Alibaba - Building a new model for marketing

MUMBAI: As we approach a new decade, what were once predictions are today a reality. Some of these are – India enjoys a demographic dividend, smartphone and internet penetration is constantly growing, consumer appetite is expanding beyond established markets and coming from emerging India as well. Additionally, India is now the fastest growing economy in the world. This bodes well when you weigh the potential of the market. What comes next is attracting audiences and making it easier for brands to reach consumers.

This was the subject of a talk at the 44th International Advertising Association’s World Congress in Kochi by Chris Tung, Chief Marketing Officer, Alibaba Group. For any brand to enter a consumer’s discovery cycle that straddles Awareness, Interest, Purchase, and then Loyalty; brands need to do much more in the digital age. The need is for a cohesive, evolving, data-led ecosystem that involves content marketing, understanding consumption patterns, lifestyle preferences, and more. Through this data-led engagement, brands have the opportunity to become far more relevant to their target audiences. The data-led model allows for brands to experiment with campaigns readily and sometimes even optimise entire marketing strategies for customer acquisition.

Alibaba has been instrumental in achieving a data-led model that it terms as uni-marketing that allows brands access to insights based on data that are anonymised and aggregated down segments that number one million in size. This allows for a test-bed that at the very least has a million users. And the results have been promising for Alibaba and the brands that leverage its platforms. Alibaba reports 50% year on year revenue growth. For brands that leverage a data-led approach championed through uni-marketing at Alibaba – in some cases, time to launch has come down to nine months from 18 months. There are more top-sellers per brand today across categories. The real power of uni-marketing shone through with an insight provided to Mars Inc., wherein Alibaba suggested a chilli-infused chocolate treat to the global confectioner. The result? Between August of 2017 and March of 2018, sales of Snickers Spicy surpassed USD 1.43 million dollars with a 92% satisfaction rating among consumers.

That’s just the success of one product and one brand. When you scale this data-led engine out to engage with millions of users – what you arrive at is an e-commerce platform that brings brands and consumers closer to each other and a record sitting USD 30.8 billion Singles’ Day in 2018. To break that down further – that’s the ability to drive 300,000 transactions per second.

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