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When retail media and streaming combine, it presents new opportunity to more effectively measure the impact of advertising.
The latest evidence comes in the form of a partnership between Roku and Instacart that is designed to help CPG advertisers make ads more relevant to viewers, and potentially unlock increased purchases.
Through the tie-up, streaming viewership data from Roku will be combined with insights from Instacart’s grocery marketplace, which includes more than 1,100 retailers. Both have access to first-party data, which is privacy-safe information gathered through purchases and loyalty programs.
The goal is to determine whether Roku viewers are purchasing goods on Instacart after they see an ad while watching content. In other words, it will aim to quantify the impact of streaming advertising on product sales.
Early results are promising. Results from pilot partners showed that people who saw an ad on Roku purchased more of the advertised products on Instacart than an average customer.
Importantly, streaming can be an avenue for brands to gain new customers. One personal care brand reported 60% of the people who purchased after seeing an ad were new to the brand. It can also lead to multiple purchases. For a beverage brand, new purchases who saw a Roku ad had a 70% higher repeat rate than average first-time brand buyers on Instacart.
The partnership highlights how two growing consumer modes can be complementary: Watching a streaming program and ordering grocery delivery online. With this, it also underscores the growing number of ad dollars flowing into advertising on streaming platforms, known as CTV, and ecommerce marketplaces, known as retail media.
CTV holds out the promise of combining the ability to reach customers while they are watching TV with the targeting and measurement tools of the internet. Bringing retail media data into the fold only bolsters streamers’ access to data that can help advertisers optimize campaigns to effectively reach customers who are most likely to buy a product.
“Our goal is to help marketers get more of what they love in TV,” said Alison Levin, Vice President of Ad Revenue and Marketing Solutions, Roku. “Our partnership with Instacart makes it easier to measure actual return on advertising spend in ecommerce and meet consumers where they are – streaming TV.”
This is the first streaming TV partnership for Instacart, while Roku has also partnered with Best Buy to bring in data that is specific to consumer electronics. Disney and Kroger also recently struck a measurement-focused partnership.
Initially, retail media was defined in part by the fact that the powerful first-party data it leverages is confined to the marketplace on which it originates. These streaming-focused partnerships show that it is quickly evolving to power advertising on other media channels, as well.
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Campbell Soup Company CEO Mark Clouse offered thoughts on messaging amid inflationary shifts in consumer behavior.
After months of elevated inflation and interest rate hikes that have the potential to cool demand, consumers are showing more signs of shifting behavior.
It’s showing up in retail sales data, but there’s also evidence in the observations of the brands responsible for grocery store staples.
The latest example came this week from Campbell Soup Company. CEO Mark Clouse told analysts that the consumer continues to be “resilient” despite continued price increases on food, but found that “consumers are beginning to feel that pressure” as time goes on.
This shows up in the categories they are buying. Overall, Clouse said Campbell sees a shift toward shelf-stable items, and away from more expensive prepared foods.
There is also change in when they make purchases. People are buying more at the beginning of the month. That’s because they are stretching paychecks as long as possible.
These shifts change how the company is communicating with consumers.
Clouse said the changes in behavior are an opportunity to “focus on value within our messaging without necessarily having to chase pricing all the way down.”
“No question that it's important that we protect affordability and that we make that relevant in the categories that we're in," Clouse said. "But I also think there's a lot of ways to frame value in different ways, right?”
A meal cooked with condensed soup may be cheaper than picking up a frozen item or ordering out. Consumers just need a reminder. Even within Campbell’s own portfolio, the company can elevate brands that have more value now, even if they may not always get the limelight.
The open question is whether the shift in behavior will begin to show up in the results of the companies that have raised prices. Campbell’s overall net sales grew 5% for the quarter ended April 30, while gross profit margins held steady around 30%. But the category-level results were more uneven. U.S. soup sales declined 11%, though the company said that was owed to comparisons with the quarter when supply chains reopened a year ago and expressed confidence that the category is seeing a longer-term resurgence as more people cook at home following the pandemic. Snacks, which includes Goldfish and Pepperidge Farm, were up 12% And while net sales increased overall, the amount of products people are buying is declining. Volumes were down 7%.
These are trends happening across the grocery store. Campbell is continuing to compete. It is leading with iconic brands, and a host of different ways to consume them. It is following that up with innovation that makes the products stand out. Then, it is driving home messaging that shows consumers how to fit the products into their lives, and even their tightening spending plans.
Campbell Soup is more than 150 years old, and has seen plenty of difficult economic environments. It is also a different business today, and will continue to evolve. At the end of the day, continued execution is what’s required.
“If it's good food, people are going to buy it, especially if it's a great value,” Clouse said.