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The rise of retail media networks and the implications for agencies

The rise of retail media networks and the implications for agencies
Written by publishing team

How do agencies fit in?

Of course, with so many marketers offering their own advertising solutions, it can be difficult for a brand to navigate the crowded landscape. There is no all-in-one provider that would allow a seller to advertise with different retailers simultaneously because no retailer wants to partner with a competitor. Currently, media agencies help brands make deals in every retail media network. However, experts said there may be a future where agencies are no longer needed as retailers continue to take on more purchasing and hiring duties.

“Right now, most agencies are liking this because a large number of brands are still using their media agencies to put deals into the media network,” Colborne said. But he noted that many retailers have described their media networks as an agency-like intermediary between advertisers and consumers. “Putting messages to the advertiser at the right place and at the right time for the right consumer feels to me like an agency. [Brands] They may start to see their retail partners as more strategic partners than their agencies.”

As brands manage the complexities of advertising in different retail media networks, they build better internal processes. In the past year, several CPG brands have created the Center of Excellence, an in-house group that works with both outside agencies and retailers to place ads and keep track of the portfolio. Merkle found that 96% of CPG groups have a center of excellence to support RMNs, up from 86% last year.

“How Roundel [Target’s media business] It’s going to market differently than Walgreens or Walmart and that’s complicated for the brand to be able to navigate, which is why they invest and think about the COE. Should My Shopper Marketing Agency Own This Or Should I Own My Brand Agency? “How do I make sure my money is invested appropriately across this whole gamut of landscapes,” Cameron said.

growth mode

Retailers who have already established successful retail media networks are expanding them. During advertising week, Kroger announced the launch of its own software marketplace, a self-service platform where brands can track grocery customers on the web. The grocer has been running his own media network, called Kroger Precision Marketing, since 2017.

“This is a permanent RMN that is actively developing its offering to meet the needs of its suppliers,” Cameron said. “Self-service options are one of the biggest trends that brands are offering.”

Best Buy, which has also had its own media business for several years, recently launched a teaser site for “Best Buy Ads Coming Early 2022.” Its spokesperson confirmed that this represented an “advertising development” for the electronics seller, but declined to provide more information.

After establishing its media network nearly two years ago, TripAdvisor saw that COVID-19 had initially stopped working. However, the company is still able to cut deals with advertisers outside of travel in categories like cars and spirits, for example, according to Kristen Maguire, general manager and vice president of global media business at TripAdvisor, speaking on a recent episode of Ad Age remotely. A car brand might buy an ad on TripAdvisor in hopes of attracting car purchases from consumers eager to take a road trip. Both Ford and Tesla recently carried out campaigns with the marketer, according to a spokesperson. With the majority of travelers, or 60%, unsure of where they want to go, TripAdvisor was able to gauge how advertising affects decisions.

“The destination is a really big example of where [advertisers] The impact of displaying ads on our site can then be measured and then rationalized for every investment made with us,” McGuire said, noting the richness of first-party data on TripAdvisor. “We are really excited about the possibilities as we approach 2022 because of the success we have seen despite being a travel company during global pandemic.”

Maisie is also in a growth mode. The department store chain began its media activity last year and expanded in the spring to include Bloomingdale’s sister brand. To date, Macy’s has run more than 800 campaigns for 140 advertisers with Macy’s and more than 90 campaigns for 80 advertisers with Bloomingdale’s. While Macy’s has some external partners, the retailer has built a strong internal sales team to manage and expand the media business, according to Melanie Zimmerman, vice president of Macy’s Media Network.

“It has been clear to us from the start that we want to make this an essential part of our business and with that we want to make sure that the core functions are within the company,” she said. “We will continue to focus on what we do well which is telling stories for our brands across Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s and connecting them to the most engaging audiences.”

Other retailers are just beginning to promote their new media offerings. Many are already thinking about the privacy implications of shopper data and how they can still provide an effective solution for advertisers. Grocer Albertsons this year appointed Kristi Argillan, who built Roundel at Target, as senior vice president of retail media to grow its advertising solution. Argillan recently talked about balancing personalization with privacy.

“How do you continue to respect what consumers want from a privacy perspective as well as from a personalization perspective and how to operate within the confines of the law while still giving customers the services they demand from us,” she said in one Advertising Week session. . “Predicting where privacy laws will go in the long-term is a lot of work that we do now, so we will be prepared to serve both the law and what customers ask of us.”

Lowe’s says that since announcing its debut on One Roof Media Network earlier this month, the retailer has already received “numerous” requests from potential advertisers after launching with 100 brands. Lowe works with Publicis CitrusAd and Criteo; She also worked with consulting firm Franklin West on strategy. Thalberg noted that Lowe’s has seen some “very encouraging signals about the viability” of the new show. The chain plans to add on-site inventory and select off-site partners as it grows in 2022.

“Retail media networks are exploding — they are here to stay,” said Merkle’s Cameron. “For all of them to stay compelling and get the right amount of dollars, that stays true to their individual insights and mission statements.”

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