In recent years, during the drive towards digital transformation, Retail Media Networks (RMNs) have become a crucial part of most retailers’ and grocers' marketing playbooks — and their overall revenue profiles. They’ve become indispensable tools for supporting promotions, acquiring new customers, building loyalty with existing shoppers, and driving new revenue streams.
Now it’s time for them to evolve further, and become even more powerful.
Retail media has already been through two phases of evolution, and is now entering phase three. Each phase has created additional benefits for shoppers, retailers and brands — and the technologies used to implement and manage the solutions have evolved at the same time.
Phase 1 | Monetization as a side hustle
It all started with aggregated ad networks. A few larger retailers started using these networks to generate incremental revenue, and it worked so well that small retailers jumped on board. CPGs appreciated the opportunity to amplify their products and promotions — although reporting often fell short — and retailers enjoyed a new revenue stream with larger margins.
Phase 2 | Standalone networks
Once retailers and CPGs understood the power behind these aggregated ad networks, they took the next logical step and created their own standalone versions. This allowed them to make sure their brands — and their suppliers’ products — took center stage. It also created much more integration between marketing and merchandising.
Phase 3 | Say hello to the game-changing Retail Marketing Platform
Retail Marketing Platforms (RMPs) take this proven, powerful tool to the next level by seamlessly unifying media and incentives — and driving it all with shopper data at the core. Now, for the first time, customer segmentation, marketing and attribution can be unified across all relevant touch points to drive greater loyalty, revenue and profitability.
What Makes a Retail Marketing Platform Different?
Better integration between marketing and merchandising
When Retail Media Networks first arose, there was very little integration between marketing and merchandising. That began to change in Phase 2 but hadn’t become fully realized. With a Retail Marketing Platform, marketing and merchandising have become tightly integrated.
Sharpened shopper focus
At the beginning, Retail Media Networks were all about monetization. Retailers were engaging in the aggregate ad networks to increase revenue, and simply hoped that the marketing messages converted shoppers. Today’s Retail Marketing Platforms are powered by customer data, and everything that happens in those platforms is focused on meeting actual shopper needs and responding to known behaviors.
Retail Media Networks are effective for reaching groups of like-minded consumers. But today’s shoppers have come to expect personalized communications and offers based on their preferred brands, products and lifestyle. Thanks to the data-driven nature of Retail Marketing Platforms, retailers can reach out to shoppers in a much more authentic and personalized way.
Simplified cross-channel attribution
As retailers try to interact with and engage customers at more and more touch points along the shopper journey, following the money trail has become more difficult. Which marketing dollars are working hardest? Which aren’t working at all? A Retail Marketing Platform connects and integrates all of these touch points, so attribution reporting is simplified and deduplicated. Retailers can now show CPGs that their promotion funds are being used effectively, which strengthens the relationship.
Keep your brand in the forefront across all channels
Unlike Retail Media Networks, Retail Marketing Platforms truly unify your targeting and messaging — no matter where you’re reaching customers along the shopper journey. That means shoppers enjoy a seamless branded experience.
Bring data full circle
Continuous learning and improvement happen automatically with a Retail Marketing Platform. Customer data drives the offers, messaging and tactics — and attribution data feeds back into the data stream — creating a loop that gets stronger over time.
Take optimization to a new level
If you don’t know how your promotions and media are performing across all channels, then you don’t have the information you need to shift messaging and tactics when necessary. Retail Marketing Platforms give you those important insights, aggregated throughout the shopper journey.
Increase collaboration and teamwork
Siloed marketing and merchandising are a thing of the past. Retail Marketing Platforms promote collaborative, cross-team commercial planning — which streamlines processes and strengthens communication.
Retail Marketing Platforms are here, today. Whether you already have a Retail Media Network in place, or are still trying to get one up and running, the time is now. A Retail Marketing Platform can help retailers differentiate themselves with CPGs. Consumer journeys are becoming more complex, shoppers are fatigued by irrelevant messaging, and CPGs want to know their retail partners are doing everything possible to build baskets and increase loyalty. A Retail Marketing Platform makes it easy to show you’re going the extra mile.