MULO Brands Launch Their Own Media Street Fight

MULO Brands Launch Their Own Media

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You’ve most likely heard of Netflix, CNBC, and Sirius.  Now, welcome to the Walmart network!  MULO (multi-location) retailers are entering the broadcast and digital content arena with the launch and ongoing production of their own retail media channels.

A retail media network is “a retailer-owned advertising service that allows marketers to purchase advertising space across all digital assets owned by a retail business, using the retailer’s first-party data to connect with shoppers throughout their buying journey.”

Amazon has had its own network for a while now. It uses consumer behavior and buying data to make recommendations about similar purchases and alert its loyal customers to targeted deals.

Retail media networks greatly benefit brands (both network “owner” and advertisers). The retailer benefits from ad revenue, and the product brands have an outlet to build awareness and sales.

Among the MULO brands that have built their own networks are:

  • Walmart, with 240M weekly retail shoppers, has a huge and loyal follower base.
  • Target Roundel offers a consumer database of about 150M shoppers.
  • Home Depot and Wayfair enable targeted advertising to the home improvement and decor buyer.
  • Even C-stores (convenience stores) like Wawa, 7-Eleven and Casey’s have launched their own networks.

These brands’ offerings include on-site advertising, e-mail marketing opportunities, sponsorships, and display ads. Retail networks may also enable third-party vendors to offer paid advertising opportunities in-store.

Just as new types of marketing and advertising specialists emerged in the early days of social media advertising, companies with expertise in building and utilizing retail media networks are now proliferating.

And, as with all forms of media, the company behind the channel(s) must:

  • Craft offerings that are buyer-centric
  • Create a media kit that proves the value of retail network advertising
  • Offer a range of ad options that are affordable to all types of companies
  • Ensure that their marketing is personalized and not assaultive to the consumer
  • Learn from best practices, as this category evolves

Ad buyers must:

  • Evaluate options and invest in those that make the most sense
  • Review KPIs to ensure they are seeing ROI from their buys
  • Diversify their spend, testing a range of media options
  • Work with media-agnostic agencies, who will recommend the best outlets and spend for their clients’ needs

Over time, we’ve seen advertising options evolve and diversify, especially as retailers attempt to compete with Amazon.

But, at the end of the day, knowing who your customers are, what they want, when they shop, and how buying patterns might create opportunities for cross-sell and relationship-deepening is timeless — no matter what network someone “tunes into.”



Nancy A Shenker, senior editor with Street Fight, is a former big brand (Citibank, Mastercard, Reed Exhibitions) marketing strategist and leader. She has been featured in, the New York Times and Forbes.