LAS VEGAS — The deprecation of audience identifiers including cookies may be seen as a threat by many marketers.

There was already a growing understanding that those with first-party data, however, were in a better position.

Better than that, brands with retail relationships are in a prime position to develop exactly that kind of first-party data.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Parbinder Dhariwal, VP, GM, CVS Media Exchange, explains why pharmacy chain CVS Health is using its growing retail media operation to its advantage.

Building an Ad Business around Consumer Engagement

Dhariwal paints a picture of a company leveraging its substantial physical presence – approximately 9,000 locations across America – to understand and engage with the consumer more effectively.

“Around about 85% of America is within 10 miles of a CVS,” he says. “This ad business is predicated upon 74 million ExtraCare consumers.”

The ExtraCare program, CVS’s loyalty scheme, plays a pivotal role in the company’s ad business.

“The behavior that we see through the ExtraCare program…is understanding the way in which they’re engaging from a digital capacity and then often purchasing within a physical environment,” says Dhariwal.

Leveraging Multi-Channel Consumer Engagement

So, what is CVS Health’s play in the retail media space? Dhariwal reveals a multi-front engagement approach.

Besides onsite ad messaging on or the app, CVS connects with consumers offsite and in-store.

The deeper CVS delves into retail media, the more sophisticated the approach becomes. Dhariwal emphasizes how they leverage high-affinity signals to understand their audiences’ relation to specific categories and brands.

The looming threat of signal loss and cookie deprecation, according to Dhariwal, presents an opportunity for businesses with robust first-party data assets.

“If we look at ExtraCare and the 74 million consumers that we have within the CVS environment, cookie deprecation is not necessarily a challenge for us,” he insists.

This presents an opportunity for clearer consumer targeting and performance understanding at point-of-sale (POS). Dhariwal concludes, “You’re going to continue to see the growth of retail. We can see the prevalence of retail here at CES and that will continue to accelerate through the next year or two.”

The interview was conducted by Mike Shields, CEO, Shields Strategic Consulting.

You’re watching “Preparing For The End of Third-Party Cookies,” a Beet.TV Leadership Series produced at CES 2024, presented by TripleLift. For more videos from this series, please visit this page.