Retail Media: What You Need to Know

No advertising channel in the history of our industry has ever grown as quickly as retail media. Global revenue from retail media spending is expected to reach $125.7 billion in 2023. By 2028, retail media spend will surpass TV spending and account for more than 15 percent of total ad spend. 

These days, about 75% of brands have dedicated budgets for retail media networks, and that’s just the beginning. So what do today’s marketers need to know about retail media networks and how to make the most of this tremendous and fast-growing opportunity? 

Table of Contents


What Is Retail Media?

At its most basic level, retail media advertising refers to advertising on retailer websites and apps. Perhaps most famously embodied in Amazon Sponsored Products ads, retail media advertising involves the targeted placement of brand ads and promotions to engage shoppers directly at the point of purchase intent. By effectively blending commerce and advertising, retail media enables brands to drive a seamless purchase experience.

Retail media networks serve as the engine behind retail media’s growth. These are the advertising services offered by retail and other commerce brands that enable third-party brands to advertise (and typically directly sell) their products on a retailer’s site or within its app or marketplace. For example, someone searching for “dish soap” on a grocery retailer’s site might see a complete listing of the dish soaps sold on that retailer’s site. But at the top of the page, Dawn might be featured as a sponsored listing, commanding the shopper’s immediate attention with a higher placement and more visually rich treatment. That is an example of retail media in action, and the native integration of these ads into the shopper experience offers value for shoppers and brands alike. 


Retail media’s growth aligns with multiple trends that have been underway for more than a decade, but it was accelerated in the COVID-19 pandemic alongside the significant surge in e-commerce spending. No longer were people browsing products in store aisles. Rather, that behavior shifted to online retail portals, and advertising budgets followed suit. 

Retail media’s popularity also aligns with current shifts in consumer privacy because it relies on a retailer’s permissioned first-party data vs. third-party sources. That’s why retail media networks have sprung up so quickly: They’re a fantastic way for retailers with large enough customer bases to put their own data to use for added revenue, without having to rely on soon-to-be-irrelevant third-party cookies

Finally, retail media also offers advertisers the opportunity to better personalize their offers and ads to the needs of the consumer. Because of the robust first-party data that powers retail media, advertisers can ensure they’re only showing relevant ads to consumers with high intent in their categories — a win-win for brands and shoppers alike. 


Who Are the Dominant Players in Retail Media?

The retail media network landscape is becoming more crowded with every passing day, as more and more retailers look to put their first-party data to use as an added revenue stream. However, the space is currently dominated by a small handful of powerhouses, including:


Amazon’s retail media network, Amazon Advertising, stands out due to its unparalleled access to a vast and diverse customer base, extensive shopping data, and sophisticated targeting capabilities. Through its industry-leading e-commerce platform, Amazon offers advertisers the opportunity to reach consumers at various touchpoints throughout their purchasing process, from product discovery to checkout.


eBay’s retail media network distinguishes itself through its dynamic marketplace that accommodates a wide array of product categories and a global user base. eBay offers advertisers a diverse range of engagement opportunities, from its promoted listings to traditional display ads to more immersive and interactive formats. Leveraging the platform’s search and browsing data, advertisers can tailor their campaigns to highly specific consumer segments.


Walmart’s retail media network, Walmart Connect, distinguishes itself through its integration of both physical and digital retail spaces, encompassing its extensive chain of brick-and-mortar stores as well as its e-commerce platform. Walmart’s retail media network offers brands the opportunity to engage consumers not only during their online shopping journeys but also during in-store visits, thereby creating a seamless and omnichannel advertising experience. 


Instacart’s retail media network stands out due to its focus on online grocery shopping. With its platform facilitating the delivery of groceries and everyday essentials from various stores, Instacart possesses valuable insights into consumer purchasing habits, enabling advertisers to target their campaigns with precision. By offering sponsored placements and personalized recommendations within the shopping experience, Instacart’s retail media network has become an important means of capturing consumer attention within the evolving landscape of e-commerce and grocery delivery.


Similar to Walmart, Target’s retail media network focuses on the seamless integration of curated shopping experiences across its physical stores, online platform, and app. Target’s retail media network excels at creating cohesive brand journeys that span the digital and physical realms, enabling advertisers to engage customers at various stages of their purchase journey.


Why Is Retail Media Advertising Important?

Advertising via retail media represents an important part of the modern marketing playbook for several reasons. Importantly, it presents benefits to marketers in the face of the following larger industry trends:


1. The Pivot to First-Party Data

Retail media has emerged as a pivotal component of modern marketing strategies due to the paradigm shift away from third-party data and toward first-party data. This transition — made all the more urgent by the forthcoming deprecation of third-party cookies in Chrome — has been prompted by growing concerns over privacy, data security, and evolving regulations. Retailers, possessing direct relationships with customers, have become custodians of valuable first-party data, which offers insights into consumer behaviors, preferences, and purchase patterns. By leveraging this data through retail media, brands can tailor their advertising efforts with precision.

2. Consumer Desire for Personalization

Retail media has also gained greater significance as consumer expectations increasingly demand personalized advertising experiences. By leveraging their understanding of individual preferences, purchase history, and browsing behavior, retail media empowers brands to curate advertisements that align precisely with each consumer’s interests. This level of tailored communication not only enhances engagement but also fosters a sense of connection between brands and customers. 

3. The Need to Support a Multi-Stage Buying Journey

It’s also important to note that, while retail media has a reputation for performance due to its proximity to the point of purchase, it’s actually quite an effective tool when it comes to supporting the full-funnel buyer journey. In the early stages, it aids in building awareness and consideration through targeted advertisements that capture the attention of potential buyers. As consumers move toward decision-making, retail media can provide detailed product information, reviews, and comparisons, aiding in the evaluation process. Moreover, by facilitating re-engagement after purchase, it cultivates brand loyalty and encourages repeat business. 


How Do Retail Media Networks Work?

Retail media networks operate as intricate ecosystems that enable brands to promote their products and services within the digital spaces of the retailer’s walls. Retailers tap into their extensive customer and behavioral data to identify relevant audiences, offering advertisers the opportunity to showcase their offerings to consumers with a higher likelihood of interest and intent. This can take the form of sponsored content, display ads, native advertisements, or other formats. 

While most advertisers are familiar with retailer media power players like Amazon, Walmart, Target and others, the retailer media network landscape becomes more crowded every day as more retailers get a handle on their first-party data and build the advertising experiences and processes to let advertisers tap into the opportunity to connect with their customers. Because the retail media landscape is still in its early stages, every network’s opportunities look a little bit different. However, there are common features that many offer for advertisers’ consideration, including:

  • Homepage ads
  • Prioritization in search results and sponsored listings
  • Category-level advertising
  • Enhanced listings 
  • Display advertising, both on- and off-site, driven by the retailer’s data

Going forward, we can expect to see a wider array of advertising formats available across retail media networks, including enhanced video and audio options. In addition, as the landscape becomes more cluttered with individual networks, retailers should expect to see ad tech players roll out offerings designed to simplify and unify the buying process across properties. 


How Do You Pick the Right Retail Media Network?

When selecting a retail media network, advertisers must carefully weigh several factors to ensure their campaigns yield optimal results. 


By Audience

First and foremost, understanding the network’s audience demographics and whether they align with the advertiser’s target market is paramount. Evaluating the network’s reach, engagement metrics, and the quality of its customer data helps ascertain its effectiveness in driving conversions. Advertisers should also inquire about the network’s technology infrastructure, ensuring it can handle the required scale and offer seamless user experiences.

By Advertising Formats

The available advertising formats and their suitability for conveying a brand’s message should also be considered. Some networks offer rich options, including video and detailed product listings, while others are more basic in nature. 

By Access to Reporting and Measurement

Transparency in reporting and analytics is vital to assess a campaign’s performance accurately. Advertisers should ensure they’ll receive the data and insights they need to determine whether they’re meeting their KPIs and to optimize future campaigns.

By Budget

Lastly, flexibility in terms of budget, campaign customization, and integration with the advertiser’s overall marketing strategy play a pivotal role in determining the right retail media network partner. Marketers must ensure the retail media networks they partner with are able to deliver meaningful results within the scope of their budget, while reducing wasted spend by avoiding repetitive or poorly targeted ads. 


What Will the Future of Retail Media Look Like?

