MARCO ISLAND, FL — Retail media is not just climbing; it’s soaring, and Connected TV (CTV) is the wind beneath its wings.

With the convergence of highly engaged audiences and high-impact content, CTV has become the new frontier for retailers who are lighting up their own ad operations.

But, in this video interview with Beet.TV at IAB’s Annual Leadership Meeting, Jill Cruz, EVP, Commerce Strategy, Publicis Commerce, says nuance is needed.

Retail Media Talk

“If you are a retailer and you are sitting on valuable data and you want to monetize that data, is that a retail media network or are you just a data provider?” Cruz asks.

She anticipates growth in other categories such as automotive, airlines, and hotels, which will likely lead to a more fragmented landscape.

Along the way, she sees an evolution: “How we use those networks and who uses them will be very different than how an Amazon or a Walmart is operating today,” Cruz predicts.

And part of that evolution is CTV, “one of the new frontiers”. Cruz highlights the ease with which practitioners can navigate this emerging space, thanks to the decoupling of inventory, measurement, and audiences.

“They’re making it easy to buy that self-service,” Cruz explains. Advertisers can carry over negotiated rates and integrate retailer audiences effortlessly, paving the way for more robust activation strategies in the near future.

Measurement: The Make-or-Break

Measurement, however, remains the crucible of effective advertising. “It’s all fun and games until you got to measure it,” quips Cruz.

She notes that results from CTV campaigns that incorporate retail media data can be mixed, but stresses the importance of aligning campaign setups with clear KPIs.

Incremental reach, rather than return on ad spend, may be a more appropriate initial focus, she says. “Can we find new households? Maybe that’s the KPI in phase one that we need to be looking at,” suggests Cruz, who is keen on developing better benchmarks for managing expectations on all sides.

The consumer experience in CTV also presents unique challenges, especially for those less technologically inclined. “For some generations and some targeted audiences, this is going to be new,” Cruz acknowledges.

Yet, for Gen Z, interaction with their television screens is not just familiar; it’s expected.

Cruz shares insights from a dialogue with Roku’s Kristina Shepard, who spoke about innovative ad formats that actively engage consumers, instructing them on how to shop via their remotes.

You’re watching ‘Digital Media in Transition’, a Beet.TV Leadership Series at IAB ALM 2024 presented by Sharethrough. For more videos from this series, please visit this page.