Alibaba “TMALL World” Community Engagement & PR Campaign

The 9th highest global brand value, with online sales and profits surpassed all US retailers combined since 2015 Alibaba, often compared to America’s Amazon, has said Australia is now their third largest overseas market.

No matter who you are, Bastion China can help you speak to Chinese audiences.

Take Alibaba for example: Chinese mega e-commerce, retail, Internet and technology conglomerate. The 9th highest global brand value, with online sales and profits surpassed all US retailers combined since 2015 Alibaba, often compared to America’s Amazon, has said Australia is now their third largest overseas market.

So why would a Chinese company of this size need support in speaking to Chinese audiences? Simply put, Alibaba can engage Chinese audiences on their own, but not as meaningfully or deeply as they want to. This is where Bastion China was able to support with a sharp strategy and by penetrating difficult to understand audiences in Australia. The unique, multifaceted strategy developed by Bastion China allowed Alibaba to reach local Chinese audiences within a year of opening their Australian headquarters in Melbourne.

Alibaba approached Bastion China to help promote their “Tmall World” offering to Chinese communities on Australian soil. “Tmall World” is a service aimed at giving 100 million overseas Chinese access to 1.2 billion products from brands and merchants already selling through its Mobile Taobao app and other online platforms. “Tmall World” allowed Alibaba to provide end-to-end solutions including logistics, payment and localisation support catering to the unique Australian market needs.

Alibaba asked Bastion China to develop an Australian-Chinese community engagement strategy, a sound PR plan and the ability to drive traffic to the first ever Tmall pop up stores in Australia. Success was to be measured in the number of media/KOL clippings Bastion China could achieve within a two week period.

Bastion needed to create groundswell around “Tmall World” despite the limited number of Chinese media and KOLs based in Australia.

Bastion China found an innovative workaround in creating 3 media events and 5 separate, individual media angles through which to profile the new service. This approach gave Alibaba several distinct ways in which to talk about and showcase to local Chinese audiences the impact of their newest service. Bastion China pitched these different angles to local Chinese media and KOLs with a mix of paid and unpaid approaches.

This new approach was about doing different things – not just doing things differently – to catch attention. By working together with Alibaba, we influenced their storytelling capability, ultimately resulting in reaching broader audiences.

The results were significant. Over the two week campaign period, a total of 121 pieces of coverage were achieved through 34 local Chinese media and KOLs. Benchmarking an elaborate campaign such as this is difficult as nothing like this has been done in Australia before. This breadth and depth of coverage not only met the brief but also surpassed Alibaba’s expectations.

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