Grocery Dive: Kroger's retail media guru on CTV ambitions and vanity metrics
NEW YORK — Retail media generated a lot of buzz at Advertising Week New York, reflecting its status as a growth driver in an otherwise cooling ad market. While the category has drawn a deluge of new entrants, Kroger has been operating a network since 2017, a degree of maturity that led to it recently expanding into other emergent channels.
The country’s largest grocer in September added connected TV and video inventory to its private programmatic marketplace, another step beyond the display and sponsored product listings that make up a sizable chunk of retail media activity. The latest addition to the program includes ad-tech partnerships with Magnite, OpenX, PubMatic and Xandr to help advertisers better target their messages. Kroger’s retail media business is part of the Kroger Precision Marketing (KPM) arm and is powered by shopper data derived from a loyalty program that claims to capture 96% of transactions.
“There are multiple channels and the channels need to be leveraged for the right time,” said Cara Pratt, senior vice president of Kroger Precision Marketing at 84.51°, about the CTV push. “Working through the sequencing of an effective investment strategy is really important.”
As KPM broadens its purview, it’s set for an even bigger shakeup. Days before the show, Kroger announced it would merge with rival Albertsons, a self-admitted “late mover” in retail media but one with a vocal presence at Advertising Week. Pratt declined to discuss the deal beyond pointing to a press release but spoke about KPM’s CTV ambitions and how the landscape is changing (also a topic on a panel she led later in the day).
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