Home Commerce Scott’s Miracle-Gro Is Seeing Green With Retail Media

Scott’s Miracle-Gro Is Seeing Green With Retail Media

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It’s lawn season – and you know what that means.

Scott’s Miracle-Gro commercials, of course.

Except this time, spots for Scott’s will be brought to you by The Home Depot’s retail media network, which recently rebranded as Orange Apron Media. (Previously, it was Retail Media+.)

Lawncare brand Scott’s was a pilot partner for Home Depot’s nascent retail media business when it first began in 2022, and is now among the first to test the retailer’s new channel expansion into CTV and streaming.

Scott’s has also been an early of retail media networks in general, including some retailers that don’t even carry its products. Which begs the question: Why?

The data deal

Some RMNs have an overlapping set of customers or share seasonal consumer patterns, Morgan Millard, director of omnichannel spending and planning for Scott’s, told AdExchanger.

Earmarking retail media ad budgets is also often contractually required for brands carried in large chains.

But Scott’s is a proactive retail media buyer, Millard said, in part because that strategy offers more access to first-party data and retailer-related insights.

Scott’s isn’t itself a major collector of first-party data.

“Since most of our sales are done with our retailers,” Millard said, “we don’t see our first-party data strategy as crucial to our overall targeting plan. Hence, why we lean into retail media.”

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Most often, a retail media network is built for the bottom of the shopper funnel, said Taryn Dominie, Home Depot’s director of retail media partnerships. This is no surprise, considering retailers own the point of purchase.

But retailers are trying to expand up the funnel, partly because that’s where ad revenue expands into categories like CTV and video. But also, she added, because the retailer knows those channels drive foot traffic at stores.

Millard says Scott’s uses a marketing mix modeling program to measure retail media campaign performance. This approach is becoming more important as retail networks add CTV supply and other upper-funnel or branding ads.

Unlike search and sponsored product listings on a retailer’s site, a streaming TV commercial on Roku doesn’t create a direct shopper click, although it may still be attributable.

“We look at upper-funnel brand health metrics like awareness and household penetration,” said Millard, who noted that Scott’s also attributes sales lift by testing and comparing markets where it does and doesn’t run CTV ads.

Next season’s retail

One important reason why large brands like Scott’s should invest in retail media networks right now is that the retailers themselves are still forming their advertising businesses.

Amazon was first and is still biggest, Millard said, but it’s also inflexible.

The Home Depot, by contrast, has “taken feedback and made adjustments,” she said, which is very welcome but also atypical. Most retailers don’t make changes based on feedback, she added.

Meanwhile, there is still a wide spectrum of retail media data policies, inventory and ad format types – even differences between how retailers credit an increase in ad budget compared to a product price decrease.

But measurement is where standardization will happen first, according to Dominie.

Brands are eager for retailers to evolve their media platforms to meet their needs, including offering more transparency than advertisers typically get from walled garden platforms.

“I’m excited for that day to come,” Millard said. “[Retailers] should know that is the progression retail media will be taking.”

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