LAS VEGAS — Fresh from getting acquired by a major ad agency group for $835 million, Duncan Painter, CEO, Flywheel Digital is understandably bullish about the future of retail media.

Flywheel helps buying of ads across Amazon Advertising, Walmart Connect, Instacart, Kroger, Home Depot and Criteo.

Omnicom said in October it would buy the company from Ascential, saying: “With a workforce of more than 2,000 professionals, Flywheel provides services in retail commerce operations, media execution, and market intelligence to over 4500 brands.”

In this video interview with Jon Watts for Beet.TV, Painter explains what the tie-up means.

Flywheel’s Unique Selling Proposition

Flywheel’s journey began in 2014, and since then, it has grown to be the “biggest source of information in marketplaces”. Painter says, “We have petabytes of data about how you win and lose in these very, very aggressive markets.”

Marketers approach Flywheel with a common goal – to maximize their product’s positioning on a marketplace. “They’re coming to us to say, how do we ensure that every time a consumer needs a product like ours, we turn up at the top of that selection,” Painter shares.

Painter believes they are on the brink of cracking the “holy grail” of advertising – linking consumer engagement on open digital platforms to sales on marketplaces.

He confidently states: “(This) genuinely will join up consumer demand to sales like no other company can do in the world.”

A Promising Future for Retail Media

U.S. retail media ad spend expected to reach $109 billion by 2027, according to eMarketer.

Painter acknowledges that retail media is growing at a “phenomenal pace”. He attributes this growth to the fact that marketers can now definitively track their marketing expense back to sales performance.

He expects this trend to continue, with marketplace giants like Amazon, Walmart, Alibaba, and others leading the charge through 2024.

Despite the dominance of these “800 pound gorillas”, Painter also sees opportunities for “next tier players” like Instacart, Kroger with Albertsons, or Target with Roundel, who also have a significant stake in the rapidly growing sector.

You’re watching “The Rise of Retail Media,” a Beet.TV Leadership Series produced at CES 2024, presented by Criteo. For more videos from this series, please visit this page.