Today, advertising within retail media networks is rife with both opportunities and challenges. On one hand, the ability to connect with targeted, high-intent shoppers with relevant ads at the point of purchase is one that advertisers cannot afford to miss. At the same time, fragmentation and varying standards across the ever-fracturing digital landscape mean that advertisers are having to spend a tremendous amount of time and effort to exploring and activating across a number of networks.

Ultimately, these challenges will be addressed by new players and technologies, and advertisers will have to keep pace with changes in the space. At the same time, the future of retail media networks holds promise as a dynamic and transformative force in the advertising landscape. Areas to watch include the following:

  • Personalization: As consumer expectations continue to evolve, retail media networks are poised to evolve into even more personalized and immersive platforms, particularly as they enhance their own first-party data understandings. 
  • Enhanced Data Use: Advancements in data analytics and AI will enable retailers to refine their targeting strategies, delivering hyper-relevant offers that resonate more deeply with individual consumers. Similar enhancements will also come to the campaign measurement and optimization space. 
  • Emerging Experiences: Integration of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences could offer more interactive and engaging advertising journeys. 
  • Deeper Integration: Collaborations between retailers and advertisers may deepen, yielding co-created content that enhances authenticity and engagement. 

Ultimately, the future of retail media networks will be shaped by a blend of cutting-edge technology, consumer-centricity, improved practices, and deeper storytelling opportunities, heralding an era of more meaningful advertising interactions.


How Can Retail Media Complement an Omnichannel Advertising Strategy?

As a singular advertising opportunity, retail media is powerful. But this power grows exponentially when retail media is leveraged in the context of a broader omnichannel advertising strategy

Retail media networks such as those offered by Walmart and Target enable advertisers to bridge the gap between digital and physical retail environments. Meanwhile, expansive players like Amazon can help connect the dots across not only the brand’s own properties, but also a growing array of off-site partners. Likewise, the retail giant has opened the doors to retail media networks serving as opportunities for both endemic and non-endemic retail media advertising.

Ultimately, though, the omnichannel opportunity extends further. By taking what brands learn about their customers via retail media advertising and extending those insights to other channels, advertisers can better connect with targets across the media landscape. Likewise, by bringing their own first-party data to the table to fuel their retail media strategies, brands can enhance their campaigns and ensure their customer journeys remain seamless, regardless of where a person chooses to purchase. 


The Power of Retail Media

In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, the power of retail media advertising shines as a beacon of innovation and relevance. Retail media harnesses the wealth of first-party data and authentic relationships that retailers possess to power dynamic advertising that aligns with the complexities of the shifting data landscape. 

Retail media establishes a bridge between brands and consumers, driving engagement, loyalty, and conversions. As we look to the future, the potential for retail media to reshape the advertising landscape is undeniable, ushering in an era of more authentic, effective, and customer-centric marketing strategies.

Your 2023 Holiday Shopping Timeline for Maximizing Media Campaigns

As summer winds down, the most wonderful (and busy!) time of year ramps right up. Every advertiser knows the importance and challenges of the holiday shopping season — and the 2023 season will be no different. 

There’s good news on the horizon for retailers. The National Retail Federation projects that retail sales will reach between $5.13 trillion and $5.23 trillion this year, a 4-6% growth from last year. On the flip side, getting a piece of those precious consumer dollars will be more challenging than ever. Ninety-two percent of consumers in the U.S. have cut spending on nonessential goods like home decor and clothing over the past six months. 

With more people shopping online, there’s ample opportunity for advertisers to create timely and memorable touchpoints with consumers to move them down the funnel over the three-month season. Keep reading as we break down everything advertisers need to know to prepare for the busy holiday shopping season. 


Timing is Everything – Holiday Shopping Starts Early

December may seem far away, but in 2022, 56% of consumers started their holiday shopping in October. Another 35% started in November. It’s never too early to get consumers familiar with your brand and holiday deals. With this in mind, we suggest a three-pronged approach to move consumers down the funnel over the coming months. 


1. Late October

Consider heaving up on awareness-focused channels such as advanced TV (CTV/OTT), pre-roll and native video, and audio. At this stage, the messaging and ad creative itself doesn’t have to revolve around the holidays, but it won’t hurt to get your brand on people’s radar.

2. Week of Black Friday & Cyber Monday

In 2022, 196.7 million Americans shopped either in-person or online over these five days. Embrace a heavy-hitting strategy using high-impact ads to draw in consumers flooded with ads and deals during the shopping frenzy. 

Consider one of the following new and emerging ad formats to stand out from the crowd and catch consumers’ eyes:

  • Scratch-Off Promo Offers: Create scratch-off cards that reveal special offers, discounts, or promotional codes. 
  • Dynamic Product Feed: Utilize an inventory data feed to create dynamic product ads that automatically update with accurate product information, such as title, price, availability, and images. 

3. Mid-November to Mid-December

During the homestretch, focus on your most valuable audiences to drive them further down the funnel. Continue to run conversion tactics, with a significant focus on retargeting your most valuable prospects.

In summary, this year’s holiday shopping season will require a strategic balancing act from advertisers: launch early but plan the long haul strategy. Media buyers should be prepping and launching campaigns in the coming month to capture those early dollars as holiday shopping starts to creep into everyone’s mind. However, a long-tail strategy will be essential to also capture those last-minute purchases made closer to the holidays. 

Looking for more holiday shopping insight? Check out the previous blog, Three Ways To Reach Online Shoppers This Holiday Season, for insights into key media strategies and tactics to move the needle with consumers this year.


Have a Holly Jolly Holiday Season with Digilant’s Holiday Shopping Solutions 

At Digilant, we understand the importance of a solid digital advertising strategy to conquer the holiday shopping season and end the year on a high note. With that in mind, our media strategies are ready to create a custom, tailored solution to achieve your brand’s goals. Contact us today to get started building your holiday shopping media plan. 

Three Ways To Reach Online Shoppers This Holiday Season

Ahead of the upcoming holiday season, it’s helpful to look back at 2022 and understand critical patterns and factors that moved the needle for consumers. When analyzing last year’s trends and data, one thing is clear: online shopping continues to take a leading role.

In 2022, consumers spent $211.7 billion online from November 1 to December 31, growing 3.5% year-over-year. Black Friday alone raked in a record $9.12 billion in online sales. While online shopping grows in importance, consumers are also diversifying where and how they shop online. 

Diversified media habits mean more avenues to reach shoppers and more work for advertisers to find the right tactics to reach shoppers. To help navigate the ever-changing digital media landscape, we’ve identified three key strategies you can be sure will reach online shoppers this holiday season.


1. Reach Consumers while they Shop Online with Retail Media Networks

Take advantage of targeting shoppers who are actively browsing and shopping online with Retail Media Networks (RMNs). RMNs use proprietary first-party, deterministic data to reach consumers throughout the online buying journey. 

They provide advertisers with high-quality ad placements making the path to purchase quick and seamless. Even better, most retail media networks will allow their data to be used across multiple formats such as connected TV, audio, banners, video, and native. This allows advertisers to reach their audience throughout the day while they continue to finalize their holiday gifts. 


2. Consumers are busy, make it as easy as possible for them

The holidays aren’t just a busy time for advertisers, everyone is flooded with events, parties, shopping, planning, and more. It’s increasingly important for brands to make the shopping experience as seamless and personalized as possible for consumers. In fact, 80% of shoppers are more likely to buy from a company that offers personalized experiences.

While not every brand can afford to offer personalized discounts, coupons, and free shipping, consider how you can tailor ads to make your consumers feel valued. Here are some ways we suggest personalizing your ads:

  • For businesses with brick-and-mortar locations, consider a hyperlocal approach. Ad copy such as “pick up yours at our Springfield Store location” or “20% off purchases made this weekend at our Downtown Smithfield store” streamlines the path to purchase. Shoppers appreciate a personalized ad experience tailored specifically to them, but it also reassures them that you carry the exact product they are looking to purchase.
  • If targeting more than one audience, include the specific audience in the creative. Don’t rely on generic copy and imagery, rather catch their eye with relatable creatives. If you target families, include the proper images or video. If you are targeting Gen Z, use language that speaks directly to them. Slight variance in ad creative can make a drastic difference in catching the right consumer’s attention. 
  • Because consumers are shelling out major dollars during this time of year, they’ll be looking for deals and savings wherever they can find them. If your business is able to, offer a discount code or special offer for your audience geared specifically for the holiday season. This helps assure consumers you sympathize with the economic impact the holiday season can have on their wallets. 


