GroupM, Incremental Partner on Neutral Retail Media Network Solutions

GroupM, Incremental Partner on Neutral RMN Solutions

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Fragmentation and poor measurement create a ton of inefficiencies for clients and agencies trying to plan and optimize retail-media investments. To address this issue, GroupM has expanded its retail (aka commerce) media offering and formed a partnership with Incremental, which provides neutral retail media solutions.

The announcement was made on June 17 at the Cannes Advertising Festival.

RMNs are branded media networks while commerce media is the combination of advertising and ecommerce through which shoppers are connected with products and services across all stages of the customer journey. The broader idea involves integrating various components of commerce—such as distribution, merchandising, and promotion—with media efforts.

“Neutral” here means that Incremental neither buys nor sells media, eliminating any conflict of interest between media transactions and performance measurement. Unlike other measurement sources that may have vested interests—such as retailers aiming to secure more media dollars by demonstrating positive performance or buy-side platforms incentivized to show favorable results to increase their budgets—Incremental provides an independent, reliable evaluation of media effectiveness.

Incremental’s offering includes retail media forecasting, planning, and measurement into its Open Media Studio, which GroupM teams can now access.

Even with the outsized expansion of retail media, the fastest growing segment of digital is projected to add 17.5% growth in 2024, fragmentation remains a problem, as was stated in GroupM’s This Year Next Year 2024 Midyear Advertising Forecast. A major factor in this fragmentation is that like other digital channels, there are no standard attribution methodologies.

GroupM and Incremental can help clients compare, plan, and optimize the effectiveness of their campaigns across both retail and non-retail media networks. What the partnership achieves is integrating Incremental’s capabilities to bring standardization to retail media networks when it comes to attribution. In effect, GroupM, a media holding company within WPP, and whose sub-brands include, Mindshare, Wavemaker, and EssenceMediacom, can optimize campaigns in retail media networks and non-retail networks. Incremental executives said its technology makes sense out of cross-channel chaos, especially as GroupM invests more in RMNs.

Skye Frontier, SVP, Growth at Incremental, said the company has automated the direct collection of sales and advertising data from retailers, retail media networks and other digital media platforms. “That data flows into a series of models which teases out the interaction of that advertising from each other and outside factors like seasonality or promotional activity,” he said. “The end result is an understanding of how many truly incremental sales were generated by each investment.”

Incremental is a SaaS company, and Frontier sees retail media especially for omnichannel retailers as inherently location driven. “There is a physical component to the media. Retail media, particularly in-store media, is location specific.”

With the combined capabilities of the two companies, executives said clients of GroupM have stronger commerce media capabilities, especially in the U.S. (Global markets are to be rolled out at a later date.). Here’s how:

  • AI-Driven Retail Media Planning: Advertisers will be able to plan and allocate budget holistically, based on predicted incremental retail sales and circumventing non-standardized retail attribution. They can plan and forecast media performance across different retail networks, while placing retail alongside non-retail media for a fully integrated approach.
  • Retail Media Optimization: Integrating real-time sales data directly from advertisers’ seats with retail media networks into Open Media Studio’s suite of capabilities to enable AI-powered optimization of in-flight campaigns to drive incremental sales, not just media attributed return on ad spend.
  • Retail Media Analytics: Putting Incremental and Choreograph’s neutral retail media measurement capabilities directly into Open Media Studio’s reporting and measurement suite. Advertisers will gain access to daily incrementality data, providing valuable signals on where and how to optimize their retail media investments.

Frontier is bullish on how this partnership supports commerce marketing.

“Our collaboration with GroupM and Choreograph integrates our retail media measurement, optimization and planning suite into Open Media Studio to enable holistic planning and optimization of retail media alongside other channels,” he explained. “This will enable advertisers to better allocate their marketing resources to their growth objectives.”

Kathleen Sampey