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Scaling Retail Media for Rapid Growth



The store model of sales has long been the avenue through which retailers capitalized on consumer relationships, supplier networks, and data. Brick-and-mortar stores, though, are incredibly expensive to maintain and growth is slow. 

Online stores offer an alternative, with more opportunities for growth and higher margins. But they, too, pose a number of challenges and are rapidly becoming less profitable.

The retail media advertising model offers an additional revenue stream, boasting rapid growth, high profitability, and a potent opportunity. The largest and most successful retailers are already using retail media advertising to their advantage. Amazon, once just an online store, is now one of the nation’s biggest advertisers, with projections suggesting a stratospheric rise over the next decade. 

Retail media now makes up 11 percent of total ad spend, up from almost nothing just a few years ago. Businesses only need a media inventory infrastructure and an customer experience infrastructure to reap the benefits of this emerging world. But your retail media campaign is only as valuable as your strategy, and your strategy is only as effective as the tools you use to implement it. Here’s what every business needs to understand about the retail media boom—and why it’s so critical to choose the right ad server platform

Download a PDF version of this guide by filling out this form, or keep scrolling to learn more.

scaling retail media for rapid growth

What Is Retail Media?

If you use Amazon, Walmart, Target, or the websites of most other retailers with a large online presence, you’ve already been exposed to a wide range of retail media. Retail media involves advertising with retailer sites and apps and usually offering a product directly for sale on that site. Third-party listings on Amazon, Facebook Marketplace, and Instagram are all examples of retail media. 

Forbes called retail media “the next big advertising channel,” and the data speaks for itself: 

Retail media profit margins exceed other retail margins (such as beauty and sporting goods) by up to 52 percent.


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Factors Driving the Retail Media Surge

Before dipping your toe in the water of retail media, it’s important to first understand what’s driving the boom, so you can assess how your business fits into the model. 

In the 2000s, companies could easily purchase third-party data, so there wasn’t a significant demand for first-party data. New data privacy restrictions mean that companies can no longer easily access third-party data and, therefore, need their own data. 

As large sites have realized the benefits of retail media for their advertisers, they’ve added incentives to invest. On many sites, paid ad spending also boosts visibility in organic searches, generating a massive increase in brand awareness over time. 

Consequently, the world’s biggest retailers are already investing heavily in retail media. You don’t have to have a massive budget to join them, though. You just need a partner such as Innervate that offers a plug-and-play solution.


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Benefits of Retail Media

The benefits of retail media investments are myriad and potentially immense. They include: 

A Better Customer Experience 

Consumers increasingly expect personalized content and to see useful suggestions across a wide variety of websites. Retail media advertising empowers you to show customers items they might want but would otherwise never discover. And using data to track their responses allows you to modify things over time, steadily giving consumers more and more of what they want. 

More Purchases

Retail media encourages customers to purchase more items—and higher-priced items—by showing them other things they may be interested in. Instead of navigating to another site to continue shopping, they remain engaged with your products. 

Easy Content Generation 

You can outsource content generation, allowing you to build content at scale. Innervate makes self-service setup easy, offering a high-quality plug-and-play portal so you can select a template, create ads, push the ads live, and then shift your campaigns based on results. As an omnichannel provider, Innervate empowers you to reach consumers via the website, email, social media, in-app, and wherever else they congregate.

More Options

You can run ads on your site and monetize them from there. And if ad traffic is an issue, push the ads to Google and Facebook to drive traffic and revenue.


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A Brief Introduction to Retail Media Types

Developing your retail media strategy begins with understanding the various opportunities at your fingertips. They include: 

  • Owned-and-operated media: Enjoy no media cost and a 100 percent gross margin with media you already operate, such as your website or online store. Sponsored brands can grow your revenues. 
  • Email media: Email, a subtype of owned-and-operated media, offers plenty of opportunities to generate additional advertising revenue. 
  • Third-party inventory: With third-party ads, you'll pay some media costs and have less than 100 percent gross margin. But you can greatly expand visibility via YouTube, Facebook, Google, and other advertising channels.


