Dive Brief:

  • Lowe’s is in-housing operations and sales for its retail media network, effective Jan. 31, according to a news release
  • Launched in October 2021, Lowe’s One Roof Media Network built up its business with help from CitrusAd, a unit owned by Publicis’ Epsilon, and Criteo. Lowe’s will continue to lean on Criteo for sponsored search and product ads and Yahoo for offsite media experiences, but is sunsetting the relationship with CitrusAd, Ad Age confirmed.  
  • The streamlining process aims to help advertisers better tap into first-party data and launch and scale campaigns with improved efficiency. As retail media networks mature, others in the category may pursue in-housing for similar reasons. 

Dive Insight:

Lowe’s One Roof Media Network is living up to its name with the in-housing push timed for the new year. The move comes as ad spending on retail media is forecast to climb 10.1% in 2023 to hit $122 billion at the global level, making it the fastest-growing marketing channel, per WARC predictions. 

The home improvement retailer said its network offering has “rapidly grown” since its 2021 debut — though it didn’t break out specific revenue figures — and today works with more than 200 brands, including Moen, Stanley Black & Decker and Whirlpool Corporation. Some partners have achieved more than double their return on ad spend, a closely watched campaign metric, compared to industry peers, according to the release. Lowe’s One Roof Media Network draws on data from a customer base of over 100 million, the company said. 

“Retail media is among the fastest-growing segments of digital advertising globally,” said Abi Subramanian, vice president and general manager of Lowe’s One Roof Media Network, in a statement. “As we continue to grow this business, we’ll remain laser-focused on evolving our advertising capabilities and technology to deliver the best marketing solutions for our brands in 2023 and beyond.”

Many traditional retailers have relied on third-party agency and ad-tech partners to stand up their media networks due to the complexities of developing and managing digital technology. Retail media investment has consistently exploded during the pandemic, making quick implementation another mandate as companies look to stay competitive.

To that end, Lowe’s is still relying on Criteo for sponsored search and product placements — some of the most common formats in retail media — and Yahoo for its offsite media. Lowe’s first teamed with Yahoo in October to focus on more emergent channels like digital out-of-home, addressable TV and connected TV. 

Lowe’s pivot toward in-housing everything else suggests that some network operators may rely less on external marketing services providers as they get a better feel for the business, deepen advertiser connections or mull other strategic changes. The home improvement chain, an admitted latecomer to retail media, said the decision would open more opportunities with its data and provide greater access to internal experts who can help personalize and optimize campaigns, along with tap into integrated partnerships across Lowe’s merchandising, marketing and operations.

The shift toward in-housing could catch the attention of agencies that have invested heavily in retail and performance media over the past several years amid soaring demands for digital transformation. Publicis acquired CitrusAd two years ago as a major bet on retail media and to fortify data-marketing unit Epsilon, one of its big growth drivers of late.  


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