A new front in the fight for food retailing market share has opened and retailers of all sizes have joined the battle. The area of increased competition involves the the world of retail media networks, a place where grocers recognize their rapidly growing base of digitally engaged shoppers is an asset of great value, when leveraged appropriately.
Grocers bring varying degrees of sophistication to the complex world of retail media, a fact underscored by recent moves at Walmart. Earlier this year, Walmart rebranded its media business as Walmart Connect. At the time, Rich Lehrfeld, SVP of Walmart Connect, described the platform as a closed-loop system capable of providing a holistic view of Walmart customer behavior. It is an important distinction that highlights how winning with retail media means creating accountable, measurable results for advertisers.
In Walmart’s case, it recently took Walmart Connect to the next level by launching what is known as a "demand side platform," or DSP, in partnership with independent DSP provider The Trade Desk. If this all sounds a little convoluted, that’s because it is, which underscores the increasingly complex and nuanced ways retailers offer suppliers the ability to connect with shoppers and more accurately measure spending that influences behavior.
For help understanding what the Walmart Connect move means, the implications of the DSP partnership with The Trade Desk, and the grocery industry more broadly, Progressive Grocer turned to Ethan Goodman, SVP with The Mars Agency. Goodman is a veteran marketing strategist with expertise in digital commerce and shopper marketing. Prior to his current role, he built, grew and managed The Mars Agency's e-commerce and innovation practice groups. Here’s what he had to say about Walmart's retail media moves. —Mike Troy, Editorial Director, Grocery Group