SANTA MONICA — They are two of the most exciting new channel opportunities available to marketers and agencies today.

So why are so many of them struggling to embrace connected TV and the new retail media platforms?

In this video interview with Beet.TV at Beet Retreat Santa Monica 2022, a former agency leader turned retail media pioneer explains.

Retail wave

“Retail media” is the new wave in which ecommerce operators turn their data into ad signals and their own digital store pages into ad inventory, often fuelled by purchase data which extends into brick-and-mortar via loyalty cards.

Kristi Argyilan was a long-time agency executive before joining Target and its Roundel, where her teams introduced some of the first retail media offerings outside of Amazon.

Now at US grocery chain Albertsons as SVP, retail media, Argyilan is again operating at the edge of one of the hottest advertising trends.

Double opportunity

In fact, Argyilan is excited about surfing two waves – retail media and connected TV (CTV) combined.

“What is exciting for me is when you think about what could happen if the two came together,” she says.

“If connected TV really wants to hold itself accountable to better outcomes for brands, and then retail media has this great wealth of first party data that can build really high quality audiences off of what real people are really doing and then be able to measure that some kind of sale actually happened.

“It’s just a real rich area for these two really dynamic sectors to come together and start to innovate television overall.”

Grocery scale

Albertsons operates 2,272 retail stores, employs 290,000 workers and clocked $75 billion in sales during Q2 of 2022 alone.

The company has announced a plan to merge with Kroger, which also operates its own retail media network. Kroger Precision Marketing launched in 2017, early in the evolution of retail media networks.

Powered by 84.51°, a company specialized in helping retailers, agencies and publishers unlock retail assets for advertising, it boasts data from 60 million households.

Retail Media Networks Drive Ad Outcomes for Brands: Kroger’s Halli Goddard

System complexity

But Argyilan thinks it is too complex for ad buyers to adopt these new channels.

“They absolutely recognise the promise and they’re excited about the promise,” she says.

“But, for both connected TV and retail media, it’s very complex. What they’re worried about is that there’s no standardisation across both sectors and that they can’t possibly hire enough people to manage all of the work and having to execute in all the different platforms that we’re requiring them to do.

“I think it’s even more complex with connected TV because you have even more players that have been building themselves for multiple years versus retail media, which is still reasonably new.”

Stay open

She is urging more companies in the space to make it easier for buyers, including by staying open and by choosing areas to standardise on.

“Don’t hold your thing too precious – the innovation will really happen when we all work in a more open ecosystem,” she says.

“You see that with retail media networks too. A lot of them are recreating another walled garden, we don’t need more walled gardens.

“I think connected TV could benefit from figuring out what could be common and then what could be unique and differentiated. And I think there’s a lot of work that could be done in that.”

You are watching coverage of Beet Retreat Santa Monica 2022, presented by Ampersand, MiQ, Nielsen, PubMatic, T-Mobile Advertising Solutions and The Trade Desk. For more videos from the Beet Retreat, please visit this page.