3. Measure your Campaigns and Tailor Your Strategy Along the Way

The holiday season spans much longer than the Black Friday to Cyber Monday weekend. With three months of browsing and buying, one of the most important strategies advertisers can implement are quality measurement solutions. 

These tools enable advertisers to track data such as impressions, conversions, in-store foot traffic, online sales, offline sales, and brand lift. With access to live, up-to-date data, you can quickly shift attention and budget toward strategies and audiences of the most value and move away from strategies that aren’t working as well. There’s no use in continuing to invest in a channel or tactic that isn’t seeing the results you need, so a measurement solution gives you the insight to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. 


Have a Holly Jolly Holiday Season with Digilant’s Holiday Shopping Solutions 

The right combination of media tactics can make all the difference in reaching consumers during the holidays or missing the mark and losing out to the competition. Interested in learning about how to tailor these digital media strategies to make an impact this holiday season? Our media strategists are ready to create a custom, tailored solution to achieve your brand’s goals. Contact us today to get started building your holiday shopping media plan. 

Omnichannel Marketing: What You Need to Know

We live — and marketers work — in an omnichannel world. As the digital landscape becomes more complex, today’s consumers are navigating it seamlessly, slipping from one channel to the next without missing a beat on the goal they’ve set out to accomplish. In fact, an impressive 86 percent of shoppers regularly hop across two or more channels while shopping

To consumers, cross-channel activities aren’t given a second thought. But from the marketing and brand experience standpoint, the omnichannel reality is a lot more complicated. Let’s look at what omnichannel success requires in the modern marketing era. 

Table of Contents


What Is Omnichannel Marketing?

In the simplest of terms, omnichannel marketing is an approach to marketing that addresses the customer experience on each channel — everything from desktop browsers and mobile apps to social media, podcasts, and more — as well as how customers transition among channels to make purchases. The importance of this comprehensive approach to marketing — one that prioritizes the consumer journey and maintains consistency across it — cannot be overstated. 

Customers are more likely to remember brands, view them favorably, and make purchases with them after being exposed to an integrated omnichannel marketing campaign. So, what does it take to build and execute such a strategy? Keep reading to learn more.


What Are the Four Pillars of Omnichannel Marketing?

While the concept of omnichannel marketing is a grand one, the implementation of such a strategy is, in fact, highly tactical. In general, there are four major pillars that support omnichannel marketing: data and insights, strategic planning, channel selection, and reporting and measurement. Let’s dig into each one in more detail. 


1. Data and Insights

The backbone of omnichannel marketing relies on a data-driven, strategic approach to properly identifying, interacting with, and engaging consumers. The end goal is to understand your customers and prospects — particularly as it relates to how and where they shop and engage with content — and to deliver targeted, relevant ad placements, creative, and messaging. 

Proper execution of an omnichannel strategy typically requires both first-party data (what you know directly about your customers) and third-party data (information from outside sources that reveals new dimensions of these customers). However, collecting this data is just the start. Marketers must then put in the work required to interpret and understand what the data means as it relates to real-world behaviors. 


2. Strategic Planning

With a solid foundation of audience data and insights, marketers can then go about making a strategic plan for reaching those audiences across channels. A key part of this step is to solidify your budget and prioritize who to target with your ad spend and in which channels. 

Omnichannel marketing is, by definition, a strategy that aims to reach target audiences across the many channels that comprise their customer journey. However, it’s unrealistic to think that a brand can reach all audiences across all channels all the time. This is why the data and insights discussed above are so vital. Approached correctly, they will reveal the most valuable audiences— both existing customers and prospects — for a given brand, as well as their most impactful touch points. 


3. Channel Selection

With an understanding of a brand’s target audiences and their customer journeys, it’s time for marketers to decide how to allocate their budgets across channels. A strong omnichannel marketing strategy can include email marketing, social media, search, digital display, digital video, CTV and OTT, out of home, print, mobile, a brand’s own website, affiliate, social influencers, and more. It seems like the list never ends.

The logical question arises: Does my brand need to be present on all of these channels? The answer depends on the brand, its customers, and its resources. While the goal of omnichannel marketing is to create a seamless, unified customer journey across all channels frequented by a brand’s target audiences, it’s important to establish priorities. The goal should be to cover as many channels and platforms as possible, assuming your audiences are on them, but to still be able to do so in an impactful way. 

There are a tremendous number of channels from which to choose, and ensuring a diverse marketing mix is valuable, as it helps engage customers wherever they are in their customer journeys and on the platforms that matter to them. Furthermore, including a variety of touchpoints, platforms, and tactics in your plan can help ensure no single channel becomes oversaturated. Ultimately, however, plans will need to operate within the reality of a brand’s marketing budget, which is why strong data and targeting are so important out of the gate.  


4. Reporting and Measurement

Finally, we come to reporting and measurement — as vital a pillar of omnichannel marketing as any of the others, but the one that’s perhaps most likely to be overlooked. Proper reporting and measurement enable advertisers to evaluate the execution of their campaigns in a holistic way to understand which tactics and channels are performing well (and which aren’t). 

Omnichannel marketing is an always-on endeavor, and that means reporting and measurement should be too. By understanding how different channels are performing and interacting with one another, marketers can shift budgets and efforts accordingly, even while campaigns are still live and running. By committing to continual reporting and measurement, marketers can unlock a cycle of continuous improvement that enables greater efficiencies and the ability to test new audiences, channels, and tactics that might be of interest but perhaps weren’t included in earlier planning. Furthermore, proper reporting and measurement enable marketers to identify shifts in consumer behaviors, marketplace realities, and channel performance before they can significantly impact a brand’s omnichannel results. 


What Is an Example of an Omnichannel Marketing Strategy in Action?

From a consumer standpoint, we rarely spend time thinking about how we become aware of and start purchasing from a brand, nor do we think about the many ways in which our favorite brands communicate and interact with us. Omnichannel marketing, at its best, is seamless in that regard. 

Let’s consider how a modern fashion brand might employ an omnichannel marketing strategy to provide a unified and personalized experience to its prospects and customers across various platforms and channels.

  • Online store and mobile app: The brand has a user-friendly online store and mobile app that offer a wide range of clothing and accessories. Customers can browse the products, add items to their cart, and create wishlists. Their activity and preferences are tracked to provide personalized recommendations.
  • Personalized and retargeted display advertising: The fashion brand employs data-driven advertising campaigns across various platforms. Some ads leverage contextual data to reach likely targets. In other instances, a person who recently viewed a specific dress on the website might see retargeted ads featuring that dress on other websites they visit. 
  • Social media advertising: The brand also runs targeted display advertising campaigns on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. The ads direct users to the brand’s online store or encourage them to download the mobile app.
  • Location-based mobile ads: The brand might also use location-based advertising to send targeted offers and promotions to potential customers’ mobile devices when they are near one of the company’s store locations. 
  • SEO and paid search: The fashion brand optimizes its website for search engines to ensure that it appears in relevant search results when potential customers are looking for fashion products. The company also employs paid search ads to attract potential customers actively searching for fashion products online. 
  • Video advertising: The brand amplifies its omnichannel marketing strategy by incorporating video ads across YouTube and other online platforms that showcase its latest collections, styling tips, and customer testimonials.
  • Email marketing: The company also sends personalized email campaigns to its subscribers. These emails include abandoned cart reminders, personalized product recommendations based on browsing history, exclusive offers, and updates about upcoming sales or new arrivals.
  • Social media: The company maintains active profiles on popular social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. It regularly posts high-quality images of its latest collections, style guides, and user-generated content. 
  • In-store experience: The brand ensures its physical stores are aligned with its digital efforts. In-store tablets allow customers to browse the online catalog, check product availability, and even place online orders for items that might not be in stock.

In this omnichannel marketing example, the fashion brand leverages multiple platforms and channels to create a seamless and integrated customer experience. The goal is to provide convenience, personalization, and engagement at every touchpoint, ultimately driving customer loyalty and increasing sales. 

As extensive as the above list is, it’s really just a starting point. Additional consumer touchpoints leveraged by the brand could include user-generated content, print, direct mail, OOH and DOOH, TV advertising, chatbots and customer support, loyalty programs and more. 


A Real-World Omnichannel Marketing Case Study

Every brand should be thinking about their prospects and customers in an omnichannel capacity. So, what does that look like when it comes to campaign planning, execution, and results? Consider the example of a power tool company that was recently looking to drive sales during two campaign flights — one right before Christmas and one during springtime. To do this, the company employed a mix of full-funnel tactics to create awareness among new prospects and drive individuals to purchase its tools at a major retailer.

