July 25, 2024

KT Business

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3 challenges for marketers as retail media networks evolve

2 min read

While retail media networks (RMNs) continue to evolve, they are fragmented and confusing for brands. Two experts in data and marketing  — Keen CEO Greg Dolan and Len Ostroff, SVP of sales and partnerships at Crisp — spoke about RMNs at The MarTech Conference (free registration to view the entire program).

Here are the three biggest challenges of RMNs and insights into how marketers can overcome them.

Dig deeper: Why we care about retail media networks

Your customer’s journey is more complicated than ever. If you’re a brand that depends heavily on retailers — for instance, a consumer packaged good — many of the important steps the customer makes are on a retailer’s website or in a store. Much of the data that proves the effectiveness of marketing campaigns is owned by these retailers.

Len spoke about his experience in digital advertising, where he found that retailers shared a lot of data with their suppliers. The tricky part for marketers is that there’s no standard for how the data is shared and no standard way to compare measurements across retailers. (Last year, the IAB kicked off a process for the industry to standardize by releasing measurement guidelines.)

Although the disparity in measurement standards presents a challenge to marketers, brands must explore the advertising opportunities available through each retail network — because within those networks are the touchpoints close to your customers’ sales.

Here, Len explains why data from different retailers is important and how marketers use it.

Just because your valued customers make purchases through similar processes at different retailers doesn’t mean the retailers themselves have similar RMNs. Each retailer has taken a unique approach in building its RMN.

The consequences of this mean that a media strategy that works well at one retailer might not necessarily follow for another. Each RMN has its own particular “spin.” Marketers must compare and match what the RMN offers with the brand’s campaign goals.

In the video below, Len and Greg discuss how RMNs have evolved. Hearing about their experience makes it easier to see why each RMN is so different.

Loyalty is the gold standard for data

Not all customer data is equal. When engaging existing customers, loyalty data is perhaps the most valuable in driving repeat purchases and finding out what campaign strategies work best.

Many retailers have loyalty programs and memberships. Sam’s Club, for instance, requires membership for retail customers and also has an RMN. Brands can establish loyalty programs of their own. These programs are crucial for amassing first-party data, which is more important than ever with the deprecation of third-party cookies and new privacy regulations.



Len explains here why he thinks loyalty data is so important. If you’re a retailer, it’s driving your RMN. If you’re a brand, it’s a game changer for which RMNs you include in your digital strategy.

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