Later Alimama was merged with the Taobao Affiliate network to create TANX (Taobao Ad Network and Exchange). Today TANX automates the transaction of billions of media impressions daily. Alibaba puts it this way:
"TANX enables more transparent pricing of advertising inventory, which improves online marketers’ return on investment. Participants on TANX include publishers, merchants, demand side platforms, and third-party data and technology companies."
Alibaba also has a data-management platform (DMP) that connects to its exchange. Using it, TANX participants can identify audiences they want using first- and third-party data.
For example, Alibaba said Mercedes Benz used its DMP to advertise its Smart compact car brand on Taobao Marketplace in December.
"By matching data collected from visitors to their physical showrooms to our DMP, we were able to identify the showroom visitors who also visited our China retail marketplaces and our partner websites and to add additional attributes to the data set using our proprietary algorithm. We then ran an online marketing program on behalf of Mercedes Benz to deliver targeted advertisements to a much larger set of potential customers with similar attributes without disclosing personally identifiable information. Mercedes Benz reported to us a noticeable increase in foot traffic following launch of the campaign."
Alibaba has begun to monetize its valuable consumer shopping intent and transaction data through ads, with help from its cloud data processing architecture. Once again, there are strong echoes of Amazon here. Alibaba says its server cluster is capable of crunching "terabytes of data points for the modeling of tens of billions online advertising impressions."