With its campaigns, the brand reached potential customers across the U.S. through video, OTT, social media, and display ads. Specific tactics included: 

  • Video retargeting: The brand placed a pixel on its landing page and retargeted anyone who visited with a video.
  • Pre-roll contextual advertising: The brand placed ads within content categories focused on homeowners, DIY projects, home projects, crafters, and outside yard work.
  • Social to display ads: The brand leveraged its existing social assets from Facebook to create display ads in a seamless execution.

The combination of tactics and channels enabled the brand to exceed campaign goals, driving more than 11,000 conversions and a 0.20 percent click-through rate. The results were a testament to the company’s unified omnichannel approach to aligning its efforts with the full customer journey. 


Why You Should Use Omnichannel Marketing

Omnichannel marketing enables a seamless purchase journey for consumers every step of the way. Furthermore, with proper planning and execution, omnichannel marketing allows advertisers to quickly adapt their marketing tactics and advertising campaigns without losing contact with consumers and ensuring continued access to the data and insights needed for continual optimization. 

The importance of omnichannel marketing within today’s highly fragmented digital world cannot be overstated. Consider:

Let’s delve deeper into why omnichannel marketing is so successful in driving improved campaign results, marketing ROI, and customer relationships. 


Today, Shopping Is Omnichannel

Today’s marketing must be omnichannel because, quite simply, today’s shopper experience is omnichannel. Consumers no longer adhere to the traditional distinctions between online and offline shopping. Rather, they seamlessly navigate a multitude of interconnected touchpoints. 

As technology has advanced, the concept of omnichannel has redefined the way consumers interact with brands. From browsing products on mobile apps and websites to engaging with brands on social media and exploring physical stores, the modern shopper expects a cohesive and unified experience. An omnichannel approach ensures that customers can effortlessly transition among platforms, digital interactions, and in-person experiences while enjoying consistent branding, personalized recommendations, and convenient options tailored to their needs, like click-and-collect or home delivery. 


Omnichannel Data Provides a More-Complete Understanding

A properly executed omnichannel marketing strategy provides brands with a unified 360-degree view of how consumers engage with them across every step of the customer journey. Importantly, the data and insights gleaned from an omnichannel marketing approach serve to improve brand experiences that extend well beyond just marketing and advertising. Customer engagements, transactions, and feedback provide valuable information that can help a company improve its customer service, technical support, brand initiatives, and even its product design. 


Omnichannel Marketing Improves Personalization

Research has shown that 80 percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences, and as younger generations acquire more buying power, that imperative becomes even stronger. Omnichannel marketing, given the more comprehensive approach it takes to understanding and engaging customers and prospects, enables brands to better customize their efforts to individual consumers based on where they are in their journey, the product they’re seeking, and the relationship they have already established with the brand. 


Omnichannel Marketing Best Practices

Omnichannel marketing requires a significant amount of planning. Here’s where marketers need to be focusing their efforts: 


Have a Deep Understanding of Your Customer’s Journey

Understanding the customer journey is paramount to achieving success in omnichannel marketing. By comprehending the intricate path a customer takes from awareness to purchase and beyond, businesses can tailor their strategies to align seamlessly with each touchpoint. This knowledge empowers advertisers to deliver consistent messaging, relevant content, and personalized experiences, regardless of the channel or device a customer uses to engage a brand. 

In the dynamic landscape of omnichannel marketing, a deep comprehension of the customer journey serves as the compass guiding advertisers toward building enduring relationships with consumers and achieving their goals. By harnessing the right data and insights, businesses can identify customer pain points, optimize transitions, and ensure a cohesive narrative that resonates with customers. This ultimately helps build trust, foster loyalty, and provide the convenience and satisfaction that modern consumers demand. 


Pick the Right Channels

Omnichannel marketing doesn’t mean being everywhere. It means being where your customer is — and ensuring your messaging and image are consistent in those places.

Selecting the appropriate channels for an effective omnichannel marketing strategy demands a strategic approach. Begin by understanding your target audience and their preferences. Research which platforms they frequently use and how they engage with content. At the same time, analyze your product or service to determine the best opportunities to showcase its features. Likewise, consider the nature of your brand message; some channels are better suited for visual content, while others excel in delivering in-depth information. Choose wisely. 


Stay on Top of the Data

When a brand is running different creatives across different channels, the data begins to pile up quickly. Before you even get started with these campaigns, be sure to outline a plan for data collection, organization, integration, and optimization. With multiple incoming data sources, it’s easy to get lost quickly in an avalanche of spreadsheets. Selecting a data analytics solution that works for your brand will help avoid this fate.

Be sure to collaborate across departments to ensure a holistic approach that aligns with your brand’s business goals. Continuously monitor channel performance and adapt based on results to focus resources on channels that yield the highest engagement and conversions. In the end, a meticulous blend of audience insights, campaign results, and data-driven decisions will allow your omnichannel strategy to thrive.


Hire an Expert If You Can’t DIY

Omnichannel marketing is not for the faint of heart. If you don’t have a team that can make all the steps of omnichannel marketing a priority, you’re better off not doing it all. Hiring experts makes sense for teams that don’t have the time or expertise to connect the dots across the many touchpoints of the customer journey.  

Are you ready to unlock the full power of strategic omnichannel marketing for your brand? We’re here to help. Let’s talk about what Digilant can do for you. 

4 Omnichannel Advertising Trends Set to Dominate the 2023 NFL Season

The 2023/24 NFL season kicks off Thursday, September 7th with the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Detroit Lions. After the 2022/23 season saw an average 16.7 million viewers per game, advertisers are wise to use in-game TV ads to reach fans. But, if big-budget TV ads are out of reach for your brand, fear not. 

Today’s fans are omnichannel viewers. They’ll scroll through social media while watching games, subscribe to players’ podcasts, and browse in-game analysis or post-game highlights on their phones. All these actions provide ample opportunities for brands to create relevant and memorable interactions.

With all these new channels, it may feel overwhelming to decide where to begin. Ahead of the 2023/24 NFL season, we’re helping advertisers create a winning strategy by looking back at key trends and media habits in the 2022/23 season. This gives advertisers insight into where they can reach their audience in the coming months as they tune into football games or NFL-related content.


The Impact of the Hollywood Strike on TV

Before we jump into key trends, it’s important to note that this NFL season will launch at a unique time in television history. As the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA remain on strike, TV networks will eventually run out of new content to premiere. 

A gap in new content would seemingly lead to fewer consumers watching TV. However, experts are confident that consumers won’t stop watching. Rather, they’ll simply shift their viewing habits. Two genres unaffected by the strikes are reality TV and live sports. These genres are poised for significant viewership in the coming months—just in time for the NFL season.


Key Trends from Last Season and Their Impact on the 2023/24 NFL Season


Amazon Prime Video Coverage of Thursday Night Football

To keep up with more people streaming TV than watching cable or broadcast television, major broadcasters offer game coverage via their respective streaming platforms like NBC using Peacock, for example. In fact, Amazon was the first to test a streaming-exclusive broadcast. 

Last season, Amazon made an inaugural run covering Thursday night NFL games on its Prime Video streaming service. While it fell short of traditional broadcast viewership, their regular season coverage still delivered an impressive 9.58 million average viewers per game.

Going into this year’s season, Amazon made a “litany of updates to its ad services,” to entice advertisers. Most notably, advertisers can now “run audience-based creative…using Amazon insights to serve different creative to different users all in the same ad break,” according to Amazon Ads VP/Global Sales Alan Moss. Additionally, to give brands the same reach they’ve come to expect with linear TV, advertisers are “promised the potential to extend ad buys within Amazon to make good on any rating shortfalls.”


The Power of the Second Screen

In 2022, 49% of viewers used two or more screens while watching football. Sixty-nine percent of viewers used a second screen — typically a mobile device or laptop — to find more information about a product or service after seeing an ad. 

Brands have a great opportunity to align their ads with NFL-related content using contextually placed display, video, or social media ad units. With NFL-specific ad buys, your message appears within contextually-relevant publishers alongside content such as: 

  • Betting/odds predictions
  • Opinion & expert analysis
  • Key storylines throughout the season

Because consumers are viewing these ads on mobile or laptop devices, advertisers can utilize ad creative that drives them further down the funnel. Incorporating action-related content encourages consumers to click to learn more, driving them to your website.


