In 1999, towards the end of the dot.com frenzy, a group of 18 people led by Jack Ma started Alibaba in a small apartment in Hangzhou, China. Nineteen years after its inception, this wholesale online marketplace is now the world’s largest e commerce platform, running on par with the likes of Google, Amazon and PayPal! What makes Alibaba’s journey to success so inspiring is how the e commerce platform reached to the top in less than two decades!
Jack Ma learnt of the internet when he went to the United States in the early 1990s. Unlike the United States, China still had not embraced the internet revolution. When Jack Ma returned, he decided to tap into the uncharted waters of the world wide web with the idea that was Alibaba. With an initial investment of $ 5 million and 17 co founders, Jack Ma launched Alibaba’s online retail platform!
The launch of Alibaba’s online retail platforms – Alibaba.com (B2B) and 1688.com (B2C) – was fortunately timed; the consumer internet boom had only just arrived in China and the local market was not as direly affected by the dot-com crash as its American counterpart. Other future e commerce markets such as India had barely even begun exploring the sector.
With a funding of $ 21 billion from SoftBank, the 21st century began on a very positive note for this steadily rising e commerce platform. Post this investment, the money kept pouring in! A year after this influx of cash, Alibaba launched Taobao.com, the Chinese version of eBay! Looking at the positive response received, Jack Ma ventured into other areas like an instant messaging tool called Aliwangwang and third party online payments platform Alipay. These three businesses would eventually evolve into the ‘iron triangle’ of e commerce, logistics, and finance upon which the Alibaba Group of today is built.
Having secured a funding of $ 25 billion, Alibaba was declared the largest and the most profitable e commerce platform in the world by the year 2016. With a market value of $ 231 billion, there was no stopping this company! One of the major reasons for this stupendous growth structure has been credited to the informal employee beneficial policy at Alibaba. The conglomerate has also been very active in shaping and bolstering China’s entrepreneur ecosystem while launching several projects to better China’s rural areas. In 2010, Alibaba announced that it would contribute 0.3 percent of its annual revenue to environmental awareness and conservation efforts around the world – resulting in a $ 4.71 billion turnover. The firm has also set up an independently funded group called the Alibaba Foundation, that tackles social issues. From being a lost and broke boy in China to being a massive success overnight, Jack Ma has truly come a long way!
Social Media Automation Tools Every Business Should Have
Since its inception, social media has come a long way. The rage started with Facebook and Twitter and then moved forward to platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, MySpace and GooglePlus. With so many platforms, promoting your brand on these platforms can be quite a time consuming process. If you are looking at simplifying your workload and in making the most of the time at hand, then these are the tools you should look at:
1. Agora Plus
In recent times, Agora Plus is the most comprehensive automotive tool present. The main reason this tool works is that not only does it let you plan, organise and schedule your content across six platforms, it gives you a detailed report to track your performance. With no limitations on the kind of content you promote, this tool is quite the life saver.
One of the most widely used social media tools, Hootsuite works for even the most basic needs. From scheduling content and monitoring performance, this tool helps collect data by reviews generated from users. What makes this website stand out from Agora Plus is that you can check brand mentions and reply to comments and messages through the website itself. With its in depth reports and analytics, this website is what you need if you aren’t too deep into social media.
With an extremely user friendly interface, Buffer works because it lets you post in a queue across different platforms. Apart from this, Buffer is also known for the way it gives you a comprehensive report with all your data in one place. In fact, even if you post the same content on different platforms, the tool generates individual links and analyses data based on those links. A mixture of Agora and Hootsuite, this tool is what you need to simplify your tasks.
Another social media automation tool, CoSchedule works because of how easy it is to schedule your content across various platforms. By using the interactive interface, this website lets you schedule over 60 posts at the same time. What makes this tool stand out that it lets you analyze which content worked well in the past and publish your previously posted content again. If you are looking for a comprehensive plan for marketing and understanding analytics, then get on to CoSchedule now!
5. Social Jukebox
While all these websites are great for queuing and posting your content, they don’t really tell you what happens next. Social Jukebox takes care of this very problem. All you have to do is to place your content in different jukeboxes and when all the content is done, start making use of them again. The advantage here? Instead of making use of your content the same way as earlier, this website jumbles up the order so it looks like brand new. Because it comes with a Chrome extension, using it is extremely easy. Every time you find new content, all you have to do is drag and drop it into the different juke boxes.
Curating content and posting content is quite a cumbersome task. However, if you find the right platforms which simplify the process, then your life becomes extremely easy. If you think we missed out on any tools like these, comment and let us know!
How To Use Psychology to Maximize Marketing Reach
With people realising the relevance of psychology in marketing, more and more brands are working toward attracting the emotional side of buyers. If you are looking at increasing your brand’s presence and to attract customers with a personal touch, here is how you can use the perfect combination of marketing and psychology!
