Why Your Organization Should be Launching Media Networks


Why Your Organization Should be Launching Media Networks

Picture of By Doug Ralston

By Doug Ralston

As any of you know that have spoken to True Omni in the last 5 years we have been discussing the idea and importance of expanding revenue channels and brand engagement. One of the clear things that have continued to shine through is the amazing opportunity travel organizations have by utilizing and controlling their own media outlets. The great news is any size organization can start on this path and utilize key high traffic areas to build a long-term awareness and revenue strategy. One key way is by connecting their existing technology through omnichannel software solutions like the OmniPlatform.

Below you will find our picks on highlights from studies and information presented by Ad Age (“Why More Retails Have Media Networks and What the Rise Means for Agencies” Pasquarelli, Oct 2021) on the opportunity of connecting your marketing channels and building new ones that can help solidify the future of your organization.

Why Media Networks Matter

Our Take: Retail is setting an example for others to follow leveraging high-traffic assets and data to help brands of every type cross-sell, and create new revenue streams. 

Ad Age: “By creating its own retail media network earlier this month, Lowe’s jumped on a hot trend that is poised to get even hotter in 2022. A growing list of companies that years ago acted solely as ad buyers are now selling ads to outside brands looking for exposure on retailer-owned websites, email lists, apps, and more. Home Depot, Macy’s, Dollar Tree, and Best Buy have all created or expanded existing media networks in recent years. They’re all seeing that there’s money to be made by leveraging the reams of data and high traffic locations to help target ad placements to brands that are seeking to reach consumers at the right place and time.

Two years ago, Forrester Research predicted the growth of marketers as media players as a major trend in 2020—yet the rise in online shopping, the desire for retailers to create additional revenue streams, and the need for advertisers to track customers ahead of the end of the cookie have all cause that growth to blow past industry expectations. In addition, 81% of consumer packaged goods brands plan to grow their investments in retail media networks within the next 12 months, Merkle found, The growth could upend the worldwide advertising landscape—Forrester estimates retail media will be a $50 billion advertising business globally next year….”

Our Take: Retailers are making their advertising network even more valuable by finding additional outside networks to sell as a package and amplify. The travel industry by definition has deep relationships to do the same. 

Ad Age: “The proposition that retailers are conveying to advertisers is becoming more sophisticated, experts have found. A basic package used to simply include selling vendor ads on a retailer’s own website. But now, some retailers are acting more as a pure-play media agency, securing and selling ad inventory outside of their own properties…”

Monetizing the Data

Our Take: Other industries like the sharing economy are taking note of retail’s success, and serve as an example to modify this strategy to your strategic goals. This may also be an opportunity to strengthen synergies with a part of the travel industry that many are struggling to connect with.

Ad Age: “The benefits of launching a media network can be sizeable for retailers, which are sitting on a treasure trove of first-party shopper data, analysts said. One of the biggest reasons for a retailer to build networks is to add a new revenue stream. Many retailers also want to expand their e-commerce business by drawing in more visitors to their websites with new ads that could lead to product discovery and repeat shoppers, as marketers try to become more like Amazon when it comes to search.

The trend of diversifying into the media business is moving beyond traditional retail. Uber, DoorDash, and Instacart have all boosted their advertising offerings in recent months. Such e-commerce-led initiatives are a different value proposition for brands, retail media networks offer a wide view of a customer across multiple retailers…”

Merkle recently published a report on the Evolution of Retail Media Networks. Credit: Merkle

How Agencies Fit

Our Take: Agencies are critical to the success of travel marketing to build their media network, as they are often partners in creating high-impact assets and in turn selling that exposure. Deploying them to support this effort, and including them early in the planning process, is critical to your revenue strategy.

Ad Age: “As brands manage the complexities of advertising in different retail media networks, they’re building out better internal operations. In the last year, many CPG brands have created a “center of excellence,” an internal group that works with both outside agencies and retailers to place ads and keep track of the portfolio. Merkle found that 96% of CPGs have a center of excellence to support RMNs, up from 86% last year.

“How Roundel [Target’s media business] goes to market is different than Walgreens or Walmart and that is complicated for a brand to be able to navigate, which is why they are investing in and thinking about a center of excellence. Should my shopper marketing agency own this or does my brand agency own this? How do I make sure my dollars are appropriately invested across this gamut of the landscape,” said Cameron…”

Growth Mode

Our Take: Advertising networks can provide resiliency in revenue streams during down periods in travel. This is critical learning and need as we evaluate how to better survive future emergencies.

Ad Age: “After founding its media network nearly two years ago, TripAdvisor saw COVID-19 take a bite out of business initially. Yet the company has been able to still do deals with advertisers outside of travel in categories such as automotive and spirits, for example, according to Christine Maguire, general manager and VP of global media business at TripAdvisor, speaking on a recent episode of Ad Age Remotely. An automotive brand might buy an ad on TripAdvisor in hopes of luring car purchases from consumers itching for a road trip. Ford and Tesla both recently ran campaigns with the marketer, according to a spokesman. Since the majority of travelers, or 60%, aren’t sure where they want to go, TripAdvisor has been able to measure how ads influence decisions.

“Destination is a really big example where [advertisers] can measure the impact of ad exposure on our site then rationalize every single investment they’re making with us,” Maguire said, noting the richness of TripAdvisor’s first-party data. “We are really excited about the potential as we head into 2022 because of the success we’ve seen despite being a travel company during a global pandemic.” …”

Our Final Takeaway

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the new digital engagement revolution. Organizations must start being more creative and using their knowledge and relationships to build opportunities for their local stakeholders and organizations. At True Omni, we want to be your partner in this journey. This isn’t about the replacement of technology, this is about the connection of it. Reach out or schedule a demo we can show you new ways and opportunities to leverage and grow your revenue and brand awareness opportunities. Call us at 833-300-6664 or email us at info@trueomni.com if you would like a demo on how to leverage our platform and your existing technology solutions. 

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