Can revenue-hungry retailers rise to meet digital advertising's opportunity?

marketingdive | January 15, 2020

Digital advertising crossed a considerable threshold last year, surpassing traditional media spending in the U.S. for the first time, according to eMarketer estimates. A question for retailers now is whether they can capitalize on that opportunity by building their own media networks that compete with digital heavyweights like Google, Facebook and especially Amazon. Retailers have been on the path to forging larger advertising businesses for some time now, said Joel Percy, global head of business consulting at analytic platform ciValue, on a panel at the National Retail Federation's Big Show. But the amount of activity in the space in the past few months has been noteworthy, as brands spanning sub-categories from grocery to big box stores expand their product offerings and establish internal teams to deepen their advertising expertise and infrastructure.

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Amazon maintains its title as the world’s most valuable brand in the Brand Finance Global 500, growing nearly 25% to an impressive US$187.9 billion, over US$30 billion more than 2nd place Apple. Notoriously strong for service, last year, Amazon recorded its most successful Prime Day to date, with consumers purchasing more than 100 million products. This was shortly followed by the brand crossing the US$1 trillion threshold on Wall Street for the first time in its history.

Spotlight

Amazon maintains its title as the world’s most valuable brand in the Brand Finance Global 500, growing nearly 25% to an impressive US$187.9 billion, over US$30 billion more than 2nd place Apple. Notoriously strong for service, last year, Amazon recorded its most successful Prime Day to date, with consumers purchasing more than 100 million products. This was shortly followed by the brand crossing the US$1 trillion threshold on Wall Street for the first time in its history.

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PROGRAMMATIC ADVERTISING

AT&T Agrees to Microsoft Acquisition of Xandr

AT&T | December 22, 2021

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) has agreed to sell its global programmatic advertising marketplace, Xandr Inc., to Microsoft.1 The agreement builds on a decade-long relationship between Xandr, including its predecessor companies, and Microsoft for delivering global digital media solutions for advertisers. As the digital landscape evolves in a post-cookie world, Microsoft and Xandr can shape the digital ad marketplace of the future. Xandr's technology strategically complements Microsoft's current advertising offerings and will help accelerate delivery of digital advertising and retail media solutions for the open web by combining Microsoft's audience intelligence, technology and global advertising customer-base with Xandr's scaled, data-driven platform. "Microsoft's shared vision of empowering a free and open web and championing an open industry alternative via a global advertising marketplace makes it a great fit for Xandr. We look forward to using our innovative platform to help accelerate Microsoft's digital advertising and retail media capabilities," said Xandr's EVP and GM Mike Welch. "With Xandr's talent and technology, Microsoft can accelerate the delivery of its digital advertising and retail media solutions, shaping tomorrow's digital ad marketplace into one that respects consumer privacy preferences, understands publishers' relationships with consumers and helps advertisers meet their goals," said Mikhail Parakhin, President of Web Experiences at Microsoft. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory reviews. About Xandr Inc. Xandr Inc. is a first-tier affiliate of AT&T Inc. and a data-enabled technology platform powering a global marketplace for premium advertising. Xandr Invest, Xandr Monetize, Xandr Curate, and Invest TV are advanced technology platforms which maximize working media dollars, offer audience-based buying at scale for digital environments, and optimize media spend across screens for buyers and sellers alike. About AT&T AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a diversified, global leader in telecommunications, media and entertainment, and technology. AT&T Communications provides more than 100 million U.S. consumers with entertainment and communications experiences across mobile and broadband. Plus, it serves high-speed, highly secure connectivity and smart solutions to nearly 3 million business customers. WarnerMedia is a leading media and entertainment company that creates and distributes premium and popular content to global audiences through its consumer brands, including: HBO, HBO Max, Warner Bros., TNT, TBS, truTV, CNN, DC Entertainment, New Line, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Turner Classic Movies. Xandr provides marketers with innovative and relevant advertising solutions for consumers around premium video content and digital advertising through its platform. AT&T Latin America provides wireless services to consumers and businesses in Mexico. AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc. Additional information is available at about.att.com. © 2021 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the Globe logo and other marks are trademarks and service marks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

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Vonage Adds Conversational Commerce Solution To Its Product Portfolio With Acquisition Of Jumper.ai

