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How to Scale Your Retail Media Advertising Program

Retail media advertising was worth more than $30 billion in 2021 just in the United States, and every brand wants its piece of the pie. To uncover its potential, Pacvue recently hosted an info-packed fireside chat with our Content Marketing Specialist, Matt Abbruzzese, and Eli Gurock, Senior Vice President of Marketplaces and Retail Media at Merge. As an agency partner of Pacvue, Merge had some interesting insights into the nuances of the retail media program explosion.

In this webinar recap blog, you’ll learn about some of the best-kept secrets from an industry expert, including the opportunities, challenges, budget allocation, and metric evaluation for your campaigns. At the end of it, you’ll have the knowledge, tools, and data required to create your own retail media playbook.

The Opportunities & Challenges of Retail Media

With the closing gap between retail and media, brands have the opportunity to prep for big sale seasons in advance. By catapulting new products into the market and establishing a loyal consumer base, it is possible to rank better during events like Back-to-School while minimizing spend.

Using retail media advertising programs, available tools, and expert resources, you can increase the chance of successful campaigns even if you’re new to the platform and don’t have sales data to analyze. This trend can be seen with CPG brands today witnessing a huge wave with retail media acting like a catalyst.

According to Eli Gurock, however, it’s not without unique challenges. With fierce competition and limited spots in virtually every category, brands struggle to create differentiation from others in the space. There is no one-size-fits-all, so all keywords and strategies have to be tested for each retailer you choose to sell your products on.

The need of the hour is crafting a killer multi-media strategy and having experts on the team to do so is non-negotiable now. Across various seasonality refreshes and ever-changing demands of the retail algorithms, maximizing your budget can also be tricky without guidance. That’s where experienced specialists come in.

Budget Allocation Across Categories

Depending on the retailers you choose to associate your brand with, the budget creation, allocation, and maintenance can depend on a number of factors. Instead of a tedious manual approach, tools like Pacvue and Merge help brands take a granular, skew-by-skew approach to budgeting.

With that, each piece of the touchpoint is taken into account, including consideration, awareness, and conversion, in order to leverage the overall flywheel. The end goal for brands is to maximize their ROAS, and Gurock suggests 3 ways of doing so:

  1. Create a cohesive strategy between both on-site and off-site displays, based on where your products and product lines are in the product life cycle.
  2. Leverage your unique audience insights to inspire and experiment with new keywords, targets, and campaigns for comprehensive content and program management.
  3. Reevaluate your assumptions constantly, especially the impact of full-funnel advertising efforts, comparing the original versus achieved goals set for each product line.

With an optimized budget, you can take the next step and develop your own retail media playbook for the upcoming quarter.

The Retail Media Playbook

The testing phase has evolved to become more complex than simple A/B testing. Now, brands have to go the extra mile and allocate 10-15% of their advertising budget for testing strategies like competitor conquest advertising, capitalizing on emerging trends, and cross-selling abilities.

“Lean into automation” is the mantra for all brands wanting to scale their retail media advertising program, especially for advertising elements like time-of-day bid adjustments. From all the data you are able to generate and collect, you have to pinpoint data points that are valuable and relevant. The secret is ensuring that you are selling the right story to the right customers.

Brands are now implementing AI to evaluate their retail media campaigns throughout the year. Using both hard and soft metrics helps keep the process simple while giving you a clear analysis of two important elements for long-term success:

  1. Campaign effectiveness, and
  2. Campaign health

For example: for a new brand product launch, KPIs are the sale goals for the product as the hard metric and ROAS as the soft metric. Together, they tell the story from a bird’s eye view of the brand and allow you to reach your goals in the most effective way.

The retail media advertising program can seem overwhelming for brands at first, with a seemingly endless number of directions to venture out. But with the right mindset, tools, software, and expert opinions on board, it can very well be the shortcut to long-term, sustainable growth, profits, and success.

The entanglement between retail and media is only just getting started, and with the information shared in this webinar, you can get a head start today. Including fascinating use cases, consumer stories, and insightful comments, you can now access the recording of this Fireside Chat for free. Check it out here!


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