marketers can effectively cut out the waste and trim down an ad from 30s to 15s. Apparently, 2 brands have already done such a study and the correlation of people watching the trimmed down version of the “effective” ad had a 70% correlation with sales increase. Sounds far-fetched in how we are even using brain waves to test ads, but I guess this changes marketing from an “art” to a art-science hybrid.

At this point, probably the creative directors from agencies would be pulling their hairs out realizing that most of the fancy scripting that they had produce were actually really wasteful ads.

Irrelevant Targeting

When is too much targeting bad?


When it is targeting items which I have already bought.

I recently searched for and purchased a water flask on Like any consumer there was a consideration phase and I took about a week to decide on the final water flask to purchase.

During that consideration period, Taobao ads were serving me water flask ads, which were targeted ads, hoping that I complete the purchase.

Now that I have made the purchase, Taobao ads kept on showing me ads related to water flasks. This is a serious case of over targeting or targeting without the right recommendation engine in place. (For one, Amazon will never re-target users in such a blind fashion).

The amount of data that is available to a brand is not huge due to the large amount of connected data across various platforms. Brand should properly leverage these data for targeting, instead of just using it for blind targeting.

How to best use Big Data for proper targeting?

1. Identify the right user group
Be it male/female, age group segmentation, browsing history, etc … identify clearly defined user groups.

2. Understand what matters to them
Determine what appeals to them, and what kind of content you can reach out to them with that will help to close the sale.

3. Follow through with the user through the purchase cycle
Follow through the purchase cycle – i.e. if still a prospect, then provide incentivised offers, if already a customer, then follow up with a loyalty program, reviews-and-get-points, cross-sell other products from different categories or based on similar users interest.

Never up-sell the same product unless you think the product life-cycle is up and the customer needs a (new) same product.


Flickr Gets Biggr

Welcome to Flickr Photo Sharing copy

I’m excited! I used to use Flickr quite a bit and at one point even went Pro, but quickly found that it did not really play well with other social media platforms and was rather restricted to who I can share with since most of my friends were not on Flickr.

Have also always been looking for a place where I can put all my photos online just as a safeguard against hdd failures, and could not find a decent photo sharing site to do so. With 1 TB of space, I dare say that Flickr has finally arrived with the perfect, sweet spot solution for all the photo sharing addicts out there.

Welcome to Flickr!


+1 to Google+

Google IO 2013 was just round the corner and in that event, Google announced many new things. While there wasn’t one WOW thing that would revolutionise the industry, they are on track to be one of the most powerful organisations in the world. With the large amount of data that powers the APPs or experiences that Google puts out, technology is increasingly letting us know what it thinks we want, rather than us letting them know what we want. The possibilities are immense (that, however is a separate story altogether).

On to Google+ …

Previously, I never did get used to Google+ because I found it a little clunky and that my friends weren’t really on that platform.

With the re-design, Google+ now feels more clean and actually feels beautiful. It does make me want to use it … the problem of course is that most of my friends were still not on it, since they are using Facebook.

Otherwise, here’s what I love about it …

1. Beautiful interface, and it feels right on mobile and PC

2. Circles is a very easy way to comprehend and manage user groups

3. Photos is all powerful and can help me tag people well, group them into events and it auto-syncs from my phone (well, FB does that too, right?)

4. Heard a lot about Hangout and will definitely want to try that out someday, and the best way of course is through the interest communities …

5. Communities is an interesting way to participate in and get information. I’ll definitely be joining more of these moving forward.

So, here’s my 2 cents worth … though most of my time will still be on FB, SW, I’ll be dropping by G+ occasionally.

Sleep Time

Sleep time for little Eva has changed over the few months.

Now, she continually sleeps from 8 pm to 4 am. Which is a good thing. Though any thoughts from other parents on how to lengthen the sleep time to 6 am or 7 am would be greatly appreciated.

Getting to sleep, however, continues to be the challenge.

1. She used to want to be carried to sleep. Those were the say days, predictably, you had to carry her and rock her to sleep and she will fall asleep.

2. Recently, she does not like to be carried to sleep. In fact, she occasionally does not even like drinking her milk before her sleep. So, it becomes a guessing game now on how best to get her to sleep, yet get her to sleep on a full tummy. (We hope that a full tummy helps her sleep longer)

What we do now is lay her on the bed and let her play till she is really tired, then when she calls out “for help”, we intervene and feed her as much as she likes to have (typically 50 – 100 ml) and then on the first sign of displeasure (yes, babies show that very obviously), we quickly put her down to bed. Done.

