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12/03/2020

Walgreens Launches Retail Media Network

Tim Binder
Executive Editor
Tim Binder profile picture

Following the lead of other major CPG retailers, and further accelerating the digitalization of its business, Walgreens in December got in the retail media network game.

The launch of Walgreens Advertising Group ("wag") provides a personalization-driven advertising platform for brands to deliver personalized experiences to shoppers.

“We have an unparalleled insight into consumers’ needs and shopping preferences when it comes to health and wellness items and everyday needs,” Luke Kigel, vice president, Walgreens integrated media and head of Walgreens Advertising Group, said in a media release. “Leveraging advanced technology to unlock the power of our first-party data, we can help brands accelerate ROI by delivering relevant and personalized experiences to their highest value consumers.”

Walgreens Advertising Group, according to the release, offers brands:

  • A people-based, first-party data set grounded in 100-plus million loyalty members.
  • Advanced analytics and data science for custom audiences.
  • Technology-led personalization across the entire customer experience.
  • Direct connections of audiences to advertising platforms on Walgreens-owned and third-party channels resulting in higher match rates versus the industry standard method of digital media buying.
  • The ability to reach shoppers across a spectrum of channels such as digital display, video, social, streaming audio, email as well as Walgreens digital platforms and stores.
  • Access to the Walgreens Programmatic Demand Side Platform (DSP) with SKU level real-time optimization based on daily transactions.
  • Closed loop measurement of customers’ end-to-end shopping journeys.

Walgreens Advertising Group claims to be more than a media network. In addition to shopper activation touchpoints, the platform offers brands enhanced audience and shopper insights, creative services, and robust optimization and measurement. 

Soon after Walgreens distributed the release on Dec. 3, it also posted about the network on LinkedIn and invited brands to get more information at walgreens.com/wag. That landing page provided an email link to connect with the group.

The launch comes a little more than three months after drug channel rival CVS Pharmacy launched its CVS Media Exchange. Walmart, Target and Kroger were among the retailers that led the retail media movement years earlier.

Walgreens Advertising Group debuts just more than two weeks after the retailer officially unveiled its myWalgreens loyalty program, a highly personalized offering that is replacing the 8-year-old Balance Rewards program.

The retail media platform and the new loyalty program come, in part, as a result of Walgreens’ relationship with technology and customer-insights partners Microsoft, Adobe and Epsilon. 

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