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AsiaMarketeers specializes in driving sales through your digital or e-marketing channels
by thinking thoroughly about the marketing ideas and how your money is spent.
I'll talk to you, your employees and your customers before building a strategy and recommending any changes. This might sound obvious, but look around - it isn't.
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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Arriving Shanghai on a digital marketing consultancy project

Back in November I was invited to take on a consulting assignment in Shanghai and I happily accepted because the invite came from an ex-boss for whom I have a lot of respect - an English gentleman who is a true digital wizard. I also wanted to check out what it was like to live and work in China. It was a project for a digital marketing consultancy company.

I headed up to Shanghai on November 2. To my surprise, airport looks very similar to Hong Kong airport. I had to take the elevator down to the taxi stand and as I arrived on the lower level, I followed the sign to taxi stand; a man stopped me and told me it was easier to catch a taxi from departure level, especially during rush hours. Ah yes, indeed it's the same way in Hong Kong and in Indonesia. So I went back up to departure hall with him. He told me he worked at the airport and was getting off work. He was very nice even carried my super over-weighted bag for me. I asked him how much taxi fare would cost and he told me about 200 Yuan - that was about right, motel manager also told me the same.

I was lucky, as soon as we got out a lady was getting off a cab and he grabbed it for me. He asked if I could give him a ride and I gladly said yes. As soon as we got onto the highway, he pulled out a receipt book and told me it's 300 Yuan. "But you told me 200?" I asked. "Ah yes, if highway add extra 100," he answered. It only striked me then I am with a con-man. I didn't quite know how to react although I really should have requested to go to the police - but I didn't. I didn't speak the language, I was tired and it was getting late. So I paid him, got a car rental receipt for 300 Yuan and made sure the driver wasn't going to charge me extra. He got off just at the 1st exit on highway.

After all these years of traveling and living in places, I have no idea how I got conned into the situation. I was pissed but had to stay alert to make sure the driver was taking me to the motel.

When I arrived at the motel, there were 10-15 people at the lobby with only 2 staff at the counter. Turned out the 10-15 people were from the same group. The group started arguing with staff - they were trying to squeeze 4 people into one room but motel staff refused. Soon two men standing in front of me started yelling at the staff. I waited in line for no less than 45 minutes - of which half of that time I was hearing screams.

By the time I got inside my room I was exhausted. Though the room was small I was glad to be settling in somewhere. A friend dropped by to give me some fresh towels and provided directions to walk to the office the next day.

"Tomorrow" I thought, "things will be better."

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