Audience Reach Goes Beyond the Field as NFL Podcasts Grow 

Since 2021, just under 900,000 new podcasts have launched. Nearly half of U.S. consumers (42%) are monthly podcast listeners, while more than a quarter (26%) listen weekly. 

Every industry has seen an influx in podcast content as the value of this media form has become increasingly obvious. Sports — specifically the NFL — are no different. In 2021, the NFL teamed up with iHeartMedia to launch the NFL Podcast Network. This partnership included “the distribution of NFL Media’s existing podcasts, as well as the co-production and distribution of two dozen new original podcasts… focusing on NFL history, inside access, and more.”

Additionally, networks across the industry — Barstool Sports, Wave Sports + Entertainment, and LockedOn — continuously add new content to the mix as players, teams, coaches, and analysts throw their hats into the podcasting ring, growing their audience, reach, and influence all while monetizing their content.

As advertisers look to the upcoming season, podcasting provides a great outlet to reach fans beyond Thursday, Sunday, and Monday game schedules. With a host of targeting options — show, content, genre, publishers —advertisers can reach their specific audiences as they tune into NFL content throughout their week. 


Stay Flexible and Tuned in to Trending Moments

As the NFL season approaches, one of the best tools advertisers can incorporate is to stay flexible and ready for whatever may come their way. Think back to the 2013 Super Bowl. No one could have predicted a stadium-wide blackout during the halftime show. But, Oreo’s fast thinking “you can still dunk in the dark ” post garnered them 525 million earned media impressions

Having a solid strategy in place at the start of the season — incorporating some of the channels and strategies above — ensures flexibility to jump in on trending conversations and critical moments in the season. 


Digilant’s Solutions to Reach NFL Fans

It’s never too late to add football and NFL-related ad buys into your media strategy. Digilant has custom, data-driven NFL and Football omnichannel packages at the ready to help you score big with fans this season. Contact us today to get started.

What is Endemic vs Non-Endemic Retail Media Advertising?

For years, media buying centered on the idea that only people interested in a specific industry or product would visit certain websites. The publisher or site itself had to contextually align with the topic of your ad – otherwise known as endemic advertising placements.

As consumer data and audience insights have evolved, advertisers have begun to view ad placements how they view consumers — multifaceted. We now know that ads don’t need to only appear against certain topics, categories, or content. We can use targeting and data analytics to reach the right consumer, no matter where they browse. This shift has positioned non-endemic retail media advertising at the forefront of media buying.

So, if you’re wondering which tactic – endemic or non-endemic advertising – is suitable for your brand, keep reading as we’ll dive further into what these terms mean, their benefits, and how to incorporate them into your media playbook.  


What is Endemic Advertising?

The term ‘endemic’ is defined as native or natural to a specific environment or its surroundings. When taken in the context of advertising, it refers to ad placements that are contextually relevant or native to the market in which they are placed. 

This is an especially fruitful tactic when buying ad space within retail media networks (RMNs). Suppliers —  whose products are available on the retailer’s website, pay for ad space within the retailer’s network (website, app, emails, etc) —  to promote their products within the customer shopping experience. 


How Endemic Retail Media Advertising Works

Retail endemic advertising is the primary format by which ads are bought and sold within RMNs. Take Walmart’s DSP, for instance. Brands who sell their products at Walmart gain access to exclusive first-party ‘Walmart Connect’ data and in-market audiences (Walmart Connect) to reach shoppers at every stage of the shopping journey. They provide premium behavioral and audience data for brands to target consumers, such as previous buyers or in-market shoppers. 

Additionally, this exclusive partnership gives brands access to premium endemic ad placements within the shopping journey. Brands can highlight their products at the top of search results on or use sponsored product carousel ads within the Walmart app, to name a few examples. The ad formats themselves lend to a simple path to purchase with features such as ‘add to cart’ and ‘buy now’ highlighted directly within the ad.

As consumers have diversified where and when they shop, RMNs have stayed in step, offering ad placements beyond their websites and apps. Walmart, for example, offers endemic advertisers opportunities to advertise across their social media pages, across their email marketing, or with in-store displays. 

Endemic advertising’s structure is simple yet effective. Shoppable ad formats directly within retailers’ networks enable brands to reach active shoppers interested in their products with straightforward click-to-purchase formats. 


Benefits of Endemic Retail Media Advertising

The benefits of endemic advertising for advertisers are rooted in the system’s structure. Brands can access exclusive ad placements to connect with consumers while they are in an active shopping mindset. It enables them to create more relevant ad campaigns tailored for shopping audiences. 

One might wonder why retailers are willing to display ads as they might distract from the shopping experience. Simply put: offering ad space across the network provides an additional revenue stream beyond retail sales. However, the benefits of endemic ads are more than an opportunity to drive dollars.

Shopping is inherently a discovery process; consumers seek new products to try or compare to others. Because these ads use first-party audience targeting, the retailer knows the consumer will be interested in the brand or product. So, the suggested products and ads tailored to individual customers create a personalized, relevant shopping experience. Happy consumers are always a win for retailers. 


Amazon’s Shift to Non-Endemic Retail Media Advertising

Traditionally, ad inventory on Retail Media Networks (RMNs) was exclusively available to brands selling their products or goods on the respective retailers’ sites. Since its advent, brands and retailers have benefited from this highly successful and symbiotic relationship. This is why industry experts were thrown a curve ball with Amazon straying from the mold. 

During the Amazon ‘Unboxed’ Conference in October 2022, the eCommerce giant announced that non-endemic brands could start purchasing sponsored display ads on their website. With solutions at the ready, Amazon solidified its ambition to expand its advertising services beyond CPG and endemic clients. 

This announcement marked a significant shift within RMNs, opening a whole new world of opportunities for advertisers who don’t sell products or services on retailer websites. 


What is Non-Endemic Retail Media Advertising?

Non-Endemic retail media advertising refers to using retailer ad space to promote a product or service not sold by the retailer by identifying attributes of a retailer’s main or best customers. The retailer can then sell ad space on their website to non-competitor brands whose audience overlaps or mirrors theirs.


How Non-Endemic Advertising Works and its Benefits 

GoPuff, a food and consumer goods delivery company, allows advertisers to reach consumers using sponsored product ads and product features in promotions.

While sponsored products and product features are better suited for endemic advertisers, the company recently expanded its advertising capabilities to appeal to non-endemic advertisers. Companies that don’t sell products within the GoPuff platform can now target the platform’s 2.6 million active users with “ads at checkout.”

The key to successful non-endemic advertising is to find considerable overlaps in the audience base. For GoPuff, Hulu was the perfect partner for a launch campaign. GoPuff’s core audience group consists of males, between 25 and 34 years of age, living on their own or with roommates in major cities throughout the US. While GoPuff doesn’t offer TV streaming services, this audience overlaps perfectly with the cord-cutting demographic Hulu works to convert to subscribers. And so far, these platforms are seeing success, with an engagement rate of 5% during the first month of the partnership.

This approach presents GoPuff — and other retailers — with valuable opportunities.Because GoPuff doesn’t offer the service, it runs no risk of lost business. However, by enabling non-endemic advertisers to purchase its ad inventory, GoPuff diversifies its revenue stream with online ad revenue. As for non-endemic advertisers, they reap all the same benefits of endemic ads alongside the ability to access previously unavailable inventory. This helps diversify their digital marketing strategy to reach shoppers during every stage of the buying journey. Furthermore, non-endemic retail media advertising enables brand discovery for consumers, opening doors to new companies, products, and services that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. 


Digilant’s Endemic and Non-Endemic Ad Solutions through Premier Retail Media Networks

Endemic and non-endemic retail media ads provide advertisers with excellent opportunities to get their products or services to the right audience at the right time. Furthermore, they’re a powerful solution to engage with consumers today and in a cookieless future.

 If you’re interested in learning more about these retail media advertising opportunities or access to retail media networks, we’re happy to chat.

Predictive and Generative Artificial Intelligence: What is it and what’s the difference?

Artificial intelligence has all but dominated recent news. As technology advances and is incorporated into different aspects of our lives, you may be overwhelmed, or even scared, trying to understand how the technology works, let alone how to use it. 

Before you get too overwhelmed, however, consider that AI is already a substantial part of our daily lives, and has been for years now. The personal assistants on our phones, smart speakers in our homes, autonomous vehicles, and customer service chatbots: all artificial intelligence. It’s present in the background of our lives, streamlining, personalizing, and improving some of our more mundane tasks and experiences: social media feeds, eCommerce experiences, online shopping, real-time traffic and weather conditions, purchase verifications and online banking platforms, to name a few. 

