Filed under: Brilliant Marketing Ideas In History, China, Culture, ECommerce, Internet
So yesterday I talked about Singles Day.
Well, in the last 24 hours, more than US$13 billion dollars was spent, with almost US$4 billion in the first hour alone and US$1 billion in the first EIGHT MINUTES!!!
Let’s say those numbers again.
US$1 billion in 8 minutes.
US$4 billion in 60 minutes.
US$13 billion in 24 hours.
Look, I know China doesn’t officially celebrate Christmas [though more and more retailers are pushing it, in a bid to make even more money] but that is a bloody enormous amount.
Anyway, I recently came across a buyer guide by Chinese company Alibaba.
Alibaba – founded by the irrepressible Jack Ma – is a phenomenon.
From very humble beginnings as an online retailer, he managed to overcome a skeptical government … set up one of the most amazing delivery infrastructures ever seen anywhere in the World … educate 1.4 billion people about the ease and convenience of online shopping … kick out eBay [which is an interesting story in itself which you can read here] help entrepreneurs throughout China sell to China and the World … make his company bigger than Amazon and eBay combined and end up as one of the richest – and most powerful – men in the World.
Not bad for a business set up in 1999.
Anyway, back to the tutorial.
Over 10 pages, Mr Ma’s company explains how they have an app/business that will make life easier and more enjoyable for you.
Unsurprisingly, it focuses almost exclusively around spending money.
I say unsurprisingly because that’s what Jack Ma’s businesses focus on … mainly because he knows that’s what Chinese society focuses on.
It’s a match made in heaven.
Buying products … buying food … buying holidays … buying materials … buying entertainment … buying with others … if you have the desire to spend, one of Mr Ma’s companies will find something that you will like to buy.
Then he has a bunch of apps/businesses that allows you to pay for what you’ve bought, track what you’ve bought and then tell others what you’ve bought to help kick start their spending mania too.
And if he doesn’t get you with any of that, he’s started a film business so one way or another, you’ll be trading with him.
Mind you, if his movies are anything like the storyline he has created in this ‘buyer guide’, Hollywood doesn’t have too much to worry about quite yet. That said, a friend saw a rough draft of the new Bridget Jones Diary script, and from what he told me, there isn’t that much difference between the two.
As much as the West likes to heap praise on people like Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma is in a different league.
Whether it’s the level of success he has achieved, the inventiveness of the businesses he creates, the way he helps millions of people find their own success or the overall adoration he gets from the general public [because on top of everything else, he’s a huge philanthropist] … Alibaba is proof that China is far more innovative than most give it credit for.
It also explains why most advertising in this market is focused on what it can sell today rather than build for tomorrow, which is why there is an attitude in this country of ‘good enough is good enough’, because the belief is if you hesitate, you lose.
But it will change. It has to. The only issue for debate is when and my guess is Jack Ma will know before the rest of us.
This is why this country is such an amazing place to be.
And mental. Most definitely mental.
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