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Kroger Is on a Mission to Power Future of Retail Media

Company is building next generation of advertising technology in-house
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Online Grocery
KPM's self-service advertising platform will be able to reach relevant audiences using search-based insights and custom ad groups.

Retail media has become the technology on every grocer's 2023 agenda. Now The Kroger Co. is ramping up its efforts in this space by having Kroger Precision Marketing (KPM), the retail media business of Kroger powered by 84.51°, build the next generation of advertising technology in-house. The new KPM advertising platform is intended to accelerate the ability for retail data to improve shopping experiences while also making it easier for advertisers to activate, measure and optimize campaigns.

The new self-service platform will initially encompass Kroger’s existing product listing ads and on-site display advertising. It will later power KPM’s entire retail media service portfolio.

[Read more: "Albertsons Media Collective Pushes for Retail Media Standardization"]

“Retailers are creating the consumer-first future of advertising,” said Cara Pratt, SVP of KPM. “We know we need to remove friction from the retail media buying process. Building a new foundation of integrated technology empowers brands and agencies to maximize retail media’s potential. Together, we will deliver a more convenient, personalized and inspirational shopping experience.”

Retail media emerged with fragmented advertising systems for different media channels. By building an in-house advertising platform, KPM will offer a more unified marketing strategy between various on-site and off-site media channels. The company said that the new platform will also pave the way for greater interoperability with other media activation and management software.

The self-service advertising platform’s initial capabilities will allow clients to:

  • Reach relevant audiences using search-based insights and custom ad groups.
  • Design, iterate and activate creative messages within the platform.
  • Customize and save multiple creative templates by brand and product.
  • Optimize all campaign elements, including budgets, messaging and flighting.
  • Build reports and boost performance against deterministic retail data, including sales lift, household penetration and unit lift.  

All advertisers will be able to transition to the new platform before the end of 2023. Advertisers using third-party management tools from Pacvue, Skai and Commerce IQ may still manage inventory through those platforms. Additional integrations will be revealed in the future.

“The future of media can’t look like the past,” said Pratt. “Retail media is forcing modernization across marketing. Retailers are changing the advertising playbook, because our success depends entirely on shopper satisfaction. We’re here to make advertising dollars work harder for both shoppers and brands.”

Last month, Kroger grew its in-store retail media initiative by expanding its partnership with Microsoft-backed Cooler Screens. As a result, the tech company is bringing smart screens into 500 Kroger stores across the United States to offer shoppers a digital media and merchandising experience. 

Cincinnati-based Kroger has almost 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names. The company is No. 4 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named Kroger one of the Retailers of the Century.

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