Prior to this, the agency relied on individual planners working under separate client accounts to obtain knowledge about target consumers—resulting in siloed and possibly myopic views.
The goal of the new 'consumer insight centre' is to create a more comprehensive offering that enables Dentsu to understand Chinese consumer behaviour across various product categories such as luxury goods, automobiles and durables.
Cui Guang (崔光), director of strategy at Beijing Dentsu, will lead the new unit with four staff members, while simultaneously working with planners under different clients.
Dentsu will adapt its expertise in communication design and planning methodologies, garnered from its Japan headquarters, to the Chinese market for clients such as Lenovo and Canon.
Applying Dentsu’s current behavioural-modeling and analysis platforms to China with the aim to share the latest consumer trends and best-of-industry revelations as they unfold, the centre will also serve as an incubator of new research solutions.
Cui (pictured left) will build a database focusing on higher-income consumers in China, especially those from inland cities that are powering consumption as growth in the coastal areas slows down.
"It will be much more organised, but not a rigid structure," Cui told Campaign Asia-Pacific. "The biggest difficulty we foresee will be that our planners don't know how to apply the formalised methodologies to their current processes."