The rise of retail media means we need to plan by ad product, which is a major departure for the advertising industrial complex.
Over four decades we’ve evolved from planning by medium when awareness was paramount to channel planning so we could capture new audiences (e.g., paid social, SEM, digital out of home) programmatically and calculate ROI. Suddenly, we’re a giant step behind the complexity of today’s customer experience. Customers are more accurately defined by their stage in the purchase cycle than by demographics, and they engage with a multitude of advertising types on any given platform.
Consider how Amazon works. If you’re after incremental growth, it’s nowhere near enough to simply buy product ads on the platform. You need to use Amazon’s DSP to target by interest and gain awareness, sponsor core search keywords to fuel consideration and purchase and buy retargeting ads to boost basket size and loyalty. That’s a journey across two ad products and four ad types for distinct use cases.
Whether media meets the performance objectives is no longer governed by the medium (digital) or the publisher (Amazon); it’s determined by the ad product. On Instacart, you might sponsor search to get hand raisers interested in your specific product (e.g., Lays potato chips), but you need the new shoppable video ads to romance a new product launch, and the add-to-cart functionality to prompt buying.