Growing role of retail media
L’Oréal needed a custom study from NCS to get that analysis, which is based on aggregated loyalty card data NCS uses to match people exposed to ads against their purchases. But it’s the sort of analysis that can happen more automatically as brands increasingly use retail shopper data to target and evaluate the effectiveness of CTV campaigns via industry clean rooms and programmatic trading.
Related: Retail media networks guide for ad buyers and sellers
Kroger Precision Marketing in September announced it was opening its data marketplace to brands for use in targeting ads to shopper segments in CTV and monitoring how exposure to their ads affected sales across a variety of existing programmatic platforms. Publicis Groupe’s Epsilon joined with IRI to allow for similar programmatic targeting and post-campaign evaluation in CTV in August. Amazon, while not allowing individual targeting, has opened similar targeting and post-exposure tracking of purchase-based cohorts of shoppers for advertising across its ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) inventory.
For the CPG industry, which has long had only fuzzy and delayed visibility into targeting its ads or measuring their impact because it sold few of its products directly to consumers, such developments could fundamentally change marketing. Digital media and their own first-party databases seemed to promise similar capabilities, but the limitations and pending disappearance of cookies from Google Chrome have limited the application. And the ad formats available on digital and social platforms were never quite the same as the 30-second TV spots on long-form programming much beloved by CPG brands historically.
Advertising on ad-supported streaming, however, looks and works pretty much like ads on linear TV, and, depending on the service, is far less easily skipped.
Now the growing ability to match a CPG brand’s own first-party consumer data with CTV subscribers and retail purchase databases via privacy-safeguarded clean rooms gives the industry unprecedented ability to target and track ad performance.
While Pritchard didn’t get into the potential for applying shopper data to CTV buys, he did note a surprising number: 11% of the packaged-goods giant’s media spend already goes to retail search. That’s out of a reported $8.1 billion in reported global ad spending for the fiscal year ended June 30, the lion’s share of which is on media.
Retail search—bought through keyword bids on e-commerce sites—is the killer app of most online retail media operations today, but it’s also the same data that increasingly can be applied to CTV buys.
Related: Why brands are turning to data clean rooms
Retail data as CTV amplifier
Much of the CPG shift to CTV so far has been driven by following audiences from linear TV in search of unduplicated reach, said Marci Raible, VP of global media and marketing services for Campbell Soup Co. Some of the migration, too, was driven by tight inventory of live linear TV programming early in the pandemic, she said. But the availability of shopper data to shape CTV media plans is only likely to attract more spending, she said.
“Retailer data in totality is a huge opportunity,” Raible said.
Publicis Groupe’s Epsilon has seen roughly 60% growth in CPG spending on CTV this year compared to last, said Dan Perez, VP of CPG Media Solutions for the analytics agency, and that’s been driven largely by the decline of linear and cable TV audiences. But the availability of better data, particularly from shopper programs, is also a factor.
“It’s a data-centric way for brands to reach their consumers in a more efficient, effective way at scale,” he said.
But one issue for brands is that retailers are largely keeping their data behind walled gardens, Raible said, and that will make it harder for brand marketers to apply their data across broader CTV buys.
The big five retail programs for CPG advertisers—Amazon, Kroger, Walmart, Target and Albertson’s—all have ventured into the CTV data targeting arena, Perez said. But the problem is that they’re all coming in as walled gardens, so building programs across retailers is harder and more time-consuming.
The retailer-by-retailer breakdown also has made it more likely that such spending will be limited to joint business plans with each retailer, which are more likely to be the bailiwick of shopper or sales teams that may not have access to the consumer media budgets of CPG marketers, he said. Programs also have different rules and capabilities for how CPG brands might be able to match their own first-party data with shopper data or streaming network identities in targeting.