IAB Defines And Explains How To Buy Retail Media

There is much talk about retail media, and how brands and agencies should go about buying it. But confusion still exists for some marketers: What does this term actually mean? 

The Interactive Advertising Bureau has offered a definition in a new report, "IAB Europe’s 101 Guide To Retail Media": 

“Retail Media refers to the digital advertising space, retail data assets and in-store opportunities a retailer or marketplace owns, which is then made available to brands for the execution of advertising campaigns.”

Digital opportunities may include:

  • Sponsored product or search ads
  • Display banner ads
  • Sponsored brand pages 
  • Video ads
  • Takeover ads 

In addition, brands may avail themselves of:

  • Radio
  • Digital screens and signage
  • Hand scanners
  • Digital Out of Home

But how does a media buyer approach it? IAB specifies two types of buying:

  1. “Managed Service campaigns are bought from and managed directly by retailers. The advertiser makes a booking with a relevant retailer who will then se -up and run a campaign using their retail data across the inventory of choice or will manage and advise on the keywords to bid on across their site. The advertiser usually pays a fee to cover media, data and measurement as a fully managed service. Some retailers will also offer a managed service for off-site campaigns -- e.g, ads delivered across a social platform.
  2.  Self-Service off-site campaigns are enriched with retailer data for targeting, optimization and measurement and are delivered by the advertisers themselves (or their agency) programmatically via a DSP. For example an advertiser could buy a CTV campaign through its DSP using retailer data for targeting and measurement. This is typically bought by the client directly or their agency programmatic teams. Buyers can also access in some cases on-site inventory as a self-serve option. “

How do you measure the results? Here are the pertinent metrics:

  • Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS)
  • Incremental Sales Lift.
  • Cost-per-click (CPC)
  • Order Volume & Revenues
  • New to Brand
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV)
  • Share of Wallet

Of course, there is more to retail media than digital channels. Off-site opportunities include:

  • Search/shopping ads
  • Display banner ads 
  • Video ads
  • Email ads 
  • Audio ads 
  • Digital out of home (DOOH) 
  • Social media placements 

The report can be found here. 



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