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Tencent Marketing Solution and GroupM launch global Joint Business Partnership at Cannes Lions

PRNewswire June 23, 2023

SHENZHEN, China, June 22, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — As the consumer landscape continues to rally and e-commerce gains even more traction, industry-leading brands are making strategic moves, bolstering their investment in digital advertising. This trend marks a potent resurgence for the marketing and advertising sectors.

At the prestigious 70th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity – often hailed as the “Oscars of the advertising world” – Tencent Marketing Solution (TMS) has once again seized the global spotlight. Amidst the vibrant energy of the festival, TMS unveiled China’s Digital Market: A Growth Roadmap,” and amplified its strategic collaboration with GroupM on a global scale.


On June 22nd, Ethen Zhang, Deputy General Manager of Channel Sales Department at TMS, and Andrew Meaden, GroupM’s Global Head of Investment, joined forces, interlocking puzzle pieces that symbolized the synergy and unity of their companies. With this symbolic gesture, they set in motion their cooperative blueprint, marking an exciting new chapter in the TMS and GroupM global strategic partnership program.

“As we stand on the threshold of a fresh market cycle, TMS has fortified its resources and capabilities across various sectors, enabling advertisers to nurture a virtuous cycle of omni-channel operations within Tencent’s dynamic ecosystem,” noted Ethen Zhang. “We are committed to forging ahead with GroupM, providing marketing services that pack more punch and flexibility, thereby empowering our business partners to navigate the twists and turns of ever-evolving market trends.”

Andrew Meaden added, “China has always been a pioneer in digital marketing, revolutionizing traditional media investment tactics and introducing new ideas to global markets. Our partnership is designed to help GroupM’s global client base leverage the power of Tencent’s ecosystem to drive growth for their businesses. We are excited about the potential for our partnership together to usher in a new era of media where advertising resonates more effectively with people.”

Building a Strong Partnership to Navigate Complexities

The roots of GroupM’s Joint Business Partnership (JBP) with Tencent Marketing Solution (TMS) trace back to 2021, marking GroupM as the inaugural agency group to strategically align with TMS following its significant strategic overhaul in 2018. Since this milestone, the collaboration has evolved, broadening and deepening its scope. In 2021, the entities launched the Tengyi Plan, leveraging their unique strengths in product development, technology, and talent to deliver precision-targeted services such as federated learning and audience targeting. The plan has since made its mark in industries ranging from apparel and luxury goods to food and beverages, and automotive.

This alliance has been the driving force behind an array of impactful and visionary marketing campaigns. A partnership with Lincoln for the Backstreet Boys’ virtual concert, hosted at a time when physical gatherings were curtailed, stirred up considerable buzz and garnered praise for the brand. A collaboration with Tencent Music TMELAND birthed the Metaverse Fan Festival for Coca-Cola, providing customers with a top-tier online experience, showcasing products, and nurturing a fanbase within the Weixin mini-program ecosystem. These campaigns have set a gold standard for the industry, offering invaluable insights for other businesses.

Over the past years, GroupM has held a commanding 40% share of its total investment in Tencent’s advertising products, thereby securing outstanding ROI for advertisers. Concurrently, underpinned by their profound industry insights, the two have developed a host of groundbreaking marketing strategies for clients, including the creation of the China Luxury Industry Biddable Advertising Playbook.

Collaboration and Progress, Synergy and Co-existence

Drawing upon years of rigorous and innovative collaboration, TMS and GroupM consider 2023 as the ideal time to escalate their Joint Business Partnership (JBP) to the status of a Global Strategic Partnership. During a visit to China, Andrew Meaden, in conjunction with Ethen Zhang, delineated the strategic partnership’s key areas of focus:

  • Fusing Quality Content with Weixin/WeChat Ecosystem for Digital Branding: Tencent (0700.HK) boasts a premier content system, spanning Tencent Video, Tencent Music, Tencent Games, Tencent Sports, Tencent Animation, and Tencent News, in addition to the comprehensive Weixin/WeChat ecosystem, replete with mini-programs, Enterprise Accounts, Channels, Official Accounts, and Search. Brands can harness Weixin/WeChat’s extensive infrastructure to develop their own storefronts and engage with users. Leveraging its robust experience in integrated marketing, GroupM will provide advertisers with wide-ranging marketing services across Tencent’s ecosystem to its global clientele.
  • Pioneering Marketing Science to Facilitate Data-Driven Decisions: By merging TMS’s marketing science products with GroupM’s unique strengths in data engineering and planning, the partnership will enhance ROI for advertisers within Tencent’s ecosystem. It is reported that in recent cooperation with global food and beverage titan Mars, TMS, GroupM, and advertisers collaboratively redefined the industry’s conventional cross-screen, cross-media optimization delivery model.
  • Promoting Co-creation to Amplify Content Marketing Influence: GroupM will collaborate with Tencent’s content platforms, such as Tencent Video, to forge novel collaborative models and introduce premium content. This partnership will include co-creating content and joint marketing, thereby presenting innovative content marketing solutions for advertisers.

“Carving out assured growth in fresh market cycles presents a global challenge to marketers,” stated Patrick Xu, GroupM North Asia CEO and President, Greater China, WPP. “Radical breakthroughs in technologies like AIGC and large language models prompt us to reassess the core principles of marketing and branding. The collaboration between GroupM and TMS has consistently been stable and creative, resulting in mutually beneficial outcomes. In response to novel challenges, both companies will bolster their cooperation, unlocking new marketing value.”

“GroupM and TMS have been continually expanding their collaboration because we share a unified vision,” explained Rycan Di, Chief Investment Officer of GroupM China. “We are steadfast in generating new growth for our clients and enhancing consumer experiences. We eagerly anticipate Tengyi Plan 2.0 ushering in more landmark achievements.”

“We are eager for GroupM and TMS to collaborate and deliver sustainable marketing advancements and notable returns for businesses,” asserted Xiaoke Li, Senior Director of Channel Sales Department, TMS.

“Having witnessed the three-year evolution of the Teng Yi Project and its growth into an all-encompassing agency collaboration, covering strategic consensus, industrial cooperation, capability building, and operational support, I feel privileged to have been a part of this journey,” remarked Maxxie Qi, WPP Cooperation Lead in Channel Sales Department, TMS.

2023 is ripe with opportunities. TMS will continue its collaborative endeavors with GroupM to aid clients in capturing more business opportunities and carving out new growth trajectories for brands on a global scale.



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SOURCE Tencent

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