Vonage | October 20, 2021

Vonage, a global leader in cloud communications helping businesses accelerate their digital transformation, today announced that it has acquired Jumper.ai, a Singapore-based leader in omnichannel conversational commerce solutions. Jumper.ai's team will join Vonage's Product and Engineering group. With this acquisition, Vonage gains significant technology and developer-focused talent, as well as expertise in conversational commerce, complementing the programmable, flexible and intelligent capabilities of its singular Vonage Communications Platform and robust portfolio of APIs. Conversational commerce is an in-demand retail trend that capitalizes on the growing convergence of shopping and conversations on platforms such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram, using the chat feature to create a seamless shopping experience. Consumers can engage in personal conversations to inquire about product and pricing information and build trusted relationships with retailers. The Jumper.ai platform creates omnichannel, messaging-first customer engagement and shopping journeys across social, messaging, and web (WhatsApp, Messenger, Apple Business Chat, Instagram, Twitter, SMS, LINE, Google Ads, Brand websites, and more). According to an April 2021 Conversational Commerce forecast by Juniper Research1, the total addressable market in this space will be worth $27 billion by 20251. As social messaging becomes more important to consumers across the globe as a quick and direct way of connecting with their favorite brands, Vonage will incorporate Jumper.ai technology to expand its total addressable market and complement its robust portfolio of APIs with a packaged AI-enabled conversational commerce offering. "The addition of Jumper.ai's conversational commerce and omnichannel capabilities fits perfectly into Vonage's strategy and is a natural extension of Vonage's offerings. It transforms customer interactions from notifications and simple communications to conversations across the spectrum of customer engagement points," said Vonage CEO Rory Read. "With conversational commerce capabilities, we are meeting new and existing customer needs now and are positioned to continue to meet their evolving needs well into the future, providing businesses with embedded commerce capabilities to simplify the way they serve, connect with, and sell to their own customers from anywhere, on any channel." Jumper.ai is an all-in-one solution that meets the needs of major brands to connect with consumers through web and social channels, while also turning these conversations into richer AI-enabled customer experiences with rapid service and sales follow-through. With the acquisition of Jumper.ai, Vonage is gaining relevant technology to address this growing need, as well as existing enterprise customers across key industries that are driving the growth of conversational commerce, including leaders in the Consumer Brands, Food, Retail, Entertainment, Hospitality and Travel industries, such as L'oreal, Kiehl's, Disney, Axe, Dove, Ben & Jerry's and Burger King. Jumper.ai was built with a mission to help businesses respond to the increasing use of instant messaging as the most preferred mode of communication, both for connecting with family and friends and for receiving immediate, personal, and attentive experiences from brands.We are excited to be joining the Vonage team. Combining our market-leading technologies presents an opportunity to create new, amazing customer experiences, leveraging Jumper.ai technology and the global reach of Vonage." Yash Kotak, CEO and Co-founder of Jumper.ai "Over 3.5 billion people use social networks on a regular basis, worldwide," explained Dan Miller, Lead Analyst at Opus Research. "Jumper.ai anticipated the role social networks and platforms would play as platforms for advertising, promotion and, ultimately, purchases. With this technology, Vonage reinforces its platform's ability to be agile and continuously meet the evolving needs of its customers' customers." About Vonage Vonage, a global cloud communications leader, helps businesses accelerate their digital transformation. Vonage's Communications Platform is fully programmable and allows for the integration of Video, Voice, Chat, Messaging and Verification into existing products, workflows and systems. Vonage's fully programmable unified communications and contact center applications are built from the Vonage platform and enable companies to transform how they communicate and operate from the office or anywhere, providing enormous flexibility and ensuring business continuity.

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Catcher Digital Marketing and Flowfinity Deliver Measurable Business Growth for Consumer Brands

Flowfinity | January 21, 2022

Flowfinity Wireless Inc. today published a case study outlining how Catcher Digital Marketing has leveraged Flowfinity's no-code platform to deliver significant value to the consumer-packaged goods sector by digitizing and automating retail audit and market research reporting. Catcher Digital Marketing constructs sophisticated online marketing strategies delivered using tactics that produce effective, measurable business growth for their clients in consumer packaged goods and food and beverage marketing. Consumer packaged goods firms need to adapt strategy and tactics quickly to stay ahead in a highly competitive and fast-changing environment. The key is to have fresh, reliable market data on an ongoing basis and intuitive reporting to make informed decisions. Catcher creates value by providing the right digital tools to provide timely research, with Flowfinity they have achieved lasting customer loyalty and profitable growth by being highly responsive to ad-hoc marketing program changes. We survey retail staff about their brand awareness and product knowledge across our client's product lines and also perform observations of customer interactions in-store. Our clients need to see and understand trends from that market data quickly to adjust survey criteria and programs accordingly, sometimes on a daily basis." Paul Allison, Director of Digital Marketing at Catcher With hundreds of Brand ambassadors in the field performing thousands of in store visits every month apps built in Flowfinity help Catcher reduce labour costs by taking the guess work out of nuanced data collection, taking interpretation out of the hands of frontline personnel and into automated reporting applications. Catcher has found that due to the flexibility of the Flowfinity toolset they have everything they need within one platform to build custom solutions for their clients and gain a significant advantage over competing firms with less advanced digital systems. Now Catcher has integrated Flowfinity applications in the field to handle the three pillars of their retail audit programs: Brand Ambassador Management (Staffing), Field Dispatch (Work Orders) and Data Collection (Surveys and Reports). "It's great for reporting but also so much more. We're managing users, dispatching work orders, collecting and manipulating rich data, creating dashboard visualizations, and doing all this on the fly," says Paul. The time saved managing staff, assignments, and reporting plus the ability to respond to program change requests instantly has been a game-changer for Catcher. They now leverage their experience with Flowfinity's automation tools to drive repeatable high value business from their clients and seek new relationships based on their advantage. About Flowfinity Flowfinity is a no-code platform used to create, automate, and integrate custom business process applications. For over 20 years, Flowfinity has empowered business leaders and IT professionals to build flexible, scalable data collection apps and automate workflows without committing the extensive resources required to write and maintain custom code.

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