When Megan Cameron joined Merkle, Dentsu’s data and performance marketing agency, as director of retail media six years ago, the trend of monetizing shopper data for advertisers was barely a blip on retailers’ radar. Since then, nearly every big chain has recognized the value of shopper data for advertisers seeking new ways to attract consumers. A report from Merkle last year found that every one to two months a new retail media network is born.
How Merkle's Megan Cameron is giving retail media a boost
Recent entrants to the space include Dick’s Sporting Goods and Lowe’s. It’s up to Cameron, 35, who was promoted two years ago to VP of new stream media, to help build Merkle’s client base, which means working with retailers such as Home Depot and CVS. She helps such marketers build and evolve their media offerings to advertisers without intruding on the shopping experience for consumers. It can be a delicate balance.
“We understand retailers are seeking ways to generate new streams of revenue but are equally protective of their customers’ shopping experience,” said Cameron. “We encourage retailers to lean into this relationship with their customers and craft retail media solutions that enhance and amplify the shopping experience, rather than distract.”
Her team manages more than $700 million in retail media network buying for clients and shows no signs of slowing down.
“There are so many new and exciting things on the horizon right now for retail media and I love working to bring clarity to all of the complexity,” said Cameron, adding that “no retailer is the same and no project is cookie-cutter.”
If you could have dinner with one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Joni Mitchell. She’s so multifaceted in her talent and I absolutely love her music and uniqueness of voice.
What are the top two social media sites you use on a regular basis?
LinkedIn and Instagram.
What's currently on your bedside reading list?
I’m currently reading “Harlem Shuffle” by Colson Whitehead but also have “The Feminine Mystique” by Betty Friedan, “Call Us What We Carry” by Amanda Gorman and “Square Foot Gardening” by Mel Bartholomew at various stages of completion.
What was the last show you binge-watched?
“Succession.” I’m probably a bit behind the times on this one, but there are too many good shows to watch right now. I’m just working my way through everything slowly.
At what age do you hope to retire?
I’m honestly not sure. There’s definitely a point where I scale back, but I think that looks very different than what I’d traditionally call “retirement.” I am actively planning to be financially secure enough to set my own hours and prioritize learning new things and pushing boundaries. It’s important to me that I continue to evolve.