GroupM and Alibaba Form Strategic Brand Marketing Partnership

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(25 September 2017) GroupM, the media investment management group of WPP, has forged a strategic alliance with Alibaba. The high-powered partnership combines GroupM’s [m]PLATFORM solution with Alibaba’s Uni Marketing products, collaborating in areas including data, resources and strategy. This will create additional mileage for GroupM’s clients and enable their brand marketing efforts to be more relevant to consumers.

Launched globally last November, [m]PLATFORM is GroupM’s proprietary audience intelligence and activation solution. It connects wide-ranging WPP data sources, including Kantar and Wunderman, third-party data providers and data from GroupM’s other global media partners. In the prevailing big data era, [m]PLATFORM provides marketers with an edge in building personalized and long-standing consumer relations.  

Alibaba launched the Uni Marketing methodology and product portfolio at around the same timeframe. Its components include Brand Databank, Uni Desk (Uni Marketing Ad Placement Desk), Alimama media products, Brand Hub, etc. This month, Alibaba named GroupM China as one of its eight inaugural partners for Brand Databank (Others include Acxiom, Duozun Data, Hlonu, Baozun, Protime, Connext and Illuminera). The partnership is a recognition of GroupM’s core competence in data capabilities, brand advertising, content marketing, data fusion and operations.

The new strategic partnership focuses on three areas centering on Uni Desk.

1. Integrating [m]INSIGHTS with Uni Desk for effective media planning

[m]INSIGHTS is the audience-centric media planning tool of [m]PLATFORM. It connects multiple data sources to support the formulation of customized audience strategy. Uni Desk is a dedicated data-mining tool for agencies, which are connected to the Uni ecosystem’s high-quality primary media inventory. 

The collaboration of these two tools provide marketers with a holistic understanding towards consumers’ interests, preferences and behaviors, as well as help identify potential customers at an early stage of a marketing campaign. Uni Desk also enables the activation of customer communications and connections with customer touchpoints in real time.

2. Linking [m]REPORT and Uni Desk for better measurement and optimization of media impact

The [m]REPORT module of [m]PLATFORM merges data into a single, intuitive and visually rich dashboard. The dashboard highlights actionable intelligence in real time as well as integrating brands’ media performance in Uni Desk and other platforms. It also analyses overall media impact against communication benchmarks when the actual engagements take place. It assists brands to optimize their media mix dynamically, thus maximizing their returns on marketing investment.

3. Tapping on the tremendous business potential of FMCG and luxury sectors with innovative media formats and content

Uni Marketing generates personalized communication options for brands and consumers. It uses its hypermedia matrix to pinpoint the daily lifestyle and touchpoints of target consumers. Through delving in consumer behavior and their content preferences, Uni Marketing provides insights for fine-tuning the effectiveness of media format and content that will lead to improving brand experience.  

Initially, the two partners will focus on FMCG and Luxury sectors. They will combine forces to create communication solutions that will help to strengthen the emotional connection between brands and consumers.

“Alibaba is evolving from an e-commerce platform to an ecosystem which breaks through the online-to-offline boundaries, connecting enterprises, brands, entrepreneurs and other industry players. Together, we are setting a business infrastructure for the future, an initiative that will enable brand marketing evolutions for years to come. I am confident that this partnership will bring more value of Alibaba data to brand owners, and redefine the landscape of brand marketing in the exciting China market.” said Chris Tung, Alibaba Group CMO

Patrick Xu, CEO of GroupM China and WPP China, lauds Alibaba for its open-minded approach and wealth of data and resources that are instrumental in supporting brands to embrace the new era of brand marketing.

He said, “Nowadays, marketers really need to keep their fingers on the pulse of their audience in order to reach them in the most efficient, agile and personalized manner. Building on its profound experience and expertise in media planning, GroupM pledges to keep investing in data and technology for meeting the marketers’ needs. [m]PLATFORM is testament to such commitment. This global service suite is powered by the most competent team of technologists, data scientists, analysts and real-time biddable media experts.” 

[m]PLATFORM is a neutral platform that is open to cooperating and integrating with more partners from across industries, allowing GroupM’s clients around the world to leverage the unrivalled [m]arketing advantage.


About GroupM

GroupM is the leading global media investment management company for WPP’s media agencies including Mindshare, MediaCom, WaveMaker, Essence and m/Six, and the outcomes-driven programmatic audience company, Xaxis. Responsible for more than US $108B in annual media investment by some of the world’s largest advertisers, GroupM agencies deliver an advantage to clients with unrivaled insights into media marketplaces and consumer audiences. GroupM enables its agencies and clients with trading expertise, data, technology and an array of specialty services including addressable TV, content and sports. GroupM works closely with WPP’s data investment management group, Kantar, and together they account for almost 50% of WPP’s group revenues of more than US $19B. GroupM delivers unrivaled marketplace advantage to its clients, stakeholders and people.

Discover more about GroupM at

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[m]PLATFORM is GroupM’s audience intelligence and activation platform, enabling a single comprehensive view of a clients’ consumers through planning and execution of adaptive advertising campaigns that deliver personalized advertising at scale. At the core of [m]PLATFORM is the uniquely powerful consumer identifier, [mp]ID, which unifies consumer information across all devices, screens and data sets for one consistent perspective on consumers in a target audience. This universal id enables measurable engagement and attribution through to purchasing behavior. [m]PLATFORM is both technology suite and a worldwide service organization comprised of technologists, data scientists, analysts and real-time biddable media experts across 50+ markets.

About Alibaba Group

Alibaba Group’s mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. We enable businesses to transform the way they market, sell and operate. We provide the fundamental technology infrastructure and marketing reach to help merchants, brands and other businesses to leverage the power of the Internet to engage with their users and customers. Our businesses are comprised of core commerce, cloud computing, digital media and entertainment, innovation initiatives and others. Through investee affiliates, Cainiao Network and Koubei, respectively, we participate in the logistics and local services sectors. In addition, we have a profit-sharing interest in Ant Financial Services, the financial services group that operates mainly through Alipay, the leading third-party online payment platform in China. 

About Uni Marketing

Uni Marketing is a data powered marketing framework and toolkit developed by Alibaba. With Alibaba’s Uni Identity data infrastructure, it redefines classic and conceptual consumer journey of ‘Awareness’ ‘Interest’ ‘Purchase’ and ‘Loyalty’ into a visible and actionable consumer asset management process. Its product portfolio consists of ‘Brand Databank’, ‘Uni Desk’, ‘Alimama Media Products’, and ‘Brand Hub’.

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