Kroger Aims to Boost Consumer Buying Experience
The Kroger Co. has unveiled a multiyear relationship with Vibenomics, a location-based audio out-of-home (OOH) advertising and experience company. Through this relationship, Vibenomics’ Audio OOH Advertising Marketplace will enhance the customer experience and how brands communicate with customers at the point of purchase in 2,300-plus Kroger stores, as well as automate the audio ad-buying process to current programmatic standards, enabling users to strategically target shoppers depending on weather, local events and other factors.
“Vibenomics plays an important part in our strategy to help us win with our customers, accelerate innovation in-store and drive success for the brands we carry,” noted Peter Miles-Prouten, SVP of partnerships at 84.51°, Kroger’s data analytics arm. “With 11 million households visiting Kroger daily, we’re excited to see audio out-of-home from Vibenomics come to life, offering real, valuable connections with our customers, and opportunities for our CPG partners to advertise effectively.”
Beginning July 20, the specialized private audio network will broadcast inside Kroger’s owned and operated locations, targeting millions of unique monthly visitors. Vibenomics will work with Kroger to determine which types of advertisers, brands, or specific products make sense to promote, while giving thoughtful consideration to the sort of shopper experience they wish to deliver.
“Our associates and customers are our No. 1 priority at Kroger, and this is a new way for us to reach them with more meaningful content,” said Cara Pratt, VP of commercial and product strategy across Kroger’s digital and in-store media business at 84.51°, who was recently featured in a forthcoming July 2020 Progressive Grocer article about her marketing innovation efforts, along with those of Nancy Winé, who was recently brought aboard to lead advertising sales for 84.51°'s Kroger Precision Marketing solution. “It allows us to provide them with up-to-date and timely information on their favorite brands, helping to improve their shopping experience. It also allows our brand partners to reach customers at a pivotal point in the buying process – the shelf.”
“Historically, audio is not seen as a digital out-of-home medium, but we’ve revolutionized how to reach consumers directly at the point of sale,” observed Paul Brenner, president of audio OOH and CSO at Fishers, Indiana-based Vibenomics. “We currently reach 200 million unique people nationwide monthly, with a projection to be in over 8,000 convenience and grocery retail outlets by 2021. We’re confident that our technology will continue to align with the rapidly evolving and unique media planning needs of the world’s most sophisticated brands and digital out-of-home buyers.”
In related news, Kroger Precision Marketing (KPM) is also working with online streaming platform Roku on a new shopper data program to make TV advertising more precise and measurable for CPG marketers. The grocer is the launch partner for Roku's new program.
Cincinnati-based Kroger employs nearly half a million associates who serve 9 million-plus customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,757 retail food stores under a variety of banner names. The company is No. 3 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food retailers in the United States.