The Force behind the Marketing; a Case of China (Part 2).

For China, employing state machinery to further their cause has been their strategy. Photo courtesy of Paprika Ads.


In this post today, let’s explore advertising and public relations in the context of understanding if it is evil as we see it or probably we don’t understand the right buttons to press to maximally reap the benefits of this two important tools of marketing as a whole.

In my last week’s edition, I wrote about how china has realized that for her to grow her foreign markets, she must infuse the aspect of cultural diversity in her products as well as new strategies in promotion. However, there is more to this than simply meets the eye.

For instance, in the year 2017 and 2018, we had some discussions with a few of our Chinese friends we had met then at an Expo at the KICC and Sarit center over Chinese businesses. We wanted to understand the whole chain of doing purchases from mainland china and how long it could take for a shipment to dock at the port of Mombasa.

We were surprised to learn that over 80% of the companies we saw and engaged with were owned by the state or they had a state backing. So part of their trade sell was that if you purchased from china, chances were you will get your products very quickly because it was all a state affair.

To break it down, the company you could be buying from may be part or fully state owned in China. The dock where it will be loaded to a ship is also state owned and operated. The company operating the ship may be fully or partly state owned. So when it comes to processing customer request, unnecessary bureaucracies have been weeded out and so speed has been achieved.

Who on earth doesn’t want their orders to be processed quickly? Speed is albeit to profit in business. Every business is striving to increase efficiency in terms of turnover and for China, their objective is to ensure there is the shortest time between making a product and putting it on the market.

At this stage, the discussion comes in on how effective these marketing strategies become with the fear of over-promising and under-delivering. But truth be told that when a country mobilizes state machinery to promote a cause they succeed immensely. Often for China, it is the state that negotiates for her businesses and in case of accusations for a raw deal, they always find a way out.

Whereas there are fears that sometimes what is marketed is not what you get, the buyer seller agreement is the binding document. For instance the accusations that the deals we get to see signed between our country and other countries such as China are raw, we ought to blame those who negotiate on our behalf and their inability to seal all the loopholes.

In our country for example, the state has done poorly in terms of state corporations’ management. Most of them that looked promising back in the day are wallowing in shackles of doom. They are only used as conduits of misappropriated public funds. China on the other hand has built a strong public corporation system that is seeing it reap the benefits.

The USA on another level has built a strong private sector but one in which it lobbies for greatly and behind all their successes, lies the immense government support. The Made in America rallying was a call to promote American products within the country as well as out of the country by extension.The call had the explicit backing of the US president.

China on her own part has been perfecting the art of negotiating for contracts and businesses out of her own country for her state corporations as well as other private businesses.

It is very true that through the state backed, resource rich and intellect endowed state machinery, a country the size of China can easily market herself and with the aspect of speed as well as a good choreographed public relations approach, they can easily close a deal.

The evil around the favorability of the deal, the products signed and other aspects of quality lie with what whoever signed the deal fathomed with. Just like in small scale advertising and marketing stint, the issue about what we get promised and what we get ultimately lies with the customer who either chooses to buy or not. And if the deal seems raw, but he/she gets to be convinced by the seller or marketer to take the product or deal, then the liability now rests with the buyer.

In simple terms, over the last about 30 years or so, china has really understood that for them to push their influence in terms of products and investment muscles, the state must be at the fore front. So they have perfected the art of marketing through PR and advertising for her businesses but with a state face lift.

For Kenya to succeed, her state machinery should be employed to the brim to lobby for deals for her businesses and also properly manage her state corporations. Mediocre personnel as well as poor systems should be replaced with competent personnel and proper structures.

China didn’t grow by the state relaxing, sitting back and watching in resignation as her glory dimmed into oblivion. No, they marketed their country and products, they advertised their country and products and finally employed state machinery to actualize their dream to conquer the world.

As a country, Kenya, we need to both rethink and change our approach from simply talking to doing something or we will continue to be the guinea pigs for testing the waters and hence making it big for others while we ourselves dim our own glory.



NOTE : Take ALL the precautionary measures you can to avoid risking your health as we battle out the COVID-19 VIRUS. Avoid crowded areas and observe proper hygiene.

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Manufacturing, Technology, Innovation, Governance, Management and International Emerging Issues. For featuring, promotions or support, reach out to us at
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