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Retail Media Report Card 2Q 2024

27 Jun 2024

To download the report, fill out the form below.

Here’s what Google Search’s new AI Overview has to say when asked about “retail media growth trends”:

“Retail media networks are a growing trend in the retail industry, with revenues increasing by more than $10 billion in 2023 to $119.4 billion. RMNs are platforms where retailers sell ad space on their digital properties. … Advertiser Perceptions predicts that retail media spending will increase by 30% in 2024, accounting for one-fifth of U.S. ad spend.”

Our new generative AI friend goes on to rave: “RMNs use customer data and insights to provide personalized and relevant advertisements that can enhance the shopping experience and help brands reach their target audiences.”

Now that Gen AI agrees, it’s official: Retail media is universally recognized not only as a uniquely essential method of commerce marketing but also an effective vehicle for any form of brand marketing because of its ability to deliver truly targeted audiences and directly measurable results. It’s either the first “full funnel” marketing medium or proof positive that the purchase funnel has finally collapsed, depending on your point of view.

Either way, growth in U.S. ad spending is being driven by new advertisers and increased spending among existing advertisers; globally, it’s sparked by more networks launching in more regions — which is why Mars United℠ Commerce now produces Retail Media Report Cards in Europe, Australia, and Canada.

But it’s also being aided by a clear change in mindset among retail media networks, in which the transactionally focused early days of negotiations have been replaced by a greater spirit of collaboration; while the investments being “asked” of brand partners are still sizable in some cases, networks have embraced the need to establish mutually beneficial partnerships that address the business needs of both parties.

That’s helping to improve platform capabilities, as well as program efficiency and effectiveness — which, in turn, gives advertisers a better understanding of the benefits involved and, therefore, greater reason to invest.

To help our clients efficiently evaluate spending opportunities across networks, Mars United created a Retail Media Health Scorecard to track the capabilities of leading networks across the key criteria that advertisers need to optimally plan, execute, and measure retail media activation.

To help the industry at large gain a better understanding of the opportunities available, and to encourage the development of evaluation standards that might ultimately improve both the collaborative process and overall network effectiveness, Mars United is publicly sharing this Retail Media Report Card, which presents the foundational, scorecarding elements of our evaluation process.

New Features This Quarter

Each quarterly Retail Media Report Card is updated to reflect the ongoing enhancements made by these platforms, to evaluate additional platforms, and to modify our analysis as needed to continue reflecting best practices across the industry.

After undertaking our most prodigious round of updates ever in the last report, we settled back to a more moderate level this time, although the networks themselves — most notably Best Buy and Gopuff — took the baton by rolling out an exceptional number of capabilities since last quarter.

For our part, we’ve initiated coverage of two new networks: Orange Apron Media, The Home Depot’s newly renamed network, which represents the Retail Media Report Card’s first foray into the critical home improvement channel.

Meijer Media, the network operated by one of the nation’s leading and most respected mass merchants. We also add two more criteria to our evaluation: Predictive/Look-a-Like Audiences in Targeting and Generative AI Search in Innovation.

And our “Capability Spotlight” examines one of the most important trends in the retail media space: the integration of physical and digital environments into a seamless shopper experience (with plenty of opportunities for brand engagement, of course).

We hope you enjoy the 7th edition of Mars United Commerce’s Retail Media Report Card.

To download the report, fill out the form below. Plus, register for our Retail Media Report Card Deep Dive webinar on July 10 here.

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