Kroger launches private programmatic advertising marketplace

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  • Kroger is rolling out a new program that uses purchase data to target and measure programmatic ads.
  • The deal shows how retailers are increasingly entering into strategic deals with ad technology companies.
  • Kroger hopes to tap into the $ 97 billion advertisers spend on programmatic advertising.

Kroger relies on programmatic advertising to extend the reach of its advertising business.

The retail giant is rolling out a new advertising program, called the Private Programmatic Advertising Marketplace. The program allows ad shoppers and technology companies access to buyer data from its loyalty program, which includes 60 million U.S. households at grocery stores like King Soopers and Harris Teeter. Kroger primarily sells ads within its app and website and tries to catch up with Amazon’s ad offering which uses buyer data to target and measure ads outside of its own properties.

Kroger offers advertisers over 3,000 data points that show the buying habits of customers, such as those who regularly buy barbecue chips or pumpkin products in the fall. Kroger works with LiveRamp to use this data as the basis of an identifier. Advertisers will be able to connect this ID to shopping platforms such as The Trade Desk, Google, and MediaMath to target customers and measure sales from the ads.

The deal is yet another example of a retailer establishing strategic relationships with ad technology companies. For example, Target has a similar program that works with multiple demand-side platforms, while Walmart works exclusively with The Trade Desk to power its programmatic advertising tools.

Brands and agencies like Publicis Groups, General Mills and Nestlé have tested Kroger’s program over the past five months, Cara Pratt, senior vice president of Kroger Precision Marketing, told Insider.

First-party data is increasingly important to advertisers as Google and Apple crack down on third-party cookies, Pratt said. Kroger also claims that its first-party data is more secure against ad fraud and bots commonly found in programmatic advertising.

While Kroger has previously offered programmatic advertisers such data as part of deals with companies like Roku and Pinterest, Pratt said this was the first time the data had been in a self-service tool that advertisers of all sizes can use.

Advertising spending in retail media typically comes from buyer and e-commerce budgets that big brands have to pay as part of distribution agreements with retailers. But Pratt said she believes Kroger’s programmatic offering will attract the dollars that brands traditionally invest in programmatic advertising budgets.

As companies like Kroger, ebay, Walmart, Amazon, and Target compete fiercely for retail media budgets, retailers have a greater opportunity to participate in programmatic advertising. Advertisers are expected to spend $ 24 billion on e-commerce advertising this year while programmatic advertising will make $ 97 billion, according to eMarketer.


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