- IPG Mediabrands has launched Unified Retail Media Solution, a new unit to help its clients manage investments across the growing channel of retail media networks, the agency said in an announcement.
- Clients’ retail media buys will be evaluated across audience, measurement, optimization and intelligence to determine which networks are performing best. Automated cross-retailer activation will optimize campaigns by moving media among various networks.
- The launch comes as marketers are increasing their calls for standards as more retailers build digital media networks for selling ads.
IPG Mediabrands’ Unified Retail Media Solution, like other recent pushes for standardization in the quickly growing retail media space, is an attempt to build a strong foundation that addresses some of the concerns that are already starting to emerge before it’s too late.
Retail media has seen tremendous growth over the past few years as retailers like Amazon, Walmart and others have ramped up their ability to sell digital ads to brands. The market has been booming even as broader ad spending has begun to slow, and the sense is that now is the time to avoid the mistakes of the past, when new channels were flooded with money, but quickly became opaque and confusing, leading to frustration as marketers tried to reconcile disparate data.
IPG Mediabrands says its Unified Retail Media Solution can identify which retailers are providing the best results and automatically adjust spending based on that information to optimize retail media campaigns. The platform has already been beta tested by clients in the CPG, gaming and OTC sectors. It has hundreds of audiences already built out, with a road map to have 10,000 by year’s end.
“Brands activating in retail media face the challenge of navigating through multiple closed garden networks, each with their own data approach, metrics and ROI methods,” said IPG Mediabrands’ Global CEO Eileen Kiernan, in a release about the new unit. “This complexity is amplified for brands that also sell their products through these retailers. Therefore, it is crucial for brands seeking to maximize their investment to leverage data and insight across networks with an ability to make intelligent decisions in real-time about what’s working and not.”
News of the new unit, which will be led by Glen Conybeare, follows on the heels of Albertson’s Media Collective, the retail media unit of Albertsons grocery chain, proposing a framework that it said would bring greater unity and transparency to the budding retail landscape.
Retail media has seen a significant amount of client investment over the past few years. GroupM estimated the channel accounted for $88 billion in revenue last year and will reach $101 billion in 2023, representing 18% of all global digital advertising spending.
Still, many marketers are questioning the value of those investments. A January report from the Association of National Advertisers found many marketers were “reluctant buyers” of retail media, with many marketers feeling heavily influenced by retailers to buy on their networks. More than half of marketers felt standardization across platforms was the channel’s biggest problem and 44% said the walled garden approach was its second biggest challenge.