CANNES – Retailers that sell advertising are riding a multibillion-dollar wave of spending by marketers that seek to reach consumers who are ready to shop or are open to discovering new products. The budding segment of media marketplace hasn’t matched the scale of other channels, such as television, social media and internet search, but that is the goal.
“We joke about this: retail media is at the place that programmatic was in 1990, and so, we need to clean that up,” Kristi Argyilan, senior vice president of retail media at the Albertsons Media Collective, the grocery chain’s advertising sales group, said in this fireside chat with Joanna O’Connell, executive vice president of innovation at R3.
“The challenge for a CPG [consumer packaged goods brand] is to try to figure out how to normalize all of us so that we can be compared to each other,” Argyilan said.
Before working on the sell side of retail media at Albertsons and Target, Argyilan’s extensive background included stints as a media buyer at major advertising agencies. Being on the buy side, she saw how challenging it can be for advertisers who face difficulties in determining whether they’re reaching deduplicated audiences on search and social media, which jealously guard their valuable consumer data.
“Because of my background on the media buy side, I understand the pain, the challenges, the opportunities, the things that work really well, and the things that we wish as an industry just didn’t have to work the way they do — also known as ‘walled gardens,’” she said.
Because retailers are a key customer for brands that want their products to be available in stores, the dynamic of their relationship has changed in trying to sell them media placements.
“When you consider the importance of the merchant’s relationship with many of these advertisers, too, it’s a really big relationship,” Argyilan said.