Home Ecommerce MyWebGrocer Links Digital Video Ads To In-Store Sales For CPGs

MyWebGrocer Links Digital Video Ads To In-Store Sales For CPGs


PGROCERYConsumer packaged goods companies, historically big TV spenders, are moving money to digital video.

MyWebGrocer, an ecommerce platform and ad network for grocers and CPGs, is witnessing this shift.

The company, which manages $40 million in digital media spend and which helps CPG advertisers target ads based on its retail partners’ first-party data, has built a custom integration between its platform and video demand-side platform TubeMogul.

Although MyWebGrocer laid the pipes with TubeMogul initially for grocers Safeway and Albertsons, the integration will enable MyWebGrocer to retarget consumers with pre-roll video against grocers’ first-party data on behalf of CPG advertisers.

“We’re now matching sales data with TubeMogul’s impression-level data, so that when we run a video campaign for Safeway and Albertsons, we can prove out sales lift based on our first-party data, not channel-based data,” said Greg Stevens, EVP of CPG for MyWebGrocer.

MyWebGrocer, while predominantly a big Google shop (it uses DoubleClick for Publishers and DoubleClick Campaign Manager for ad serving and trafficking), said TubeMogul helped it create “a nice downhill slope that allows demand to easily flow to the video channel.”

In 2014, eMarketer predicted the consumer products industry would increase digital spending from $4.2 billion last year to $7 billion by 2018. That figure doesn’t even factor in retail spend, which hit an estimated $11 billion in digital spend last year.

“We evolved programmatic from search, display and social to video,” Stevens said. “It’s an operationally efficient way for us to buy at scale across our audiences, and maintain that control over frequency… which is hugely important and why you see a lot of CPGs building out their own programmatic practices.”

Chief among them are brands like Kimberly-Clark, Kellogg’s, P&G and Mondelez International, which retrofitted its own video-buying practice with TubeMogul and its media agency, Starcom MediaVest.

Although the storm of private trading desks seemed like a boon for programmatic technology providers, a cultural change was required. 

“Back when [digital video] was just a branding medium with no real ability to tie back a media investment to ROI, it was a harder sell,” said Keith Eadie, CMO of TubeMogul. “As you began to integrate data into the targeting process, measurement and all the way back to offline sales, it became a much more compelling a part of the media mix.”


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Disrupting Grocery Media With Digital Precision

Because MyWebGrocer processes sales data on behalf of its grocer and retail clients, it is able to tell CPG advertisers how much product moved in-store or online.

Operating similarly to Walmart’s private exchange, in that regard, and Catalina in terms of offline capabilities, Stevens said the 16-year-old company has been profitable since day one, since it aspired to serve as a one-stop shop for both CPG brands and grocers with its digital experience platform.

The company works with more than 500 CPG brands and 130 retailers worldwide, which represents about 20,000 individual stores. In addition to its agency services for Safeway and Albertsons, it provides an ecommerce platform that manages clients’ on-site ads, email, offsite media buys and digital circular distribution.

“The grocery/retail environment is one of the last commercial sectors to be disrupted by the Internet,” he said. “One of the biggest grocery stores in the US, Kroger, [is just beginning to test] ecommerce. It’s important to be omnichannel because people are consuming content and media in different ways, and video is obviously a very effective format” to drive sales.

Although MyWebGrocer doesn’t release impression volumes, it says it reaches 15 million unique users who are actively planning or shopping, and that its data is rich – it captures intent signals when customers upload coupons to cards, create shopping lists with mobile apps or redeem email rewards.

UnknownPartnering with TubeMogul will give MyWebGrocer a much more “full-funnel” stack, as Stevens described it. Historically, the company served CPGs “completely at the end of the funnel” through channels like search/SEO and display. By moving up the funnel into video branding territory, it gives the company a clearer lens into the influence of media on sales.

It’s not the first time it’s been done. Facebook works with Datalogix and Nielsen to determine similar insights by linking digital impressions with offline data, but MyWebGrocer’s access to in-store, loyalty and sales data from a multitude of grocers like ShopRite and Stop & Shop’s Peapod, differentiates it.

“Our attribution is extremely precise,” Stevens said. “We have 50 million loyalty cards in our system where we can match the user anonymously to cookies where [a client] ran media and see the actual sales lift on an impression level resulting from that campaign. We can also say, ‘Here’s what was in the shopping basket alongside your product,’ and get into competitive benchmarking as well.”

Despite that data precision, Stevens said it’s necessary to continuously refine your attribution model, since it’s easy to run into geographic skews. Even if you hypothetically collected data from three grocery chains, there could be discrepancies in national projections if those stores don’t have West Coast store operations, for instance.

“A lot of our campaigns are shopper marketing campaigns that can be multiple or single-retailer targeted, but they’re all targeted to retailers we have in our portfolio,” Stevens said. “We could go purchase third-party data, but as it pertains to our retailers, we don’t think you can match true, first-party data in an attribution model.”

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