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253: The Gateways to Going Global with Your Brand with Alibaba’s Erica Chan

Erica Chan, Head of brand, experience and insights at

In this 253rd episode of Marketing Today, Alan Harts talks with Erica Chan, who leads brand, customer experience, and insights at Alibaba Group, one of the world’s largest B2B e-commerce marketplaces. 

On the show, they discuss the almost $24 trillion global B2B e-commerce market and how Alibaba is both globalizing and localizing their brand around the world. 

Alan and Erica break down the behemoth of an organization that is Alibaba and their transformation to going global as a brand. Erica says they realized they needed to transform the platform to make it truly “helpful and relevant” to today’s businesses. The way the world does business is changing rapidly, and Erica sees digitalization and e-commerce platforms as a “gateway” to making this transition.

Learn more about this, the future of B2B e-commerce, and virtual trade shows in Alan and Erica’s discussion on this episode of Marketing Today.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How to go global while also going local with your brand
  • Why going digital and access to e-commerce is now essential for B2B 
  • Why e-commerce is a gateway to going global

Key Highlights:

  • [02:20] Erica’s role at Alibaba
  • [04:48] Alibaba’s organizational structure
  • [07:15] Alibaba’s transformation
  • [09:37] How Erica thinks about globalizing Alibaba’s brand 
  • [12:40] The different ways companies can leverage Alibaba
  • [16:48] How the pandemic sped up going digital 
  • [21:10] Alibaba’s virtual trade shows
  • [24:04] What marketers should think about in 2021
  • [27:17] An experience that defines Erica, made her who she is today 
  • [28:46] Erica’s advice for her younger self
  • [29:38] A recent impactful purchase Erica made
  • [31:24] The brands, companies, and causes Erica follows
  • [33:15] What Erica says is the biggest threat and opportunity for marketers today

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