An Interview with Taylor Howard, Lead Content Strategist of International User Experience and Design, Alibaba Group


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Article ImageName With the Face: Taylor Howard

Job Title: Lead Content Strategist of International User Experience and Design

Organization: Alibaba Group

URL: alibabagroup.com/en/global/home

Job Function

In her role as lead content strategist for Alibaba Group, Taylor Howard is responsible for global content on the AliExpress app, mobile site, and desktop site, as well as content for worldwide social media channels. Howard says, “With multiple languages on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the Russian sites VK and OK, we have 19 social media accounts.”

Howard’s job puts her in daily collaboration with colleagues from design and user research groups, as well as outside agencies for translation and social media. The job requires coordination with a multifunctional and multicultural AliExpress team. “As an international team, understanding and mitigating cross-cultural differences is definitely a top priority,” says Howard.

 

In a Day’s Work

Howard says a typical week includes multiple meetings with direct reports to discuss projects, roadblocks, and successes. She also has a weekly meeting with the social media agency to discuss the content calendar. “Once a week, we have a truly global content team meeting with our team in Hangzhou as well the content strategists based in our Moscow and Madrid offices,” says Howard.

The rest of her week is sprinkled with meetings with designers and project managers, proposals for new ideas, presentations, and lots of writing.

 

Most Memorable Customer Encounter

“I was home in Michigan for Christmas and visited a bar with a high school friend. The bartender asks what I do, and I tell him that I work in China at Alibaba on the AliExpress app. I’m thinking he’s never heard of us! Fifteen minutes later, the bartender comes back and says, ‘Wait, A-L-I Express?’ He spent the next 20 minutes pointing to everything he’s bought from AliExpress to decorate the bar, from the beer glasses to the twinkling Christmas decorations. It was so amazing to see someone from my humble hometown using and loving our app.”

 

View From the Desk

“I sit at the last row of our open office, so I see mini-meetings at desks, someone taking a snooze on a comfy chair, larger team meetings at the TV screen in the middle of the office, or walking meetings around the floor.”

 

Outside Interest

“I like to do yoga and ballet—and, of course, read. Every good writer is an even better reader.”

 

If Not Econtent, Then What?

“I’d be a lawyer or a politician. Though lifestyle blogger also sounds good—can I be a Kardashian?”


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