Retail media advertising is already the third-largest digital channel in the US, with 1 out of every 8 digital ad dollars going to Amazon alone.
As the channel matures, new challenges arise, and new best practices are formed to solve them. To better understand how marketers approach this relatively new channel, Skai continues to tap into retail media professionals throughout the industry and bring these insights to you.
Our monthly blog series, Retail Media Roundtable, is part of our exploration of retail media. In this ongoing set of articles, we ask a rotating group of expert practitioners a single, pressing question to hear how they deal with important issues in this evolving channel.
Today, we look back at our first round of posts to see what insights we can garner. If you’d like to read the complete articles, you can find the links below.
- March 2022 Retail Media Roundtable: How Do You Allocate Budgets Across Retailers?
- April 2022 Retail Media Roundtable: Why Is Measurement Still a Challenge?
- May 2022 Retail Media Roundtable: Which Team Should Manage Amazon DSP?
- June 2022 Retail Media Roundtable: What is the value of Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC)
One of the key differences between retail media and other digital channels is the proliferation of publishers. Almost every major online retailer either already has a retail media offering, is building one, or is in the planning stages.
For example, Skai’s Retail Media solution integrates with Amazon Ads, Walmart Connect, Roundel (Target.com), Instacart Ads, Gopuff Ads, and 30+ other retailers directly or through aggregators such as Criteo and CitrusAd.
So, while other digital channel practitioners must make budget allocation decisions for a few or a small handful of publishers, retail media marketers have a bit of a more complex challenge in these areas.
How did some of our experts weigh in?
When creating a holistic media strategy involving multiple retailers, it is important to look at several elements before allocating budgets. Each retailer offers unique capabilities that might either attract or detract from a brand’s budget or goals. — Allison Lewis (VP Commerce Media @ Gorilla Group)
The strategy behind selecting your retailers should align both with your brand’s advertising goals and what digital shelf is the best fit. — Jillian Nielsen (Client Success Director, Commerce @ Skai)
[ask yourself] How do I want to be represented within the retailer? Maybe your brand hasn’t been historically on Amazon, and you need to make a bigger splash to jump into the category, or maybe you have deep competition in Target among your category, and to be seen, it will take higher ad spend. — Erik O’Granning (Director of Client Advertising @ The Stable)
When deciding where to invest, I first opt to allocate the majority of budget to marketplaces where we have the most experience and the most confidence that we can drive strong results, such as Amazon Sponsored Ads & DSP, Walmart, Instacart, and other marketplaces where the brand has advertised prior. — Matt Strietelmeier (Director, Marketplace Advertising @ Stella Rising)
Regardless of the channel, in just about every survey about measurement, marketers still cite it as one of the top challenges they face. Of course, other phases of the campaign lifecycle—research, planning, creative, targeting, optimization—may present their own hurdles, but all seem straightforward compared to the measurement conundrum.
And measurement is so critical to the success of marketing campaigns. We can only make the necessary changes to improve performance by understanding what is working and what isn’t.
We asked our expert panel how they approach the measurement concern for retail media.
At beBold we have taken the time to really educate our clients on what any given metric might mean, and we use those metrics to explain how any project might have impacted the account. — Max Schneider (Vice President of Advertising @ beBOLD Digital)
When measuring success, include all metrics that help to prove incrementality; for example, Amazon’s “New-to-Brand” metric. Additionally, including top-line revenue (advertising + organic) in advertising reporting will help to demonstrate how advertising investment impacts top-line revenue. — Matt Strietelmeier (Director, Marketplace Advertising @ Stella Rising)
A solution for measuring incrementality is to construct pre/post testing plans that give marketers a method of evaluating the changes that occur. For example, when an advertiser invests more in a channel, utilizes new ad formats, or possibly changes strategies within a channel. — Erik O’Granning (Director of Client Advertising @ The Stable)
We work with our clients to identify all data sources, define KPIs, and then stitch together the varied metrics into a unified reporting dashboard for a more holistic view of marketing performance data. — Willy Blesener (Senior Director, Retail Media @ Advantage Solutions)
A tool like Skai’s Brand Insights share of voice will actually be a more objective approach to understanding your ad appearances over time against your competitors. This concept now opens the door for strategizing around your retail presence and using SOV as a measure of success for advertising alongside other key indicators like ROAS. — Melissa Barringer (Director, Retail Expert Services @ Skai)
You can expect blurred lines about what function within an organization should lead the charge whenever there is a new marketing channel. If we look back at the early 2000s, when social media was on the rise and brands began exploring strategy, some delegated ownership to their Comms team or PR firms. Eventually, social media became its own function, continuing to build expertise for this newer and unique channel.