In advertising, AI reflects a similar pattern. Many media buyers have used predictive AI in their buys for years, whether they realize it or not. In fact, more than 80% of industry experts integrate some form of AI technology into their online marketing activities. 

It seems all roads point to even more improvements, advances, and applications of AI in media buying. As such, it’s more important than ever for media buyers to understand how the technology works and ensure they are harnessing the power of its technology. 

In this blog post, we’ll cover exactly what artificial intelligence is, the different types, its functions in media buying, and why it’s a necessary technology for the advertising industry.


What is artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence is an umbrella term for the concept of reproducing human intelligence and cognition in machines. These machines can then execute activities and streamline tasks, learning and improving as they go. There are two forms of artificial intelligence: predictive and generative. 

What is Predictive AI?

Predictive AI refers to artificial intelligence systems that use statistical models, machine learning algorithms, and data-driven approaches to make predictions about future outcomes based on historical data. Predictive AI foresees future events or outcomes based on historical data.

Let’s look at a simple example. Imagine you ride your bike to work every day. Over time, after trying different ways to get to work, you will learn which route is faster or which road or path is better according to the day of the week or based on the weather outside. This is exactly how predictive AI works. You feed the computer or algorithm with large amounts of historical data so that it analyzes and predicts future outcomes based on past learning and applies the learnings to any new data it receives in the future.

What is Generative AI?

Generative AI refers to artificial intelligence systems that generate new content or outputs based on a given set of input data. Generative AI uses machine learning algorithms and deep learning techniques to create new outputs, such as text, images, music, or videos, that are similar to a given training data set. Generative AI models can be used for tasks such as image generation, text generation, and anomaly detection.

This is the type of AI currently making head waves in the news as it’s the basis for companies such as ChatGPT and Dall-e.


How does AI work in programmatic advertising?

Programmatic advertising leans heavily on the use of predictive artificial intelligence. These algorithms can quickly analyze large volumes of data from different sources and draw conclusions from them. When applied to programmatic advertising, this has various use cases.

  1. Identifying patterns in consumer behavior

Every touchpoint that a brand makes with a consumer can be turned into a data point for artificial intelligence to sort and analyze. Part of this analysis reveals patterns in customer behavior that can then be used to tailor the ad experience based on specific interests or preferences. 

  1. Predicting Outcomes

AI can analyze data to identify the likelihood that a consumer takes a certain action. These predictions can then be used to better shape the customer journey. Knowing how consumers act based on search history or previously clicked-on ads enables brands to serve more strategic ads tailored to these typical outcomes.

  1. Predictive Analysis

One of the most significant benefits of AI in programmatic advertising is that it can be constantly used to improve future campaigns. Analyzing past metrics, AI can identify which channels, targeting strategies, ad formats, and targets are working well and which are not. This information can then be used to optimize future campaigns, improving your ROI. 


Will AI replace human media buyers and planners?

As you were reading the use cases for AI in programmatic media buying, you may have thought, “But, that’s my job.” In short, yes, AI can almost replicate the brain of an experienced media buyer in a machine or algorithm so it becomes capable of predicting, planning, and optimizing media. 

Don’t panic. The key word is “almost.” 

Though machines can certainly make programmatic advertising more efficient, faster, and easier to implement, there remain many factors that need human input and link AI to an overall media buying strategy. Additionally, when you bring efficiency to the media buying process, media buyers are freed from the more tedious tasks, allowing them to focus on the strategic and creative elements of their jobs.


Why should you use AI in advertising?

AI-backed strategies create a more personalized experience for the customer. Because AI analyzes campaign data to identify patterns, advertisers can deliver more tailored ads based on the customer’s interests and needs. This provides a more personalized, relevant, and positive customer experience. And every advertiser knows a happy customer is of great value as they are more likely to be a loyal, repeat shopper.

Additionally, brands and advertisers can save money and time by completing tasks faster than humans and making fewer mistakes. AI-powered systems enable advertisers to streamline their efforts, make quicker decisions, adjust to consumer patterns, provide better value, and improve ROI. 

In summary, AI applications in programmatic provide the following benefits:

  • Better personalization
  • More relevant ads for customers
  • More efficient budgeting
  • Reduced costs and decreased ad waste
  • Operational efficiencies 
  • Increased engagement and conversions


How do people and businesses benefit from AI?

AI applications in programmatic advertising will continue to evolve and grow as technology improves. With every new application, your advertising efforts can be significantly enhanced. And, as mentioned previously, customers will continue to benefit from more personalized tailored ad experiences. 

Task AI to do all the heavy lifting for your advertising so that you and your team can focus on creating the best possible strategy to reach your audience and improve your ROI.

Programmatic Advertising: What You Need To Know

In 2023, U.S. programmatic digital display ad spending is expected to reach nearly $150 billion, accounting for more than 90 percent of total digital display ad spending. And, as astounding as that figure is, that’s only a part of the picture. As fast-growing channels like connected TV and digital out-of-home are increasingly transacted programmatically, the influence (and complexity) of programmatic advertising will continue to grow. 

Programmatic advertising is a vital part of the modern marketing playbook. Here you’ll gain a foundational understanding of programmatic advertising and how you can leverage it to reach and engage your audiences.

Table of Contents


What Is Programmatic Advertising?

Simply put, programmatic advertising is the practice of using technology to automate the buying and selling of ad impressions on media. It uses algorithms to enable advertisers to target segmented audiences using real-time data in ways that simply can’t be accomplished manually, and to do so with accuracy and at scale.

The programmatic ad industry is rife with jargon and acronyms, but from an advertiser’s standpoint, there are just a few basics to know: Brands and agencies use a demand-side platform (DSP) to indicate which impressions they want to buy and how much they want to pay. Publishers and app developers use a supply-side platform (SSP) to deliver their available impressions to brands and agencies. DSPs and SSPs collaborate to automate the buying and selling of digital advertising inventory by integrating with ad exchanges, enabling real-time bidding, and facilitating data sharing for optimization. 

There are multiple ways to buy ads programmatically. The most common methods are as follows: 

  • Open Auction, or Real-Time Bidding (RTB): In open auctions, hundreds of buyers can compete for inventory in real time without any restrictions or pre-negotiated deals. 
  • Private Marketplace (PMP): These invitation-only marketplaces are more exclusive and feature negotiated minimum prices and non-guaranteed volumes.
  • Preferred Deals: These one-to-one deals feature a fixed price and non-guaranteed volumes.
  • Guaranteed Deals: These one-to-one deals feature a fixed price and guaranteed volumes.


What Does Programmatic Advertising Look Like?

Programmatic advertising is especially attractive to brands and agencies because of the high degree of customization and data-driven targeting that can go into these media buys. Additionally, programmatic advertising supports a wide array of ad formats, ranging from fairly basic executions to highly dynamic ones.

What types of digital ad formats are there and what do they look like?

Need help visualizing the variety of digital ad formats you can leverage to reach your audience? Below is a breakdown of some of the most popular programmatic ad formats, such as:

Native Ads

Native ads reflect the look and feel of the environment in which they appear. They are meant to fit into its surrounding content, providing a more seamless advertising experience than other formats.

Read our full explainer on native advertisements.

Display Ads

Display ads can be static or animated, and combine imagery, text, and a URL link to drive audiences to landing pages. Display ads come in a variety of sizes, with the most common being 300×250 (Medium Rectangle), 728×90 (Leaderboard), 160×600 (Wide Skyscraper), 300×600 (Half-page ad), 320×50 (mobile leaderboard) and 300×250(medium rectangle). 

Video Ads

Video ads typically appear before, after, or during streaming content. However, some might expand the definition of video ads to also include display ads that contain video within them.

Audio Ads

Audio ads are formatted as — you guessed it — audio. These are delivered via streaming platforms, like podcasts or music streaming apps like Spotify, Pandora, or iHeartRadio, for example.

Advanced TV Ads

Advanced TV ads are advertisements that are not watched through a broadcast, cable, or satellite connection. This includes advertisements viewed on connected TVs, over-the-top (OTT) devices, and linear addressable TV. Advanced TV advertising provides sophisticated targeting based on household IP addresses and device types.

