Navigating Retail Media Networks in the Data-Driven Landscape

May 30, 2024by Ventura Growth0
Welcome back to our “Scaling New Peaks in Programmatic: Basecamp 2024” series. In this second post, we focus on the transformative power of retail media networks, a crucial topic covered during the conference.
Retail media is a game-changer in today’s data-driven landscape. With the deprecation of third-party cookies and evolving privacy regulations, marketers are increasingly looking to retail media networks (RMNs) for new ways to connect with their audiences. At Basecamp 2024, co-hosted by The Trade Desk and Ventura Growth in New York City, a panel of industry experts demystified the topic and revealed practical strategies for leveraging retail media networks.
Moderated by Stephanie Geno, SVP Marketing & Strategy at Ventura Growth, the panel featured Sadie Spooner, Director of Business Development at The Trade Desk, and Carley Lucas, Senior Account Executive at Kroger Precision Marketing. Here’s a closer look at how retail media networks work, along with tips to get started.


Retail Media Networks: Changing the Game

Retail media is on everyone’s lips these days, but what does it actually mean? RMNs present a tremendous opportunity for marketers to leverage first-party data directly from retailers. 
Carley Lucas provided a comprehensive overview of how retail media networks function today. Traditionally, they were low-funnel channels focused on on-site, owned, and operated inventory. But now, with first-party data at the forefront, retail media networks can offer a holistic approach, covering upper-funnel awareness to lower-funnel conversions.
The opportunities this presents are enormous, especially as cookies are phased out and privacy regulations tighten. Retailers like Kroger and Walmart have begun sharing their valuable customer data directly with programmatic platforms like The Trade Desk, giving advertisers unprecedented control over their campaigns.


How Retail Media Networks Work:
  • First-Party Data Insights: Retailers like Kroger and Walmart capture nearly all transactions, providing rich data on customers’ lives, preferences, and purchase history.
  • Persona-Based Targeting: Retailers group customers into audience segments based on buying behavior (i.e., “new parents” or “premium gas buyers”).
  • Programmatic Integration: Retailers now share this valuable first-party data directly with platforms like The Trade Desk, giving advertisers control over their campaigns.


Key Benefits of Retail Media Networks:
  • Granular Audience Targeting: Reach audiences based on their purchase history and preferences.
  • Omni-Channel Consistency: Activate audiences across display, video, audio, and CTV.
  • Accurate Measurement: Closed-loop measurement provides detailed insights into audience behavior.
“Retail media networks have moved beyond their traditional low-funnel focus,” Sadie Spooner explained. “They offer a full-funnel approach, covering everything from awareness to purchase.”


Demystifying Retail Media Networks

  • Retail Media is for All Brands: “Retail media isn’t just for brands already on store shelves,” said Sadie Spooner. Non-endemic brands like QSRs, hotels, and insurance companies can also leverage retail media data to drive results. 
  • Retail Media is Both Upper and Lower Funnel: Traditionally, RMNs focused on low-funnel conversions, but modern retail media networks provide comprehensive solutions for every stage of the customer journey. “Retail media isn’t just retail anymore,” Carley Lucas emphasized. Brands can now create full-funnel strategies that incorporate awareness, consideration, and conversion.
  • Retail Media Offers Massive Scale: Kroger Precision Marketing alone reaches over 60 million households and captures 96% of all transactions. “Scale is not an issue,” Carley confirmed. RMNs provide brands with significant opportunities to reach targeted audiences at scale.
  • Retail Media Provides Control Comparable to Other Programmatic Channels: “Retailers are leaning into programmatic,” Sadie explained, highlighting how retail media networks now share data directly with The Trade Desk. This direct integration gives brands unprecedented control over campaign targeting, optimization, and measurement.


Retail Media Network Best Practices and Tips for Getting Started


Best Practices:
  • Set Clear KPIs: Ensure campaign KPIs reflect your audience’s intent and align with objectives.
  • Leverage First-Party Data: Use retailers’ first-party data insights to identify audience segments that align with your brand’s goals.
  • Think Beyond the Shelf: Non-endemic brands can explore persona audiences like “new parents” and “new homeowners.”
  • Create a Holistic Strategy: Use retail media data across channels to manage the customer journey from start to finish.
Tips to Get Started:
  • Define Objectives and KPIs: Work with Ventura Growth to align campaign goals and set clear KPIs from the outset.
  • Activate Retail Media Audiences:
  • Non-Endemic Brands: Test broader personas like “new parents” or “new homeowners.”
  • Endemic Brands: Access custom segments based on category and competitive insights.
  • Partner with Programmatic Experts: Lean on Ventura Growth and The Trade Desk to refine your strategy, audience targeting, and measurement.


Retail media networks have evolved far beyond their traditional roots, offering marketers a treasure trove of first-party data to build highly effective, data-driven campaigns. By partnering with Ventura Growth, The Trade Desk, and partners such as Kroger Precision Marketing and Walmart Connect, brands can develop holistic strategies that align with their objectives and leverage deterministic data at scale.
Stay tuned for the third post in our Basecamp 2024 series, where we’ll explore The Trade Desk’s latest product release, KoKai, and how it’s transforming audience modeling and targeting.  In case you missed it, check out the first post in our series on Identity to see how it sets the stage for these advancements.

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