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The Importance of Creative in Support of Your Retail Media Network

It’s no secret the retail media network (RMN) landscape is getting increasingly crowded. It’s challenging enough to keep pace in a rapidly growing industry, both in terms of competition and meeting demand. But how can you differentiate your offering and attract more of this valuable business?

Provide effective creative to stand out and help scale your RMN

Many brands see creative services as one of the most important benefits an RMN can offer —within the US, it’s second only to helping foster a closer relationship with the retailer.

graph about RMN benefits 2022
Source: Merkle’s 2022 Retail Media Research Report

Providing creative services can also address one of the top concerns for RMNs: scaling the team to meet demand. Put these together and you can monetize your creative to cover its costs and eventually build profits. It’s pretty simple:

  • Work with an agency partner who can embed cost-competitive creative resources while you bill incremental creative support costs to the consumer packaged goods brands (CPGs) utilizing your RMN – resulting in no direct cost to you.
    • Pro tip: Find an agency partner with an experienced on/offshore creative support team that can be embedded for lower costs than staffing a full US-based team.
  • Ultimately transform your creative from a current cost to no cost — and, potentially, to a new source of revenue for your RMN, that can grow at scale.

Show you’re easy to work with and strategically savvy

In your sales and marketing content, illustrate all the ways that your RMN is almost effortless to work with for advertisers, such as by highlighting simple self-service abilities, quick-to-market templated options, or maybe even white-glove creative support abilities. Being easy to work with can yield higher interest from brands, and many RMNs are investing heavily in solutions to streamline their engagement to support this marketplace reality.

graph about key features brands look for in RMNs 2022
Source: Merkle’s 2022 Retail Media Research Report

When it comes to illustrating how your RMN acts as a savvy strategic partner, demonstrate how you understand brands’ specific needs and that you can maximize their interaction with your audience.

One smart technique that makes it clear: share audience-specific journey maps with a coherent sequence of touchpoints. An outline of opportunities to connect might spark fresh ideas about individual interactions a brand has never considered before, as well as illustrate the value of a comprehensive campaign.

This also reinforces how monetizing critical touchpoints like instore digital media — along with adding media-spanning services like creative and insights — can separate the now-thinkers from the forward-thinkers. It’s a great way to position a brand at the forefront of the audience imagination.

Enhance brands’ media investment with smart personalization and DCO, and differentiate your offering

Did you know only 15% of US RMNs offer dynamic creative optimization (DCO)? Meanwhile, brands are hungry to leverage and invest in its rich capabilities. We’ve seen how the right creative can make a big difference in media performance and brand perception. And creative testing is one of the most in-demand types of monetization solutions an RMN can offer.

DCO makes the most of a brand’s investment by using flexible creative templates that help deliver personalization, use variable elements to achieve scale, and optimize content throughout the testing period. Let’s look closer:

Personalization: Every ad impression is an opportunity to leverage audience data to deliver a relevant experience for consumers. It’s the right message, to the right customer, at the right time.

Data triggers: These can include audience interests, location, moment, seasonality, and customer experience with the brand so far.

Variability: Elements that can be personalized include the featured product or service, the image, the message, the call to action, the ad background, and the brand expression.

Optimization: Best-performing elements within the templates for each campaign rise to the top and are subsequently seen by the audience majority, giving the brand the highest chance of success.

By combining brand-owned data with RMN data and insights, you can reach custom audiences and unlock greater insights. And data-driven creative is proven to be much more than a “nice-to-have.” It’s the only way to make consumers feel seen and understood within the RMN environment — and get the results that brands want.

Though creative services are often considered just a tactical function of an RMN, there is much value that embedded creative services can add to your Retail Media Network’s success.

To learn more, download our full 2022 Retail Media Research Report.