Pete Lin is the Managing Director of We Are Social’s new Shanghai office. He has 17 years’ experience in digital marketing, initially in the US where he helped build the digital practice at Grey in San Francisco, amongst others. In China, he has worked as business director at Grey Shanghai, client services director at Publicis, and head of digital at JWT.
We Are Social was launched by its two founders, Robin Grant and Nathan McDonald, in 2008 and has grown pretty rapidly since - it now has a team of 550 in an international network spanning five continents. Having built such an impressive global footprint, the next major market for the agency to establish itself in was clearly China.
Today, I’m both delighted and honored to announce the launch of our first office in China. As you may have read in Ad Age, Campaign or Marketing Interactive, our Shanghai operation is officially up and running, and we are here with the mission of setting a new benchmark for marketing in China.
China has its own unique culture and, perhaps more importantly, a unique digital ecosystem. The social landscape in China is maturing; platforms are becoming more sophisticated and brands are increasingly seeing real benefits from a social presence. While there are obvious differences between social in China and social in the West, We Are Social’s focus on creativity and human insights, rather than platforms, can be a transformative force in this marketplace.
We’ve developed practices and technologies that are tailored for the China market. We’ve transposed We Are Social’s unique collaborative way of working to China and, with it, we’re attracting the type people that have been the driving force behind the success of the agency globally. Already, we’ve brought on board Cannes award-winning creative director Ying Chang to drive our creative offering to clients, as part of the 15-strong, talented local team that we have in place. We can also draw upon all of the BlueFocus group’s considerable resources and experience in China. With all of this, we believe that our offering to help brands execute socially-driven marketing strategies in China is compelling.
As the Chinese proverb goes, words alone are no proof (口说无凭). So, I’m happy to say that a number of global and local brands have already engaged us in China, including Liebherr and GMAC (owner of the MBA entrance exam, the GMAT). And our new team is set to grow fast – because of the high demand from local and global brands, we have five open roles at the moment (如果你是个数字广告人，快来加入刚登入上海，全球最大的social热店).
This is an exciting time for We Are Social, a significant marker in our global expansion, and another big step towards our mission of putting social thinking at the centre of marketing for all our clients, all over the world.