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Innervate: Your Comprehensive Retail Media Solution

Innervate’s plug-and-play solution allows you to orchestrate unlimited customer experience (CX) use cases seamlessly across any channel using your existing systems and teams. Grow your brand faster, building scalable marketing campaigns that efficiently generate content by harnessing the power of artificial intelligence. Key to our success is our self-service model. You build your campaigns, and we provide actionable reporting every step of the way. 

Innervate includes five pillars of retail media advertising: 

  1. Innervate for display: Ideal for online or on owned-and-operated websites, Innervate builds custom banners and product-specific, template-based banners.
  2. Innervate for email: Target customers through your own emails or purchased email channels with custom banners and product-specific templates. 
  3. Innervate for social: Reach customers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and a vast range of other social channels with advertising compliant with best practices for each option. 
  4. Innervate for native: Develop custom social/native ads using our templates for owned-and-operated media or Outbrain, Taboola, and similar platforms. 
  5. Innervate for video: Video advertising is increasingly popular, and marketers must capitalize on it wherever possible. We build custom, template-produced video ads for owned-and-operated media or third-party video channels. 

With each pillar, users gain access to an easy template to build their ads in compliance with the requirements of the website or other property where the ads will display. 

Our formula for success contains three ingredients: 

  • Massively scaled or crowdsourced ad creative production and delivery: This empowers you to deliver streamlined, professional, compliant ad experiences to a wide range of users and personas on a massive scale. 
  • Mass simplification: More than just another app to add to a long list, Innervate can integrate with everything you already have, allowing you to automate where you desire. We eliminate 50-95 percent of ad creative tasks, so your team can focus on designing a smaller number of exceptional ads, then scaling them up. 
  • Mass personalization/optimization: Personalization isn’t just a nice add-on. It’s vital in this market. Increase advertising value and revenues by 25-125 percent by building higher-performing ads across multiple channels. 

The results speak for themselves. 

One of our Fortune 100 clients now has more than 3,700 users orchestrating dynamic customer experiences on behalf of 2,400 brands thanks to Innervate. Many have grown exponentially larger than their original goals and faster than they expected.


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Why Choose Innervate?

Retail media advertising is vital to your business’s ability to remain competitive, no matter what you sell or whom you serve. Innervate offers four key benefits that set us apart: 

  • Efficacy: Fortune 500 companies choose us because we get immediate results and improve long-term outcomes. Our approach allows you to set goals, then assess success based on results. Retail media is an investment in your brand and your profitability. The Innervate approach ensures your investment pays off, by optimizing your budget at every stage of the process. 
  • Control: With Innervate, you continue to control your strategy and your creative process. Our platform then generates new iterations of your ads based on customer data and your preferences. You might, for example, test the power of color psychology by shifting ad hues. Our generative AI approach is not haphazard, endlessly creating new ads. Instead, you set the constraints and build a marketing campaign that gets results. 
  • Reporting: Without the right data reporting, it’s impossible to understand your ad results. Innervate’s powerful reporting helps you build upon successes and understand exactly what’s happening with your ads at every stage of the process. 
  • Experimentation: You can't know whether you’re truly using the most effective advertising strategy without experimentation. A/B testing and other forms of multivariate testing allow you to test marketing campaigns, assess results, revise, test again, and tailor each ad to specific consumers. Innervate’s testing approach ensures that each ad builds upon prior data, building progressively more personalized and effective marketing strategies based on data. 

Content creation, ad buying, and personalization remain firmly in your hands. Innervate helps you build what you have at scale, so you can cater to an ever-growing audience. 

Retail media doesn’t have to be a complicated undertaking that adds endless tasks to your to-do list or a massive expenditure to your budget. Innervate believes in simplicity, with an all-in-one solution that is: 

  • Simple to start. Initiate or expand your retail media strategy with our open network architecture that easily connects systems and data sources—no coding required. 
  • Simple to scale. Quickly build unlimited CX use cases across channels using your existing systems, data sources, and teams. 
  • Simple to succeed. Grow your brand via a portfolio of dynamic CX use cases enriched by the data and systems you’ve already networked. 

Retail media is critical to optimizing brand success, no matter the size of your business or what it offers. Innervate makes it easy to capitalize on this opportunity.


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