“The future of retail media is all about aggregation and endemic advertising.”
– Ciaran O’Kane, ExchangeWire



Can you imagine a farm today harvesting acres and acres of soybeans by hand? Me neither. Which is why the combine harvester was invented in 1836 — it “combined’ three operations into one (reaping, threshing, and winnowing) and saved countless hours of work.

In the world of Retail Media, many CPG brands are tasked with planting and harvesting their marketing investments across numerous retailers by hand, requiring unique campaign set-up, measurement and reporting, and optimization for every retailer in their marketing supply chain. With more than 63,000 grocery and 150,000 convenience stores in the US alone, this task is daunting and very inefficient.

Enter aggregated Retail Media Networks.


What is an aggregated Retail Media Network?

An aggregated Retail Media Network is a retail media platform that works across multiple retailer brands rather than just those owned by a single parent company.

The network combines privacy-safe first-party loyalty data, purchase behavior data, digital signals, and physical store assets from numerous retailer brands into a single offering. The aggregated platform presents CPG marketers with a much larger and more compelling shopper engagement offering solving many of their toughest marketing problems, which in turn generates more media revenue to invest in customer experience and loyalty improvements.

Examples include the UNFI Digital Ad Network uniting countless independent grocery brands and Axonet uniting C-store chains and independent storefronts into a single platform.


What problems does it solve for CPGs?

  • Audience Addressability – targeting among omnichannel shoppers is very difficult due to the loss of third-party cookies and limited digital touchpoints in certain retail environments (like C-stores, independent grocers, auto marketplaces, etc.).
  • Inconsistent Measurement – inability to compare campaign performance across C-store media investments.
  • Limited Audience Scale – not enough audience scale at the individual chain / independent retailer level to impact sales significantly; too many resources required for CPGs to manage campaigns across multiple C-store retailers.
  • Duplicated Audiences – lack of visibility across retailer brands / locations causes attribution issues and duplication of investment in and measurement of audiences.
  • Fragmented Data – inconsistent first-party data nomenclature makes normalization and audience segmentation difficult.


What problems does it solve for Retailers?

  • Limited Shopper Audiences – only the largest of retailer brands have enough daily shoppers to attract CPG marketers with very specific campaign targeting parameters.
  • Ownership Fragmentation – retailer first-party data may be the property of the store owner / operator which can be very fragmented based on business model types including corporate, franchisee, or independent.
  • Lack of Media / Analytics Resources – retail operations are vastly different from media businesses and require different mindsets and skillsets.
  • Limited Loyalty Program Growth – very little differentiation exists in shopper loyalty programs with the average shopper enrolled in 16 loyalty programs on their mobile device.


How do aggregated Retail Media Networks solve these problems? 

Similar to retailer-specific Retail Media Networks and how they enable CPGs to engage shoppers close to the point of sale with relevant advertisements based on retailer first-party purchase data (including closed-loop attribution connecting media exposure to downstream purchases), aggregated Retail Media Networks do the same thing but at a larger scale across multiple retailer environments.

Rather than managing campaigns across multiple smaller networks, CPGs get a single view of investment performance and can optimize in a much simpler fashion.

Essentially, aggregated Retail Media Networks are the combine harvesters of the retail media program plantation.


For further discussion on the power of aggregation in retail media networks, reach out to John Reiss, VP of Business Development, at info@axonet.io.