What excites you about NY KnowGO?
It really is the only place where retailers, brands and others in retail media can get together with technology innovation as the main focus. There’s a huge opportunity for all of the participants in this somewhat new sector to learn and collaborate. Most of the issues getting in the way of explosive retail growth are organizational and attitudinal. The traditional ways of thinking about collaboration are preventing further progress. The bottom line is brands want new methods for getting data from their retail partners. I appreciate the chance to share stories of brands who’ve experienced – and gotten through –this challenge…and what it looks like on the other side.
Tell us a little about OneMarket and your role there.
I’m the Chief Product Officer at OneMarket; and I actually arrived here via an acquisition. OneMarket came about as part of the Westfield Mall corporation. About ten years ago, they [Westfield] realized that mall traffic faced increasing challenges. Consumer behavior was changing. Retailer health was a big concern. To address this, they invested in retail technology (in a lab environment – not commercially available) to bridge that gap: i.e.bring together the digital and the physical. Westfield itself was then acquired by Unibail-Rodamco, a European mall operator, and its “lab” was spun out into a separate company, now OneMarket. Our focus has since shifted to supporting the broader retail ecosystem with a commercially available product.
At OneMarket, we’ve been helping physical retailers make the most of their proprietary customer data for marketing purposes. In this process, we saw an opportunity in that the brands that sell through some of these large physical retailers had been left out of the mix. Brands provided money for co-op marketing, but they didn’t get access to the rich customer data that the retailers have. And as a result, brands weren’t able to measure the impact of campaigns using their co-op dollars.
Our built-in media solution makes it easy for retailers to scale up, and to share and provide brands access to their audience data for marketing.On the brand side, we give them control, targeting and closed-loop measurement that they want, which ultimately leads to increased investment in marketing to those retail audiences. Our media solution followed a parallel path with Amazon, as the company began to expand their ad operations around the same time that OneMarket started introducing our co-marketing option to brands. In a way, Amazon has been a role model and created demand and expectations for the way brands engage with their retail partners and their shared audiences. They paved the way to giving brands more control, measurement and insight. And their business has obviously exploded as a result.
You were on the panels for NYKG18. Back then, OneMarket focused on its Display Retargeting model. What, if anything, has changed?
We originally felt that the low hanging fruit was for mid-and upper-funnel campaigns for brands. We wanted to pull money from their branding budget for highly-targeted marketing – and create incremental opportunities for retailers. This lent itself to broader campaigns like video and display – which is where we made our bread and butter. In 2019, we’ve completely expanded on these. Our platform now offers the ability to run media across any digital channel. Users can also share the cost of PLAs on Google and can even measure the impact of direct mail. It’s an approach both retailers and brands have said is important to them. Along with that, we’ve also rolled out a comprehensive MTA (multi-touch attribution) capability for users to get a more precise view into how different sections of their campaigns are performing and avoid throwing brand dollars into a channel that isn’t converting. We also have a brand direct offering.
Say a big brand like Nike wants to measure its campaigns (whether running against DTC or wholesale audiences), we help them measure the impact across respective channels. We call this concept “dual-channel attribution.” So, Nike could run a campaign to a Nordstrom audience. This enables them to measure both the sell-through at Nordstrom as well as the impact of their DTC business. And all this works vice versa, so they get a 360-degree view of their channels that they can’t get anywhere else.
Lots of industry professionals struggle to measure the in-store to online footprint. Does OneMarket have any best practices around this?
This was always an area we focused on from the beginning – in-store measurement and targeting in-store buyers. Firstly, how can you help the retailer identify a customer whilst in-store? If someone comes in and pays cash– many times the ID on that sale is lost. OneMarket’s platform has a digital receipt product built in that helps seamlessly capture in-store purchase data.Sales associates can offer digital receipts on whichever channel the buyer prefers (email/Facebook/WhatsApp, etc). This is compelling for the customer who is used to getting digital receipts and encourages customers to opt-in to the digital ecosystem.
As for the second piece, once a customer has been ID’d and matched to cookies and devices, OneMarket has partnered with industry leaders to make that matching more efficient. Combined, we’re effective at measuring customers in store. By capturing in-store IDs, we are able to build more holistic customer profiles that include online and offline transactions, which makes for better targeting, and that allow us to better attribute sales to specific campaigns.
Has the entry of the likes of Walmart and Target impacted your approach to the market?
Having increasing numbers of big players in the space –those who provide control and measurement that brands need – can only be a good thing. The industry, primarily retailers, needs new ways to collaborate with brands. In some ways they [retailers] can be too conservative. The models Walmart and Target have introduced are examples of exactly what retailers should aim to do. I would say that they [retailers collectively] need to be open to sharing more – for mutual benefit.
How can the industry balance personalization with monetization?
I honestly don’t think we need to think of it as “monetization.”Quite frankly, the biggest benefit for the retailer and brand here are incremental product sales that come from this type of shared customer data marketing.That’s not monetization per se, it’s just growing your business. To me, that’s a much healthier way of thinking about it. Solely by the fact that brands are using first-party data, by definition it’s going to be more relevant and personalized. That’s what it’s designed to be.
If you don’t have the scale of an Amazon, the media profit won’t be meaningful to your overall business. What is meaningful is getting in those new marketing dollars to grow your product sales. Don’t focus on building a margin-based business – focus on driving more product sales.
Do you have any thoughts or predictions on the relationships between retailers and the platform economy?
My prediction has been, and still is that retail media promises to be one of the biggest movements of money we’ve seen since the shift from offline to online. There’s so much pent-up demand on the brand side for better targeting and better measurement of their marketing dollars. We’ve already seen tens of billions of dollars moved from programmatic, behavioral, and contextual targeting to retail media – as well as offline (including TV advertising money as it becomes more addressable). We’re going to see tens of billions of dollars more move in the future. It’s one of the largest media opportunities out there.