AdExchanger Talks: Retail Media Is Back And Ready For Business, With Kroger SVP Cara Pratt

Retail media, which has been even more siloed from data-driven advertising than other old-school channels like radio or out-of-home, is surging into the world of programmatic and online advertising.

Case in point: The IAB’s Annual Leadership Meeting, which is an annual benchmark of data-driven advertising’s growth trajectory. As social media marketing grew, direct-to-consumer brands became a spotlight addition. In recent years, broadcasters and major CTV players like Amazon and YouTube have been keynote speakers.

The keynote speaker at IAB ALM in February this year was Cara Pratt, SVP of Kroger Precision Marketing, the grocery chain operator’s data-driven media business.

“We joined the IAB leadership conference to talk specifically about the need for increased accountability in the media ecosystem, and retail media’s role in a transitioning to a more performant-based system,” Pratt says in this week’s episode. “Gone are the days when assumptions about efficiency or viewability standards alone are what set the standard for a good media dollar invested.”

For grocers and other retailers, the advertising business is also intimately connected to the core shopper experience. Unlike, say, website pop-up ads, retail media is a chance to harness actual consumer choices, not interrupt or get in the way of them.

“Gone are the days when the experience was purely transaction between retailer, customer and brand,” she says. With first-party data and known customer preferences in the mix, the future of grocery shopping could feel “more like a choose-your-own adventure.”

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