Social Ads

Social ads allow advertisers to connect with prospective customers via third-party social networking platforms, in the form of display or video ads. Social Ads are commonly used to drive brand awareness and reach new audiences. Display, video story, and messenger ads are common formats in social media advertising.

Search Ads

Search advertising leverages keywords and phrases to deliver web users advertisements on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing, based on their search queries. Search ads allow advertisers to drive sales by quickly engaging people who are usually in the market for a specific product or service. Common formats for search ads include text, display, video, shopping, local search, amongst others.

Retail Media Ads

These advertisements are typically videos or banner ads within a retail media network that state they are sponsored.

Programmatic advertising in action:

Here are just a few real-world examples of the powerful results programmatic ad buys can deliver across industries:

  • Higher Education: A prestigious university tapped into programmatic advertising to drive interest in specific undergraduate and graduate programs. The organization leveraged a combination of data-driven tactics to target its desired audiences and encourage them to fill out a “request for information” form. The resulting programmatic campaign drove more than 47 million impressions, more than 74,000 clicks (a click-through rate well above industry standards), and 108 conversions.  
  • Enterprise Software: A B2B enterprise software company operating in a category with very little differentiation leveraged programmatic advertising to drive brand awareness and audience engagement. Fueling its campaign with B2B data segments and behavioral data segments, along with its own CRM and search data, the company launched a targeted campaign that achieved an impressive 0.44 percent CTR, exceeding its goal by more than 210 percent. 
  • Automotive: A top-10 auto brand turned to programmatic advertising to drive traffic to specific landing pages intended to encourage conversions like nearest location finder, learning about offers, and submitting an inquiry for a specific vehicle. By monitoring the programmatic campaign’s real-time results, the brand was able to home in on specific audience segments and implement strategic retargeting that took into account hourly trends. This approach drove more than 6,000 actions on the client’s landing pages and helped to inform the auto brand’s fall savings event campaign.  


Why Does Programmatic Advertising Matter?

As the examples above illustrate, programmatic advertising is a great way to drive both awareness and conversion for brands across all industries, both B2C and B2B. Over the decades that programmatic advertising has existed, its technology and tactics have become increasingly more transparent, sophisticated, effective, and measurable. 

In 2022, digital advertising accounted for nearly 72 percent of U.S. media ad spend, and eMarketer expects that percentage to grow to 81 percent by 2026. Given the targeted, data-driven capabilities that underpin digital advertising, this isn’t surprising. But that doesn’t mean your life as a marketer is getting simpler.  

The complexity of the digital ecosystem, and the ad opportunities within it, continues to grow, with new channels, platforms, and technology emerging all the time. Compared to the traditional advertising world, dominated by a known list of top networks and publications, the online world is a vastly fragmented and constantly changing landscape. 

In other words, it’s not humanly impossible for advertisers to keep track of the many digital destinations vying for (and deserving of) their media dollars. But with programmatic advertising, and the tech behind it, you can. 

Programmatic advertising is absolutely essential when it comes to meaningfully leveraging digital advertising. If you’re not leveraging the power of programmatic advertising, you can bet your competitors are—and it won’t take long for your brand to see its own share of voice and relevance dwindle. 

The importance of programmatic advertising will only continue to grow. Need proof? Consider the following: 

More and more media is being transacted programmatically every year. If advertisers haven’t embraced this space yet, they’re going to increasingly find themselves left behind, even in channels where traditional media buying was once the norm.


How Does Programmatic Advertising Work?

OK, so what does a programmatic media buy look like? While there is a great deal of nuance behind the technology that powers programmatic advertising, as well as the types of auctions cited earlier, a basic programmatic buy looks like this:

  1. A person visits a page on a website. 
  2. The owner of that website, through its SSP, puts the ad impressions on that page up for auction. 
  3. Advertisers, through their DSPs, automatically bid on those impressions.
  4. The highest bidder wins the ad impression. 
  5. The winning advertiser’s ad creative is served to the website visitor. 

Once the creative is served, the website visitor sees the ad and potentially clicks and converts. Regardless of their action (or inaction), the result is captured and communicated back to the advertiser. 

All of the above steps happen in about a tenth of a second—and this process happens billions upon billions of times per day across the digital ecosystem. 

The 4 Components of Programmatic Advertising

We’ve mentioned that the behind-the-scenes technology of programmatic advertising is complicated, and that’s true. But ultimately, there are four components that advertisers need to understand. 

Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs)

As mentioned, DSPs are used by media buyers at agencies and brands to manage and purchase digital ad impressions across multiple ad networks and exchanges through one interface. They can target their ads based on a variety of data parameters, including demographics, psychographics, behavior, and contextual relevance. Importantly, advertisers don’t have to worry about picking the right destinations for their campaigns; the DSP does that work for them. 

Supply-Side Platforms (SSPs)

On the other side of the transaction, SSPs enable publishers and app developers to offer their available ad impressions to a wide variety of exchanges and DSPs. By opening up their inventory to as many potential buyers as possible, SSPs help publishers maximize their revenue.

Ad Exchanges

An ad exchange is a marketplace for ad impressions that sits in between DSPs and SSPs. It’s essentially a trading floor where the respective platforms go to access the inventory for sale. Advertisers use an ad exchange to buy ad impressions, and publishers make their ad impressions available via exchanges. 

Data Management Platforms (DMPs)

DMPs are unifying platforms that are used to collect and organize all of the data generated by and used to power programmatic advertising. They allow publishers and advertisers to analyze data from all available platforms in order to glean insights and segment audiences. 


What Are the Benefits of Programmatic Advertising?

Programmatic advertising is an essential tool within the modern marketing playbook—and for multiple reasons. The data-driven automation of digital ad buying unlocks plenty of benefits for advertisers and publishers alike.

Programmatic advertising is built on the following pillars — all of which are designed to help advertisers do their jobs better. With programmatic advertising, advertisers can drive: 

Improved ROI

Programmatic advertising’s advanced targeting and measurement capabilities help brands eliminate wasted ad spend. Advertisers can quickly identify their best-performing audiences, tactics, and channels while a campaign is in-flight and can double-down in the areas that drive the highest ROI. 

Campaign Optimization based on Real-Time Feedback

Unlike traditional advertising channels, programmatic advertising enables real-time campaign optimization based on performance data and insights while campaigns are in flight, sometimes with the help of predictive AI models. 

Greater Scale

With programmatic advertising, brands and agencies can scale their audiences as needed to hit desired reach and conversion goals. One of the key ways that advertisers can grow their audiences for programmatic campaigns is through lookalike modeling, which finds new audiences based on what advertisers know about their existing customers and prospects. This can be done at the start of a campaign or any point during its execution.

Improved Relevance

The granular targeting that’s possible with programmatic advertising, coupled with the ability to deliver personalized creative, lets advertisers deliver campaigns that are actually relevant to their audiences. Advertisers can target their ads based on thousands of data points, including demographics, interests, context, sentiment, behavior, IP address, purchase intent, CRM data, and more.


Programmatic platforms provide advertisers with transparency and control over their campaigns. Advertisers can monitor the performance of their ads, track impressions, clicks, conversions, and other metrics in real-time. They can also set budget caps, bid strategies, and targeting parameters, giving them control over their ad spend and campaign outcomes. Additionally, they can block sites or only run across a specific set of sites

Opportunities to Test and Learn

In addition to being able to funnel spend toward the highest-performing audiences, channels, and tactics, programmatic advertising also allows advertisers to test new marketing messaging and creative and see how they perform in real time. These insights can be used not only to help the existing campaign, but can also be put to work in broader messaging initiatives and future campaigns. 

Programmatic advertising is not without its challenges, but its benefits far outweigh the potential hurdles. The key is to partner smartly to avoid potential obstacles and move forward confidently.


How Do You Get Started with Programmatic Advertising?

Advertisers looking to get started in programmatic media can choose to handle the function in-house or to work with a programmatic advertising partner. In many cases, marketers find that in-house management of programmatic advertising can quickly drain internal resources, as successful programs demand significant time, dedicated expertise, constant training, and ongoing education. For these reasons, programmatic advertising partners represent a valuable alternative.  

How to Choose a Programmatic Advertising Partner

Contrary to how some people speak about the automation of programmatic advertising, successful campaigns are not a “set it and forget it” endeavor. The human touch remains vital to achieving the greatest ROI with programmatic campaigns, which is why bringing in a partner that specializes in the technology and strategies that drive programmatic can be more than worth the cost. 

