Peggy Fang Roe, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Asia Pacific at Marriott International talks about who makes up the market, how they differ and what they have in common on her blog and here are some insights from Peggy.

The most predictable thing we know in Asia Pacific is that every year, we should expect the unexpected. There will undoubtedly be something that throws one of our countries into a tailspin like we have now, but luckily, the upside of growth sits with us too, helping offset uncertainty.

But, you can still see universal trends:

– Forty-two percent of the APAC population is Gen Y with India and Indonesia leading the way. The Gen Y and Post-90s generation in China are highly aspirational and inspired to see and embrace the world. They are setting a tone for entrepreneurialism and innovation. It’s a population that’s constantly in discovery mode, willing to try new things, and not too wedded to specific brands. Luxury brands yes, — and international brands have always been at the top of the list — but national brands like Xiaomi are emerging fast, especially in the technology space.

– If you work in this market you also know that two things move people — good food and a good deal. The way to a consumer’s heart here in APAC is food. Food is culture; it’s how relationships are established, how deals get done and how things are celebrated. And good food drives reputation. This is clearly played out in how many food pictures are posted in social media. The way to a consumer’s wallet is a good deal. Consumers here care a lot about value. They are not necessarily price sensitive but they love bargaining and they revel in getting a great deal.

– There’s no better place for innovation. Mobile functionality is evolving at lightning speed and Chinese companies like Alibaba and Tencent are quietly and rapidly innovating for their consumers in China. And with a market of 1.3 billion, they don’t really need anyone else … but, no one should be naïve — they are coming after your customers, too.

Approximately 2 billion people across APAC are using mobile devices and 1 billion are on social media. Targeting consumers on social media means understanding where consumers live in the digital space in each country: WeChat and Weibo in China; KakaoTalk in Korea; Line in Japan and Thailand; Facebook in India and Indonesia; Instagram in Australia; WhatsApp in Hong Kong and LinkedIn spanning many markets, especially those with expats.

Doubling the size of Chinese outbound travelers in just a few years will undoubtedly change the landscape around the world and it will take more than just tea and slippers to capture this young and aspiring market.