Google Nexus 4 After 2 Months

Have been using the Google Nexus 4 mobile device for about 2 months. This comes after 5 years with the iPhone device. So, there was a adaptation period … but that was quickly overcome.

What I like!

1. The experience is new and refreshing – at least it is from the iOS devices, because it is different.

2. Do what you like – In terms of customization of the interface, I can do more and have more options for widgets and how icons should be placed

3. Notifications – work very well and feels much better than the iOS device

4. Google integration – It just works with all my Google accounts, which is perfect, since a lot of my digital life exists in Google already

5. Tactile feedback – The screen touches me back. 🙂

What I don’t like!

1. Poor battery life – which predominantly is caused by poor APP design which continues to run in the background and eat up precious battery life

2. Confusing UI – User experience is not well defined, with “back” buttons having different meaning depending on where you are in your experience. Even on the dialer, having 2 telephone icon is confusing for the ill-informed.

3. Poor quality APPS – the app quality design is definitely poorer than iOS devices, as the resolution and UX of the APP tried to cater for multiple types of devices and screen sizes that run Android. The close platform of IOS regulates the design much better

4. Tap to top – Absolutely miss this simple feature in iOS. Anything to replace it for Android phones!??!

5. iTunes/iPhoto compatibility – Doesn’t quite sync with playlists, albums from my Mac, which is a chore since I have to recreate everything for the mobile device again

Bottomline … It still is a fun device to have but sometimes I do miss the tight integration of an iOS device.

Royal Philips (Electronics No More)

Last month Philips Electronics made the announcement to sell off it’s Lifestyle Entertainment business unit to a Japanese company, while still keeping home appliances, medical and lighting under it’s portfolio.

Sounds like a logical move, considering that I typically think of Philips blenders, juicers, vacuum cleaners, light bulbs and lamps, but not really Philips TV.

However, I have a nagging question around keeping home appliances. With a barrage of low cost alternatives, i.e. Akira, Midea, from various countries, will Philips be able to maintain a healthy market share for it’s more innovative home appliances products?

Will you pay more for a hair dryer that can detect when it has blown your hair to dry?
Will you pay more for bagless vacuum cleaners with extra filters for better cleaning?
Will you pay more for well designed, more powerful juicers?

Or, is average, good enough, appliances sufficient for the majority of homes, which do not need industrial grade cleaning equipment, nor powerful juicers, etc …

Time will tell …

For me, I have my industrial grade juicer, I do want to get the bagless vacuum cleaner and yes, the blender/steamer combo and airfryer are brilliant inventions!!!

人人猎头 Everyone’s a Headhunter

Renrenlietou 人人猎头

Was recently introduced to a new internet business model / mobile APP that has been all the rage in China. Interestingly, this was “invented in China”, which no similar service else where in the world.

How it works:
Companies (including headhunters) list job openings on the platform with a reward for a successful placement. Normal users refer their friends for a relevant position and if successfully placed, will receive 70% of the reward offered. The platform (Renrenlietou) keeps the remaining 30%

It is a mobile only APP, which makes sense as mobile penetration in China is huge and most referrals happen on the go when users are out meeting people.


Such a brilliantly simple model, which does not reinvent the headhunting business, but just shift it from a closed network to an open platform.


Infant Sleeping Routine

Eva was sleeping very well at night at 3 months, feeding her last meal at night at 10 pm, she would then sleep till 5 – 6 am in the morning, before she woke up for the next meal.

During CNY, when we brought her back to Singapore, her habit suddenly changed. She started to feed less (120 ml only) and fed more frequently. She would wake up every 3 hours in the night to feed.

When we brought her back to Shanghai, we had to try our best to feed her a complete 150 ml meal and attempt to get her back to her 4 hr feeding cycle. We succeeded.

Then we had to get her to sleep longer at night …

Wife suggested that we feed her water if she woke up in the middle of the night. So, she does not get used to having to drink milk at night. We tried that for a couple of days, and so far we are having good results. Eva is now feeding her last meal at 8 pm, and sleeping till 3 – 4 am before waking up.

While 3 – 4 am is still not an ideal time for us to wake up and feed her, we feel that it is better this way as she gets to sleep early and at the 11 pm period where the most brain development happens for an infant.

Anyhow, your child will go through many phases and will have much changes. So, just go with the flow and hang in there!!!