1. Use Emotional Ideas
Emotions or sentiments always work when it comes to selling your product. When writing copy to go with your advertisements, words with an emotional connection always have a stronger impact on the audience. For instance, if you are selling a computer, write about its benefits in a way that instills a connection in a new way. An emotional connection while making a sales pitch always works, giving people a reason to buy the product.
2. Highlight your flaws
Understanding human psychology has always shown that it is important to highlight your flaws. When you do this, you let your customers know that you aren’t afraid of the things which are wrong with your product. Cater to your customers ego and make them feel listened to when you fix the flaws they say your product has. Not only does this make sure you earn your customers trust, it helps in increasing your brand’s value. For instance, Apple has always been extremely vocal about its multiple flaws but because they provide such value for its brand, people don’t shy away from the Company.
3. Use reward schedules
Rewards always work really well. By using the process of operant conditioning, the reward scheme works really well because it helps to understand what the customer really wants from the product. Behaviours are usually learnt over a period of time and if you tell people they are going to get random rewards at uncertain times, the attraction is stronger! When you go to a restaurant and get surprise freebies at the end of the meal, you want to keep going back, irrespective of the food. In this case, the reward is your enticer since you are attracted to the offering rather than the actual product.
4. Throw your customers an anchor
In most cases, when you leave customers with an open ended question, you realise people are more prone to coming to you for answers because of the half information. Called throwing an anchor or priming, this process works ethically and is used to attract a larger revenue through more customers. Find the gap and hook your customers on to that gap so as to instantly attract them. While a sure fire way of making more money, this process can be tricky because of the subtlety required to see it through.
5. Put your customers to work
If you want people to remember your product, then you need to make sure you not only attract them the right way, you also put them to work. From asking rhetorical questions and to making your audience think about why they want your product, you can make sure this technique works to your advantage. By making your customers to actively participate in the decision making process , your in depth understanding of the situation can help! For instance, flash mobs help in getting people together and making them work not only in the interest of the brand, but to spread the required message as well!
Marketing, when done the right way and with the right tools, can attract a lot of customers. If you think we missed out on any other ways that marketing and psychology go together, comment and let us know! With psychology playing a key role in marketing, it certainly has become easier over the years to give people what they want, based on what they need!
Richard Branson Unknown Facts
Richard Branson, owner of the Virgin Group, has quite a reputation. Since the year 1970, Branson has made a strong mark on the world positioning himself among the top ten successful entrepreneurs in the world. While there are a lot of facts known about this serial entrepreneur, there are still quite a few unknown facts. Check them out here!
1. He is dyslexic
Did you know that while most people shy away from admitting they have dyslexia, Branson credits his success to his disorder? It was because he discovered this disorder at a young age that he was able to learn how to delegate his tasks and start learning to be the leader he is today.
2. He created a submarine
While most of us just dream of one day owning a submarine, Richard Branson made his dream come true. Called the Necker Nymph submarine, Branson’s submarine is a treat for his visitors. Not only does the man have a private island, he also designed his own transport to and from his private island. How cool is that?
3. He Cried When He Sold His First Company, Virgin Records
The first thing you create is always your baby and when you sell it, you experience a pain like never before. Branson also felt the same way when he sold, Virgin Records, the company which began his empire. Despite selling the Company for a billion dollars to keep the Virgin Group afloat, the loss of his first baby made Branson bawl like no one could imagine. Ouch.
4. He is not a part of any boards
Unlike other owners, Branson is not a part of any of the boards of the companies he owns. Despite owning more than 200 companies under the Virgin Group, Branson always stays away from being a part of the Board of Directors. Why? Because he believes he is not a businessman but a creator and visionary!
5. He has been knighted!
Richard Branson is perhaps the only entrepreneur in the world to be knighted by Queen Elizabeth 2 in the year 1999. Sir Richard Nicholas Branson received a knighthood for his relentless services for entrepreneurship. Did you know that Branson is the only entrepreneur who backed more than 18 startups? A deserved knighthood, no? Incidentally, apart from being knighted, Branson was also awarded by the United Nations (UN) for his contribution to the environment and humanitarian causes, earning him the title of The United Nations Correspondents Association Citizen of the World Award.
6. Adventure could easily be his middle name
Apart from building his very own submarine, Branson is an avid hot air balloon lover. Did you know that Branson is the first and only person in the world to cross the Atlantic in the largest hot air balloon? He loved the thrill so much, he broke his own record in the year 1991 by crossing the Pacific in a hot air balloon made by Virgin. Clearly no one else thought they could beat his record.
7. Television loves him
Television loves Branson. Apart from making special appearances on shows like FRIENDS and Baywatch, a lot of other shows like The Simpsons and Monty Can’t Buy Me Love have created entire characters around the man behind the Virgin Group!
Richard Branson gave the world the Virgin Group and everyone lessons for a successful life. If you think we missed out on any other facts about this man, comment and let us know!
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