Institute Group Works to Establish Industry Definitions for Retail Media

The Commerce Executive Network was tasked with defining retailer media networks and relevant terms.
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Tammy Brumfield, Foresight ROI

Defining what is and isn’t a retailer media network is a lot harder than one might think. “There is a lot of confusion across the industry and CPG functional groups for what is included in a retailer-owned media network,” says Tammy Brumfield, senior vice president, business development, at Foresight ROI. “No one has a clear understanding for what it is or is not since many retailers partner with other third-party vendors and aggregators, making it very confusing to determine where you receive credit for participation and where you can expect to leverage (for merchandising, joint business planning, etc.).”

Brumfield was part of a team tasked with defining retailer media networks and relevant terms as part of the Path to Purchase Institute’s Commerce Executive Network (CEN), which brings together executives from retailers, brands, agencies and solution providers to solve real-world complex problems, establish best practices, and develop standards to implement bold initiatives and inspire change.

After multiple meetings and alignment discussions — and acknowledging the work continues to be “in progress” as the understanding evolves and new capabilities show up in the marketplace — the CEN’s Retail Media group arrived at the following industry definitions:

Omnichannel Media: Any advertising or promotional content — digital or physical — designed to drive awareness and/or conversion at one or more specific retailers.

• Media can run on and/or off the retailer media network.

• Includes any shoppable media in and/or out of store that the retailer is selling through its platform.

Third-Party Media Seller: A media provider that is not part of the retailer’s media network and does not have access to the retailer’s first-party data.

• The media provider buys/collects data from external source(s) and aggregates data from various platforms/websites.

• The media provider either collects or pays for this data from owned or other sources to develop and activate media plans for their clients.

Media Inventory Aggregator: A single point of contact that buys inventory from multiple retailer platforms for the purposes of reselling.

• CPGs or their agents buy media from these entities, which provide a single point of contact for planning, activation and results.

• From a retailer’s perspective, this allows them to offer search and other capabilities without building those capabilities internally.

• In certain circumstances, retailers may give you “credit” for spend in this category.

Retailer Media Network: A network (distribution) of media products owned or operated by a retailer or banner that can only be purchased through the retailer or their agent/agency.

• Monetized by a retailer by using the retailer’s first-party data or physical property/location.

• Managed and marketed by a retailer or retailer agent/agency for the exclusive benefit of the retailer and CPG partner.

• May be powered by another industry participant (Criteo, Quotient, etc.).

• Placement can be on or off the retailer’s website, in app, in or out of store (extensions).

• Can be retailer-branded or non-branded.

• Measurement is based on retailer’s data/sales, providing closed loop attribution capability.

The CEN’s Retail Media group has also identified separate “Benefits & Challenges” to working with each partner for the brand, the retailer and the shopper. Additionally, the group will develop a landscape map of key players and how they fit into each category as well as a scorecard that helps members plan/measure campaign performance.

To learn how to join CEN, contact Patrick Hare at [email protected].