Digital agencies are thrilled with this relatively new format. Welcome to the age of Retail Media Networks. This began in 2012 with Amazon. This retail giant offered third-party sellers and gave them a spot on their website. If you’re a retailer and you’re looking for some exposure, I’m not sure where you could have gone for a better audience. Maybe if you purchased all the Super Bowl Spots? However, not many brands make that investment.
Digital agencies have been under scrutiny for several years and unfortunately, most of that focus has been around ad fraud. We here at A3 Media have used some of these digital agencies in our campaigns and we always vet them thoroughly because of this. That channel has come a long way over the last couple of years and we can now see what really is happening with our ad dollars.
Retailers have been collecting data on their own shoppers for years and now manufacturers can do campaigns at these locations. These manufacturers can purchase spots on the retailer’s website, advertise on in-store TVs/Kiosks, in-store Audio, and whatever else they can think of you can slap your brand name on, and it’s coming to a store near you!
For the retailers, it’s another revenue stream and comes at a great time as in-store shrinkage is killing their margins. This doesn’t fix the retailers’ problem but does lessen it. Doesn’t this all sound great? It also sounds like everyone wins.
The problem with these Retail Networks that the digital agencies also faced is the lack of hard data from the retailer to the manufacturer to show and prove exactly what they bought hit the mark. There was a time when we were all trying to figure out where our impressions went with our digital campaigns. We purchased 1 million impressions in a particular market but after a closer look on their dashboard, we find that those 1 million impressions were served. However, they all were delivered to an outside market, they all hit the wrong demo and were delivered in 1 day. So much for pinpoint delivery and pacing.
These manufacturers are looking for proof that their audio ads ran, their video ran on the kiosk, signage went up, etc. These manufacturers are being told average foot traffic numbers, not actuals at the store level. The ad that the manufacturer makes for the in-store kiosks is not the only ad that is being served. There are typically multiple ads running consecutively. They are just getting a small portion of that time and how do they know that a competitor is not serving an ad right after you?
The are many similarities between the digital platforms and RMN. These manufacturers are now starting to ask more questions and are looking for facts for their advertising dollars. This is no difference to the client and advertising agency relationship. We all are looking for proof and verification of purchase, delivery, and results. Nothing new here. Stay tuned!