Brands need to align internal goals and present a united front when working with a retail media network on strategies. In turn, retailers should give more access to performance data and enable brands to optimize via self-service options. To expand audience reach beyond bottom-of-funnel retail channels, collaborations between brands, retailers, and media companies will play an even bigger role going forward.
To achieve brandwide results, brands need to include all the relevant internal stakeholders in the planning and strategy process, said Matt Drzewicki, vice president of partner solutions at Roundel, Target’s retail media network, during the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB’s) Connected Commerce Summit in September.
“The best meetings I’ve had at Target are where merchants have a seat at the table, sales has a seat at the table, agencies where applicable, plus shopper, digital, media,” he said. “We can have a really effective conversation about actual business outcomes that the brands are trying to drive and how our media can contribute to those outcomes.”
But it may not make sense to bring every team member to every meeting. Instead, brands should consider creating an operating model that funnels retailer contact through a specific person or team, as suggested in the IAB’s Retail Media 2023: Operational Strategies for Growth report. Here are a few examples:
“I think we need to double down on transparency,” said Chris Bruderle, vice president of industry insights and content strategy at the IAB. “Different retailers are going to think about [measurement] in different ways. As long as we’re transparent in how we’re thinking about our attribution model, being transparent in how we build our models, I think it’s a great start. Progress over perfection.”
With its recently released guidelines, the IAB aims to help the industry achieve comprehensive standardization, enabling the retail media channel to continue to grow. But retailers who want to achieve true transparency should consider operating less like walled gardens and share more data and insights with brands.
“Retailers are only doing themselves a disservice where they’re not providing [brands with] more data,” said Mike Merna, chief growth officer of The Mars Agency. “Brands want to measure across all the different retailers—they want unduplicated reach, true incrementality, and the raw data that helps them do that.”
One way to give brands more access and control over their campaign data and performance is through a self-service platform, like the one The Kroger Co. introduced in June, which enables marketers to:
Retailers may feel like they’re giving something away for free, but ultimately, when brands are able to have more access to data, they’re more likely to allocate more of their budgets toward retail media, said Merna.
The next wave of retail media will be marked by collaborations between advertisers, retailers, and media companies, according to Danielle Brown, senior vice president of data enablement and content strategy at Disney Advertising Sales.
Brown expects more of these partnerships to emerge as advertisers seek to move their retail media efforts up the funnel.
“The next thing is audience extension,” she said. “When you reach [your audience] on a retail media platform, it’s at the very bottom of the funnel—you’re getting them when they’re already ready for purchase. The new question is how do you build relationships with new partners [on] mid- and upper-funnel [tactics] and get them back to the site to actually make a conversion.”