Or when online video began taking off, the question was whether management should be led by the online programmatic team or the offline broadcast team. So again, brands decided to create a new, consolidated video team to unite both sides.
Amazon DSP falls into one of these blurred lines. Is it for retail media practitioners? Is it for the programmatic team? The retail business unit? The shopper marketer org? The ecommerce group?
This is what our retail media experts had to say:
At Gorilla Group, we have a team dedicated to eRetail. Part of this team is a group of ecommerce media experts. We pair individuals that know both retail and media (search and display) together to create a holistic approach to their media goals. We ensure that our media team is 100% accredited on Amazon, not just programmatic experts. — Allison Lewis (VP Commerce Media @ Gorilla Group)
In my opinion, the programmatic team should run Amazon DSP. There are several reasons for this, the obvious of which being that Amazon DSP offers media that is bought programmatically, so it should be managed by the team that manages this media. — Kevin Weiss (Industry Lead, Retail Media @ Skai)
We cultivate Amazon DSP power users with extensive practical knowledge who also benefit from access to training on product releases, key retail events, and account management thanks to our partnership status. This approach has delivered both strong engagement with our campaigns and business growth for our advertising clients. — Camille Agoncillo (Advantage’s Director of Amazon Advertising @ Advantage Solutions)
The team or individuals who run DSP should be demand-side platform specialists who actively work within the platform daily. This criterion is essential for maintaining a deep understanding of DSP audience targeting, creative, and placement options, many of which are unique to Amazon DSP. — Matt Strietelmeier (Director, Marketplace Advertising @ Stella Rising)
As the retail media channel continues to evolve, marketers will need more data & insights to make sense of the ecosystem and power operational decision-making.
Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC) is one of the first big publisher evolutions in this area of retail media. According to Amazon, AMC is a “secure, privacy-safe, and cloud-based data clean room solution, in which advertisers can easily perform analytics across pseudonymized signals, including Amazon Advertising events as well as their own data sets.”
Is it a data feed? Is it a platform? What we do know is that it has the potential to drive the next era of retail media optimization. We asked our expert panel how they articulate the value of this Amazon Ads offering.
Amazon Marketing Cloud (AMC) has quickly become the most effective way to measure full-funnel paid media performance across Sponsored Ads and DSP. One of the primary benefits of AMC today is having the ability to unlock incremental reporting insights and custom attribution modeling, which are not currently available on Amazon’s native platforms. — David Grill (Director of Advertising @ Media.Monks)
It’s exciting to have a platform that can help capture more specific, multi-touch, attribution. It’s exciting to have a platform that can supplement the type of audience data that we get from DSP. It’s exciting that Amazon is leveraging its Amazon Web Services to build a more robust measuring, reporting, and optimizing platform. — Matt Strietelmeier (Director, Marketplace Advertising @ Stella Rising)
Amazon Marketing Cloud provides the opportunity to understand which ads your customers see or engage with on their paths to conversion. With a better understanding of what is driving customers to convert you have a massive opportunity to turn these insights into action and optimize your investments to maximize sales and efficiency. — Spencer Filek-Gibson (Director of Sales @ Skai)
How mature is your retail media program? Go to the next level 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 Amazon, Walmart, Target, and Instacart all in one place. Client results include:
- 461% increase in Amazon Ads ROAS and 57% increase in page traffic for Bondi Sands
- 92% increase in share of voice on Amazon for a Fortune 500 CPG brand
- 72% increase in revenue for VTech
- 1,390% year-over-year sales growth for Kamado Joe
Don’t take our word for it! To learn more, schedule a brief demo today to see all of our cutting-edge innovations firsthand.