Dollar General extends retail media to in-person sales, rural customers

Dollar General Media Network partnered with Meta and LiveRamp.

1 U.S.A dollar banknotes

Retail media’s promise stems from its ability to offer advertising directly on ecommerce marketplaces, which puts brands close to the point of purchase. However, the first party data from customer purchases and loyalty programs that powers retail media can also unlock additional opportunities that go beyond a single ecommerce site.

A pair of recent initiatives from Dollar General Media Network (DGMN) illustrate how first-party data can reach in-person sales and rural communities.

Let’s take a look:

Meta + Dollar General: In-store measurement

In a first-of-its-kind partnership with Meta, advertisers have the opportunity to use Dollar General’s 90 million user profiles to reach customers across Meta apps, which include Facebook and Instagram.

The companies say this test enabled advertisers to “close the loop” with in-store sales, meaning it will provide the ability to measure how marketing on a digital social media platform influenced a purchase made in-person.

“We are thrilled to debut this market first initiative, allowing our advertisers to reach Dollar General customers via Meta placements while utilizing our opted-in first-party data,” said Charlene Charles, head of DG Media Network Operations, in a statement. “Our team provides full end-to-end campaign support and creative services while measuring closed-loop, attributable store sales. We look forward to extending the reach of DGMN through the world’s largest social platform to deliver even more effective media for our advertisers.”

Advertisers can also use Meta’s SQL-based custom measurement and analysis to evaluate the impact of marketing investments. This is designed to uncover new insights, including measurement of return on ad spend.

LiveRamp data collaboration: Reaching rural communities

DGMN collaborated with LiveRamp in an effort to “close the digital gap” between CPG brands and rural communities, the companies said. This aims to address a key growth opportunity in digital marketing: Often, targeting is concentrated in high-population areas, but there are 46 million Americans in rural communities where internet access may be scattered, and there is less infrastructure for omnichannel capabilities.

LiveRamp’s tools resolve offline and online identities, enabling a deeper understanding of customers across populations and geographies. In turn, DGMN can serve CPGs with products in stores, and provide a more complete picture of customers from exposure to purchase.

The collaboration has allowed advertisers to reach 100% of Dollar General customers across online and offline channels, improve analytics and access real-time customer data in 47 states. It also opened up collaboration with 50 additional companies, including CPG partners like Unilever, PepsiCo and Hershey.

“Brands want to engage with the customer and provide tailored, personalized recommendations, from cereal to personal care essentials,” said Chad Fox, Dollar General’s VP and chief marketing officer, in a statement. “We now have a sophisticated platform that enables us to serve our communities in a personalized way.”

View a full case study here.

Dollar General Media Network in 2023

The ability to reach customers through digital channels opens up a new avenue of growth for Dollar General. It has ramped up ecommerce through a partnership with DoorDash, and a mobile app. On Dollar General’s recent earnings call, company leaders said the media network was an important piece of efforts to create a “digital front porch” for customers.

“We are seeing significant interest and participation from CPG companies and brands who are seeking to connect with our more than 90 million unique customer profiles, especially rural customers who represent about 30% of the country,” said CEO Jeff Owen. “We expect our DG Media Network to grow significantly in 2023 as we expand the program and enhance the value proposition for both our customers and brand partners while substantially increasing the overall net financial benefit for the business.”

With a marketplace and delivery, layering on retail media can drive high-margin opportunities to boost existing businesses, and open up work with tech companies such as Meta and LiveRamp that show a path to revenue through services that go beyond selling products. Dollar General is now firmly enmeshed in the tech ecosystem.

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Retail media’s fast growth isn’t only limited to increasing spend. The advertising itself is also poised to appear in more places beyond ecommerce marketplaces, and even beyond the web.

The latest example comes from Walmart Connect, which is the retail media arm of the world’s largest retailer.

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