One of the biggest complaints from advertisers today regarding retail media networks is the lack of unification across retailer platforms—each network requires a different set of tools, metrics and assets. Now, agencies are stepping forward to address such pain points, including the “walled garden” issue. Today, IPG’s Mediabrands media holding company announced it is debuting its Unified Retail Media Solution, a business unit designed to help advertisers more easily and accurately navigate their investments across retailer networks.
Mediabrands launches retail media tool to help brands better manage their spend across networks
Glen Conybeare, executive lead of retail media at Mediabrands, will be leading the effort. In a statement, he noted the huge growth opportunity the retail media category represents for marketers.
“However, each network operates as a closed-loop system which makes it really difficult to drive ROI effectively,” he said. “With dozens of retail channels as part of many clients' investment strategies, it has been difficult to compare their relative performance,” he added, noting that the Unified Retail Media Platform will offer standardization.
IPG’s news follows a set of retail media solutions rolled out by Publicis Groupe last month. Those offerings, which were created using its Profitero commerce analytics unit, are meant to help advertisers boost their spend by optimizing product detail pages, for example, and use data to improve media activation and planning.
Mediabrands’ new unit will be able to tell brands how their advertising is performing at each retailer, and automatically move spend between networks for the best sales outcome. Brands will be able to use IPG’s AI tools for their planning. Already, advertisers in categories such as CPG, gaming and over-the-counter have beta-tested the unit, Mediabrands said.
As retail media has exploded in growth, so have pain points for brands. The lack of standardization across networks and measurement issue have industry stakeholders scrambling to develop more universal solutions. The Association of National Advertisers recently characterized brands investing in retail media as “reluctant buyers.”
Despite rosy predictions—Magna recently forecasted that retail media networks will generate $121 billion in ad sales in 2023, a 12% rise over 2022—there have also been signs of a slowdown following a recent peak. For example, of the 56 retail media launches since 2011, 31, or 55%, took place in 2021 and 2022, a recent analysis by digital agency Acadia found. So far this year, Acadia found that just one retail media network has debuted.