Welcome to Brilliance@Work, a series of profiles about stellar collaboration professionals and their best practices at work. Throughout May, we’ll feature Marketing Analytics & Data Science experts.
Danfeng (Dan) Li is a Director at the Alibaba Group, where he oversees the web/mobile analytics team that provides business intelligence and predictive analysis solutions for web pages, mobile apps and smart devices. He’s also a presenter at the Marketing Analytics & Data Science Conference on June 8-10, 2016 in San Francisco, California.
As a preview to his presentation “Get More Whales out of Your Mobile Game Players,” Dan shared some insights on Alibaba’s strategy in the mobile marketplace.
Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC: How did Alibaba help grow the global online and mobile marketplace?
Dan Li: In 2003, Alibaba created the Taobao platform to help micro and small businesses sell their products online for free. For the first five years, Taobao did not generate any revenue and did not become profitable until 2010. During this time frame, it grew from 0 to more than 95% of the Chinese online marketplace.
We truly believe that we can only benefit by helping small businesses. We were very patient and applied strategies that are applicable to China businesses, like a customer care system called WangWang, and Alipay to address trust and credit challenges. Of course, Alipay became a very successful story in itself.
A couple of years ago, we noticed the trend that people were moving from shopping online to shopping on mobile. We established many strategies to encourage people shopping on mobile. Mobile sales quickly surpassed online sales. We were just a small step ahead of our customers and our competitors.
Now being the largest marketplace online and on mobile, we continue our innovation with the help of our 10 million merchants and billions of consumers through personalization, streamlining logistics, and experimenting with a C2B business model.
PB: What are key strategies for successful mobile game monetization?
DL: The key is to find the potential “whale” players who are willing to pay for your game. We built machine learning models to help identify those players. We target our sales and marketing efforts to them. The key for us to do this successfully is we know a lot about new customers through monitoring user behavior across games and apps.
PB: How will mobile game monetization change in the future?
DL: I can only speak for the Chinese market. Right now, venture capital (VC ) money is not that easy to get, so monetization becomes more and more important in the near future. Also, in the Chinese market, the game industry is still very simple. We need a more data-driven approach to make the process more efficient.
PB: What will people gain from attending your presentation at the conference?
DL: I’ll share some of our efforts to help the game industry in China and some statistics and trends in the Chinese mobile gaming industry.
Want to hear more from Dan? Join us at the Marketing Analytics & Data Science Conference. Learn, network and share best practices with the most influential leaders in data science and analytics. Stay connected at #MADSCONF.