Kroger Precision Marketing Expands Access To Its Search Ad Inventory Through Three Platforms

Kroger Precision Marketing (KPM), the retail media business of Kroger that is powered by 84.51°, announced Monday the expansion of its search product listing ads through three ad management platforms.

The capability allows brands to buy search ads across Kroger’s network of sites from the platforms Pacvue, Skai (formerly Kenshoo), and Flywheel Digital. More will be coming in the future.

“Instead of coming to us, we can meet the advertisers where they buy ad space,” said Michael Schuh, vice president of media strategy at Kroger Precision Marketing at 84.51°. “The inventory is available to buy through the three platforms. This way they can buy ad space with a tool they are familiar with.”

Kroger -- which launched its first search ad placement four years ago -- serves 60 million households annually nationwide and nearly 2,000 brands in 2021 invested in paid search at the company, Schuh said.

The company’s partnership with Microsoft Promote IQ, the technology platform that sits on top of the Kroger website’s digital search functions, will not change.

Kroger, however, will add the three additional software tools to manage these types of paid-search campaigns across the grocery’s properties.

If the advertiser uses Skai to buy search ad units on Amazon or YouTube, for example, they will now have an option through the platform to buy advertising space on Kroger.

Schuh said Kroger created an API to connect from its advertising system to the respective three platforms.

Testing with brands begins within the next four to eight weeks. GroupM, which has been an early consultant and partner, will work with Kroger and brands to test the process.

“We will make the reporting data specific to the campaign available in the reporting module, even when the ad buys are done through one of the other platforms,” he said.

For example, if Lays runs a campaign aimed at potato chip buyers if a customer clicks on the ad, Kroger will not share the customer data with the platforms, but it will share the conversion data.

“We’re sharing, for example, that those one or five conversions happened, and the return on ad spend was $5 because you got $5 in sales for every one dollar spend in advertising,” he said. “We’re very protective of consumer data privacy.”

Product listing ads impact shopper behavior both online and in-store.

This announcement reinforces how brands are investing more ad dollars into winning the digital shelf. And as retail media expands, these third-party ad-management platforms will play an increasingly important role for brands and agencies to manage their investments.

Schuh believes that it will make it easier for brands to influence the millions of daily product searches that occur on Kroger sites. 

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