"Data-Driven Thinking" is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.
Today’s column is written by Andrea Leigh, VP of strategy and insights at Ideoclick.
rging digital ad opportunities they tried and adopted in that time. It’s not a coincidence that we are seeing a rise of retail media networks, such as Walmart, Target, CVS, Instacart and, of course, Amazon, since brands see the value in reaching online shoppers and grocery customers.
It’s worth noting that these retail ad platforms were born out of necessity. The shift from in-store shopping to ecommerce cut into retail profit margins. Customers expect free shipping, so retailers are now responsible for costs to the end consumer, and often coming back. To help relieve their profit margins, retailers are monetizing web site and app traffic with the launch of ad platforms.
Consumer brands must place their bets right now. And there’s no sure thing. Will online grocery shopping deflate when states and stores reopen? Are 2020 budget shifts the new normal?
I predict that new digital ad platforms, and retail media in particular, are still gaining steam, and that traditional advertising channels will not re-earn budgets from marketers who have tried data-driven alternatives.
Data is an Obsession
Every advertiser knows the saying, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; I don’t know which half.” Traditional advertising platforms tend to provide ‘soft’ metrics that leave brands wondering, versus the concrete data they derive from digital platforms.
However, retail ad platforms provide richer data, such as impressions, clicks, online conversions and attributed in-store sales, to demonstrate that a campaign actually performed. To marketers, these direct KPIs are an addictive drug, creating a virtuous cycle of always-on campaigns.
And while offline advertising typically locks brandsa into fixed rates, digital platforms have much more flexibility. Advertisers can set and adjust custom budgets for items and keywords, and everything can be adjusted at a moment’s notice. This was an advantage that helped online ad platforms keep budgets flowing last year, when budgets were often being cut.
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