How DSPs are closing the gap between brands and retailers

Produced in partnership with Marketecture

The following article highlights an interview between Todd Parsons, Criteo’s Chief Product Officer, and Ari Paparo, founder and CEO of Marketecture Media. Register to watch more of the discussion and learn how demand side platforms are becoming vital to brands’ and retailers’ collaborative efforts.

As the Internet’s and technology’s commerce capabilities have grown, so has the gap between retailers’ and brand advertisers’ operations. 

Brands have become increasingly isolated from audiences as they turn to retail media networks rather than their own channels. And while the retailers operating these networks enjoy a wealth of consumer data, the lack of access to brands has often led to monetization struggles.

“We’ve been through the different waves of advertising, and the patterns are about the same,” said Parsons. “You have a lot of retailers that are feeling their way to the right monetization approach — what’s right for their audience and brands. With that, we’re also helping them package and sell those offerings and deliver them.”

To address these hurdles, Criteo built a demand side platform solution called Commerce Max, enabling brands to better connect with retail media networks and their onsite and offsite customers. The solution also offers a much-needed buying platform for retail networks to monetize their platforms more effectively.

To further unpack the necessity of bridging the gap between brands and retail media, Criteo’s Chief Product Officer, Todd Parsons, recently spoke with Ari Paparo, founder and CEO of Marketecture Media, about how DSPs connect these groups to enhance the digital commerce experience.

DSPs are connecting retailers’ first-party data with brands to improve monetization

Data activation is one of the most pressing issues for both retailers and brands. Many brands lack access to offsite, third-party data due to digital limitations, while retailers continue to search for ways to share their first-party data with other networks without compromising their users’ privacy.

“The challenge is that data sensitivity is now a key point,” Parsons said. “Because so much of retailers’ first-party data is involved, the idea that retailers will work together to share that data is still far from workable.”

“Our response to that is, ‘Let’s work together to see if we can build some marketplace rules that allow you to make the most of brand dollars,’” he added.

DSP solutions like Commerce Max enable retailers to work with other networks and brands, making the most of their first-party data and enhancing monetization efforts. This collaboration gives brands much-needed data from retail customers, helping them make appropriate advertising choices when evaluating retail media networks.

“At the end of the day, retailers want to control their monetization completely, and we want to give them that capability,” Parsons said. “We also want to give brands the capability to look across retailers and offsite data and pull that together.”

Offsite measurement vis DSPs is enhancing brand retargeting

The standard retargeting implementation process of years past involved ingesting customer IDs and then transforming and anonymizing the data. However, with the explosion of retail media networks, many brands need more integration and customer journey mapping capabilities to connect with audiences across numerous offsite spaces.

DSP offerings are becoming more tailored toward offsite measurement to address this challenge. Capabilities such as closed-loop measurement have been vital for this bridge. Its ability to track purchases across retail media networks and use the data to examine customer journeys from offsite to onsite. 

The information collected and measured via DSPs is also fueling brand retargeting efforts. Unlike other forms of retargeting, which may hinder advertisers from accessing the data used in these processes (and potentially lead to brand safety issues), Commerce Max enables collaboration and transparency between the retail networks and their brand advertisers. This helps retailers extract more value from audience data while protecting brands.

“We prioritize brand safety across retargeting processes,” he said. “We’re taking a non-transparent application of retargeting toward the fully transparent application.”

DSPs are eliminating data silos and enhancing measurement for brands and retailers

Retailers need help collecting and activating audience information across their networks’ many siloed product categories. To help solve this problem, these organizations are using SKU-level measurements to track customers and their transactions throughout the commerce ecosystem. 

Yet, despite their benefits, these measurements alone can fail to extract valuable data from brands and their audiences outside of retail networks. 

To meet this challenge, DSP solutions such as CommerceMax are helping both retailers and brands aggregate SKUs and other tracking units in one platform, enabling both parties to make the most of their audiences without losing competitive advantage. 

“Retailers don’t want to give their data to other groups, and we wouldn’t facilitate that,” Parsons said. “But [with DSPs] the brand is getting the power of extension of that data to that offsite advertising.”

High-quality customer experiences are vital to the success of retailers and brands across digital networks. With innovative DSP solutions that establish frameworks beneficial to both, their campaigns will have a greater chance of achieving these outcomes.

“The winning hand is making sure you’re not getting caught up in a lot of marketplace rules,” he said. “You’ve never going to be able to satisfy everyone as a platform, but you can provide better outcomes and improve performance.”

To learn more about how DSPs connect brands and retailers, listen to more of the conversation between Marketecture and Todd Parsons here.

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