From peanut butter to cosmetics advertising, consumer product marketers are leveraging retail media networks (RMNs) more than ever. Driven by efficiency improvements and greater revenue impact, U.S. marketers invested $36 billion in digital marketing through RMNs last year alone. eMarketer expects that amount to surge by 31.4% in 2022.
It’s a win-win: Retailers add a rapidly growing and highly profitable revenue stream. Brands leverage retailer’s first party purchase data without imminent concerns of signal loss. Don’t underestimate the importance of signal loss as a tailwind helping RMNs grow. CPG marketers cited access to retailer first party data as the number one motivation to spend with RMNs (62% per Merkle/eMarketer),
It’s no wonder that so many retailers have launched RMNs. In fact, each of the top 10 U.S. retailers has one.
- Home Depot
By turning their sales data into purchase-based audiences, these big retailers enable massive efficiency improvements in digital marketing. But these performance gains are limited to product marketers – primarily those that are trying to sell products through that store. Retail marketers can’t exactly buy ads on a competitive RMN in an attempt to divert store traffic. And when it is a theoretical option (e.g. on Amazon) most simply don’t want to give their money to the competition or help them in any way. Can you imagine Barnes & Noble advertising on Amazon? Or Walgreens on CVS? Neither can they!
Retailer marketer shopping list
When looking to drive RMN-like performance, retailers need to look beyond demographics, browsing history and other interest proxies. Retail marketers need options that help them:
- Find potential new customers based on their past purchases
- Communicate with previous shoppers – even those who haven’t yet signed up for their loyalty program
- Reach seasonal shoppers during specific time periods and holidays
- Message lapsed buyers with special promotions
There are two options that fit the bill: Purchase-based audiences and location-based audiences. Purchase-based audiences are created from actual purchases made on credit, debit and/or loyalty cards. Location-based audiences are based on mobile phone geolocation tracking. Both can be activated across any media platform and don’t require cookies (Here’s more detail on cookie-free targeting from our partner, Comscore).
While the best option for your business may vary by vertical, purchase-based audiences benefit from a continuing shift from cash to card buying. That means the underlying data set keeps getting larger which improves both reach and accuracy. Location data availability is declining. Additionally, purchase-based audiences mirror RMN activations while location data is a proxy.
Whether you are a brand owner, an agency or a demand side platform, the key question to ask yourself is this: “How do we know the audiences we buy are effective and efficient?”
If you want to drill in, here are some additional questions to consider:
- What type of data is used to create the audience segment?
- How big is the underlying data set?
- How accurate are the audiences we use?
The answers may surprise you and lead to higher ROAS for you and your business.
Commerce Signals helps marketers grow sales impact and cut waste through purchase-based audiences, campaign measurement and customer insights. Our products are powered by the largest consumer payments data set available which includes Visa and Mastercard, credit and debit card spending.