In our Skai 5 series, we discuss digital advertising tips, tricks & trends to keep you one step ahead of the consumers, the market trends and your competition. For this portion of the series, we spoke with Instacart’s Bradley Haaland to get answers about the unique way its ads play a role for retail media marketers.
As the retail media advertising industry evolves, one of the key challenges for practitioners is how to allocate budget and prioritize resources for the numerous retailer publishers available.
After all, in other digital ad channels such as paid search and paid social, there are just a handful of key players. In contrast, Skai’s Retail Media solution integrates with 30+ partners! And this train keeps rolling. According to a report from Merkel, it seems like every one to two months, a new retail media network is born. This creates a lot of complexity for marketers for not only budget allocation but also how to strategically manage and optimize those budgets across this ever-growing landscape.
The key to cracking this puzzle is to truly understand the distinct audience, platform, and value proposition that each retailer publisher offers for your brand.
5 Questions with Instacart Ad’s Bradley Haaland
Bradley Haaland, Instacart’s Head of Ads API Agency Partnerships & Sales, is a veteran in the space including previous experience at LiveRamp and Oracle Data Cloud. With dual degrees in Economics and Engineering, Haaland describes himself as incredibly curious by nature which serves him well in his role in solving complex, strategic problems for his clients and partners. An outdoor enthusiast outside of work, he enjoys hiking, surfing, snowboarding, yoga, cooking, and traveling.
We chatted with Haaland about Instacart Ads including how it drives value for its advertiser clients.
Can you share more about your role at Instacart and how it contributes to your advertising clients’ success?
Absolutely! I work on our agency partnerships team, specifically focused on technology partners who help our joint brand advertisers win on Instacart. My goal is to partner with companies that offer best-in-class technology and expertise to optimize a brand’s Instacart advertising initiatives.
Typically, this includes features like enhanced campaign creation, campaign management, and advanced analytics. Skai has been a terrific partner in this work. Its tool is powerful, and their digital advertising expertise is invaluable for brands looking to maximize their ROI on Instacart Ads.
For marketers who may feel “Amazon is enough”, how do you position Instacart’s place in the media plan?
We always recommend that brands explore a holistic digital advertising strategy to meet their consumers wherever they’re shopping. We see Instacart as a key piece of that strategy. Instacart’s vast network of retail partners allows advertisers to reach a highly qualified audience of consumers shopping at more than 750 unique retailers and 70,000 stores, independent of what device they use to shop.
We also see unique buying behavior on Instacart compared to other shopping platforms. On other platforms, buying behavior is linear or what we call “spearfishing,” where consumers come to the platform with one or two products in mind, add those items to their carts and check out. But consumers come to Instacart to browse and look for inspiration. In fact, we’re seeing up to 60% of any given cart come from non-search placements like discovery and buy-it-again.
With our recent launch of the Instacart Platform, which includes Carrot Ads as a way for retailers to offer ads on their owned and operated sites, we believe Instacart will power the future of grocery. Why not get in early when competition is relatively low?
What have been some of the recent developments from Instacart Ads and how are they helping your CPG brand partners win in this space?
Our product team has been busy. We’re very excited about the launch of display ads within our self-service Ads Manager (API access to display via Skai is coming soon). These are banner ads that sit at the top of Instacart interfaces and reach consumers searching specific keywords, or consumers with certain purchase behavior. Initial data shows display ads are strong levers for brands to create awareness, increase consideration, and grow and protect category share.
We’re also piloting brand pages, which are free product landing pages for all brands sold on Instacart. They enable CPG brand partners to drive consumers – both on and off Instacart – to a curated, shoppable destination where they can explore their product portfolio.
What does the future hold for Instacart Ads?
We’re just getting started. I’d group the future into three key buckets:
- Ad placements and surfaces to reach consumers at every part of the buying journey, no matter where or how they shop.
- Bid and budget optimization tools to make the buying and management process easier and more streamlined than ever before.
- More campaign and sales insights to help advertisers make informed decisions on future campaigns.
What’s one thing outside of advertising that people should know about Instacart?
Instacart is a leading retail enablement platform that works with grocers and retailers to transform how people shop. We recently announced Instacart Platform, a new suite of enterprise-grade technologies to power the future of grocery. Our goal is to help retailers create a better consumer experience no matter how people choose to shop.
Want to get the most out of your Instacart Ads with Skai?
As part of Skai’s™ intelligent marketing platform, our Retail Media solution empowers brands to plan, execute, and measure digital campaigns that meet consumers when and where they shop. Built with best-in-class automation and optimization capabilities, our unified platform allows you to manage campaigns on 30+ retailers including Instacart all in one place.
Client results include:
- 461% increase in advertising ROAS and 57% increase in page traffic for Bondi Sands
- 92% increase in share of voice for a Fortune 500 CPG brand
- 72% increase in revenue for VTech
- 1,390% year-over-year sales growth for Kamado Joe