This month, performance marketing agency Merkle launched New Stream Media, a service aimed at helping retailers develop and support media programs to monetize their customer data and sell advertising on and off of their own websites.
The need. The offering stemmed from the “consistent conversations around data” that Merkle found it was having with its retail clients, which account for roughly a quarter of the agency’s client roster. “We saw a need to help retailers understand the value of their data and have consideration of the consumer along the way,” Emily Kramer, VP of New Stream Media. “We don’t want retailers to be providing data without context or consideration for their own business.”
Co-op and cross-channel media programs. “From a retailer perspective, you have relationships with your merchants largely as a result of shopper dollars committed to the retailer,” Kramer said, but New Stream Media also considers brands’ promotional media efforts. For example, when a brand wants to advertise a new product nationally across multiple media channels, a retailer can say, “We get who the audience is. We can target more specifically and optimize as a result of that. And ultimately, where there is statistical significance, we can report back to it in terms of sales. A merchant can’t do that because they don’t own the POS [point of sale].”
Third-party tech stack. The ad tech and measurement pieces are fulfilled via Google Marketing Platform and Google Ad Manager. Retailers can manage advertising inventory on their own properties and target more broadly across Google properties using their own first-party data.
Why we care. With the growth of marketplaces — and the ad budgets dedicated to them — retailers are seeing new value in their shopper data. Solutions like New Stream Media are popping up to provide frameworks and infrastructure support customer data-driven revenue streams. Whereas retail giant Walmart has decided to bring both its media sales teams and its tech stack in-house, New Stream Media and the now Microsoft-owned vendor marketing platform PromoteIQ are examples of solutions that give retailers control over their media programs without having to build out their own tech to support them.