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How Retail Media Networks Can Capture Advertising Dollars

By 12.13.23
Reading time: 4 minutes

Retail media is rapidly growing and GroupM, the world’s biggest media buyer, forecasts that advertising revenue from retail media channels will reach $160 billion by 2027. Retailers such as Walmart, Target, and Amazon are capitalizing on advertiser demand for retail media with their retail media networks.

Retail media offers the opportunity for retailers to diversify revenue streams, and profit margins for retailers from retail media can be as much as 90%. With retail media, advertisers can reach millions of retailers’ customers both in-store and online and influence them when they are close to making buying decisions. 

There’s just one major issue. Retailers are not traditional media companies. Many do not have the structures and systems in place to optimize their retail media ad sales business. Some are still in the early stages of their maturity or are challenged to figure out how to scale to increase advertising revenue without significantly impacting costs. Here we tackle this issue and share how retailers can maximize their retail media ad sales business. 

What are retail media and retail media networks?

Retail media involves marketing to consumers when they are at or near their point of purchase, whether that be in-store or online.

In the pre-Internet days, retail media existed solely at brick-and-mortar locations. Newspaper circulars featured the latest sales. Store coupons were cut out with scissors. A five-foot-tall Santa holding a bottle of Coca-Cola stood next to the refrigerator case. 

With advances in technology, digital advertising screens began to pop up on the shelves and at checkout. Store background music was interrupted by commercials targeted by the time of day or location.

Retailers started to monetize their online advertising space to target consumers outside the store. Digital ads appeared as “sponsored listings.” A grocery store site features a recipe for a chocolate cake with a brand of flour called out in the ingredients.

These days, the term retail media is most closely associated with forms of digital media. Brands are buying retailers’ digital advertising space, and this pivot to digital has led to the arrival of retail media networks, like Walmart Connect or Target Roundel.

A retail media network is an advertising platform. Retailers deliver advertising opportunities to brands across their website, app, social media, etc. Think of it as bringing in-store advertising to a digital format.

A retailer can offer brands exclusive access to their customers through their network. Customer data is gathered from across the buyer’s journey, such as search and purchasing activity. This shopper data is leveraged to identify customer demographics, buying patterns, or other engagement metrics that would be of value to an advertiser.

How can retailers best evolve their retail media networks?

According to research from McKinsey, 73% of advertisers anticipate spending more on retail media networks in the next 12 months, with retail media networks capturing an estimated 10% to 15% of their total media spend. The top increases in advertising spend are from brands in beauty (90%), specialty and apparel and footwear (83%), and general retail (78%). 

But competition among retail media networks is fierce. On average, advertisers are splitting their business among four retail media networks, and 27% have shifted spend from one retail media network to another in the past year. Retail media networks must stand out from the competition and focus on these factors to drive advertising spend:

  • Providing superior performance
  • Giving access to otherwise inaccessible audiences
  • Offering transparency, such as viewability and auditability

Retailers can cater to advertisers’ reasons for selecting retail media networks by using Salesforce Advertising Sales Management for Media Cloud. The system unifies multi-channel advertising offerings so that a brand’s journey might start with a digital promotion on the retailer’s website, transition to an in-store experience, and finish with an email newsletter. Media Cloud makes it seamless to conduct revenue scheduling, forecasting, campaign management, and other activities across the entire network.

Brands can segment specific customer audiences and select the campaign components relevant to them. With this heightened level of personalization, brands benefit from having access to a retailer’s first-party customer data to target consumers around their specific needs, which helps build engaging relationships with them. 

Unlike other media, retail media offers advertisers the advantage of linking their advertising spending more closely with actual sales or other actions taken by consumers. Using Salesforce for retail media is especially beneficial because its analytics and dashboards provide visibility into timely insights such as viewability, all in a single view, to optimize campaign performance.

How can Silverline help retail media networks drive more value from Salesforce?

One of the main challenges we see our retail media clients struggle with is balancing ad sales growth with headcount and overhead costs. Silverline’s Media Self-Service solution, powered by Salesforce Media Cloud, helps retailers provide more value to their advertisers without having to increase sales staff or working hours. The self-service portal allows retailers to sell 24/7 with ongoing campaign management and eliminates the back and forth during the sales cycle.

Silverline also helps retail media networks leverage their programmatic ad sales to increase revenue without driving up costs or hiring a bunch of sellers. Retail media networks can use Marketing Cloud Intelligence to visualize programmatic campaign performance data and embed these dashboards back into Salesforce as well as drive notifications and alerts based on campaign performance that centralize the management of advertiser campaigns.

Silverline’s team of experts has real-world expertise across advertising, media, and agencies and can guide you through every phase of your Salesforce journey from strategy to implementation. Find out how we can help you grow your retail media network.

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