Alibaba’s marketing strategy is mainly about raising its exposure to attract more customers join it. Basically, people can see Alibaba everywhere. At the beginning, Alibaba implement free membership to attract merchants to conduct business on its platform. After a large number of merchants registered and becoming the member of the company, Alibaba started to charge register fee, value added service fee and listing fee to make profits. In addition, Alibaba is very active in many big forums. Alibaba joins the activities hosting by the forums very often. The purpose is to get more people learn about Alibaba and remember the company. Furthermore, Alibaba uses some popular bloggers to write something about Alibaba and put its links in their blogs to increase its popularity. Alibaba doesn’t cost too much on advertising because it knows word of mouth is the best way to advertise, and it also saves a lot and earn more profits.
Alibaba’s customers and marketing strategy span the whole time of the daily activities. The rest of the value chain includes inputs, operation of information, and outputs. These three heavily relay on Alibaba’s technology. In the entire workflow, from customers listing information to Alibaba finalizing the transaction, everyone involved in the activities needs to use Alibaba’s operating interface and software. (Figure 2)
The inputs are the customers’ information listing on the site, include both from buyers and sellers. In this step, sellers list their products’ or service information in the Alibaba’s listing system, such as names, date of produced, manufacture’s name, functions, colors, pictures and the other related feature descriptions. Buyers also list their desire about what they want to buy...
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...lers sell counterfeit, the seller must pay a huge amount of penalty for the customers.
Another problem is Jack Ma’s personal influence is too big. Throughout Alibaba’s history, Jack Ma himself determined most of the Alibaba’s big moves. He even ignored others opinions on some of their business decisions and insisted in implementing them. From an outsider’s view, Jack Ma is Alibaba; Alibaba is Jack Ma. Even Jack Ma has been no longer the Alibaba’s CEO, he is still the company’s decision maker. Therefore, there is one thing concern that if Alibaba doesn’t have Jack Ma, how far the company would go. Will Alibaba keep developing stably without Jack Ma? Therefore, Alibaba really needs to think about Alibaba’s long-term development strategy because Jack Ma will not be with Alibaba forever. If Jack Ma should leave Alibaba, who would be the next Jack Ma leading the company.