In selecting a partner, look for one that understands the level of nurturing that goes into a strong programmatic campaign and is willing to monitor and optimize results on an ongoing basis while delivering transparent results and insights. Your programmatic advertising partner should be steeped in digital expertise and demonstrate a proactive, agile style of working—and be readily available to answer your questions and provide feedback. 


Digilant: A Trusted Programmatic Advertising Partner

At Digilant, we live and breathe programmatic media. We recognize that this dynamic, fast-evolving space requires dedicated resources with experience in monitoring, interpreting, and optimizing campaign performance every step of the way. We’re data experts and technology enthusiasts. We’re passionate about programmatic advertising and get genuinely excited about the opportunity to uncover new audience insights that can be put to use in current and future campaigns. The proof is in our partnerships and perspectives. 

Are you ready to unlock the full power of programmatic advertising for your brand? We’re here to help. Let’s talk about what Digilant can do for you. 

Why Advertisers Should Care About Retail Media Advertising

According to eMarketer, retail media ad spending will continue its tremendous growth and shows no signs of slowing, rising from $45.15 billion in 2023 to $106.12 billion by 2027. These numbers speak to the power of retail media advertising and the opportunities they create for brands and agencies everywhere. 

What is Retail Media Advertising?

Retail media advertising is the buying of media on a retailer’s media network. These retail media networks enable retailers to monetize their digital properties — websites, apps, and email newsletters — by selling advertising inventory to third-party brands. 

Retail media networks provide brands with unique and previously unattainable advertising placements.  Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, retail media networks provide first-party audience and shopping data that help marketers reach their desired audiences with greater precision, personalization and relevance, and enables marketers to come away with powerful insights.

Let’s take a closer look.

Tap into First-Party Data

Retailers have access to troves of consumer data — like online and offline purchase history, home addresses, birthdays, and purchase frequency for example — which they’ve collected through loyalty programs, store credit cards, and online accounts. When compiled, this information paints a clear picture of a person’s brand and product preferences, interests, and even possible next purchases. Let’s look at an example to understand how this works.

Melanie is a regular Walmart shopper and a member of the Walmart+ rewards program. She makes weekly trips to a store location in Austin, Texas with routine purchases of all gluten-free groceries, gardening supplies, mystery books, and eco-friendly cleaning products. Additionally, she usually makes online purchases on Walmart’s website for large-breed dog food. With this information, Walmart can assume that Melanie is a homeowner (garden supplies), living in Austin, Texas (in-store shopping habits), owns at least one dog (dog food purchases), and is environmentally conscious (eco-friendly cleaning products). 

This deterministic data is what makes retail media advertising so appealing to savvy brands and advertisers. It is this data that enables advertisers to connect with relevant audiences to promote products and services aligned to the consumer’s preferences, interests, and values — and drive conversions. 

Deliver improved relevance and personalization

With access to shopping data as specific as the flavor of ice cream a consumer likes or the cadence at which they purchase new toothpaste, RMNs enable brands to take their targeting to the next level. This data provides the framework to deliver personalized offers, ad creatives, coupons, or discounts tailored specifically to a customer for greater impact and engagement.

Let’s go back to our example with Walmart and Melanie. Below are a few examples of how advertisers can use retail media advertising to reach Melanie with relevant ads and offers.

  • A new dog-food brand wants to promote its treat suited for medium and large-breed dogs like Melanie’s. Through a RMN, the brand can reach Melanie with an offer for 10% off her first purchase. 
  • Melanie is a regular gardener. By partnering with a retail media network, a garden supply company can showcase the best products for Melanie based on the specific season and climate in Austin, Texas.
  • An eco-friendly CPG brand wants to reach likely customers. By leveraging a retail media network the CPG brand can tap into the RMNs first-party data to reach Melanie, and those like her who’ve purchased other eco-friendly products.

Reach ready-to-buy consumers

The way consumers search for products and services has changed; approximately 63% of consumers visit Amazon or for initial product research. So, while consumers browse and shop, advertisers can reach them in a ready-to-by mindset. There really is no better time to get your brand in front of consumers than when they are just one click away from converting. With retail media advertising, advertisers can capitalize on the moment to drive business. 

Gain detailed and thorough insights and analytics

Whether impression, click, or sale, all the metrics occur in the same platform making it easy for advertisers to better track and understand the ROI of the RMN ads. 

New approaches for new consumer habits

With access to more devices and screens than ever, consumer shopping habits have evolved — from the way they research products to the ways in which they purchase them. Advertisers can ensure they reach and engage their desired audiences with relevant and personalized digital experiences by leveraging the power of first-party data and retail media advertising.

Interested in learning more about the power of Retail Media Advertising? Reach out to our team to learn more.

Sophisticated advanced TV buying, targeting, and measurement made simple with Digilant

Streaming now tops broadcast TV and cable TV. This should come as no surprise, as the average American household now has 22 connected devices. With more connected devices than ever, people have shifted away from traditional ways of accessing and consuming their favorite content. Advertisers must keep in lockstep with changing consumer habits and trends to continue to drive engagement and meaningful connections with their existing and potential customers. 

This is why Digilant is proud to provide its clients with transparent advanced TV solutions and capabilities, enabling advertisers to reach their audiences and measure engagement in privacy-compliant ways. Moreover, Digilant simplifies the media buying process. With its tiered advanced TV inventory packages, Digilant provides advertisers clarity into what inventory they’re buying, so they can easily and confidently invest in one of the most powerful and effective channels yet.

Our Partnerships

Digilant has partnered with industry-leading advanced TV platforms like Samsung, FreeWheel, Magnite, and Peer39 to offer advertisers:

Extensive reach

Through our partnership with Samsung, Digilant clients gain access to  1 out of 3 U.S. households, or nearly 70 million TV devices. Samsung’s broad reach provides Digilant’s clients with greater opportunities to engage target audiences in today’s device-rich world.

Premium inventory

Partnerships like those with Magnite and FreeWheel enable Digilant to offer clients access to more than 90% of premium ad-supported OTT providers such Hulu, Max, Peacock, Paramount and many others. Furthermore, with our Peer39 partnership, we can help advertisers reach their audiences via contextual advertising on major publishers like ABC, BBC, and Bloomberg. 

Precision targeting

With advanced TV and our reach and scale, we enable our advertiser clients to engage their customers with greater precision — even those hard-to-reach audiences. And, with solutions like automatic content recognition, advertisers can unlock additional data to reach net-new audiences 


Digilant provides transparency, in all phases of the media buying process — pricing, inventory, and reporting — so advertisers can feel confident about their media investments.


Understanding the impact of your advertising campaigns is essential to business success. By leveraging Digilant’s measurement capabilities, advertisers can tie their CTV investments to in-store traffic and even sales.

Furthermore, with Digilant, advertisers can leverage the power of advanced TV to engage their audiences with ad units that go beyond standard video, like those that layer on geo-targeted information, QR codes, rich media, and voice-to-action commands that activate a person’s smart speaker. By partnering with us, advertisers can engage audiences on “the big screen” and across all their favorite devices to capture audience attention and engagement wherever they are paying attention.

Investing in the future

Sophisticated, future-forward technologies that enable omnichannel engagement and measurement amongst key audiences are critical to advertisers securing their futures in our hyper-connected world. And, with third-party cookie deprecation on the horizon, solutions that help advertisers prepare for and adapt to a cookieless programmatic digital ecosystem are tantamount to driving success. Digilant is committed to finding, building, and providing solutions and capabilities that help our clients succeed, while also providing world-class support.

With advanced TV, advertisers can start experimenting with cookieless programmatic advertising well ahead of third-party cookie deprecation, leveraging the power of household targeting to reach and measure every device within a home. Furthermore, advanced TV enables advertisers to up-level their omnichannel strategies — a critical component to driving awareness and engagement amongst today’s consumers. 

While advertisers have ample opportunities to reach consumers across their many devices, it also means that attention is divided between them. According to Samba TV, 93% of linear TV ads only reached half of U.S. households. With advanced TV, however, advertisers can drive incremental reach — by engaging audiences who consume content on traditional TV and digital devices — targeting, and measurement across platforms.

Advanced TV with Digilant

Today’s digital ecosystem is vast and complex — but it doesn’t have to be. Digilant can help simplify digital advertising and alleviate your team’s workload by providing expert services in media strategy, buying, execution and reporting. We make it easy for you, and your clients, to succeed. Learn how Digilant, and our advanced TV offerings, can help you achieve your campaign goals and objectives by contacting us here.

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