How in-store music can play a role in retail media networks

Afraid of disrupting an effective platform for its retail brand, Miller said the channel remains reluctant to explore vendor advertising on its audio networks. Instead, it uses properties like a full-color monthly recipe magazine and in-store signage to bring vendor marketing to shoppers.

Traditionally, music has been a revenue-neutral business at Ahold Delhaize’s Stop & Shop, with modest advertising revenue offsetting the cost of circulation. But the channel has become more sophisticated in its approach to music, and the outlet is now a small moneymaker after aligning itself in late 2020 with DMI, a provider founded by a former musician, said Janine Mudge, director of media. marketing operations for the 400 stores. Northeast supermarket. The channel regularly tests new playlists based on customer data and adjusts its sound based on time slots and other factors drawn from loyalty data. The ads have been successful, particularly in raising customer awareness of the store’s private labels, which typically offer better margins, Mudge said.

When the music, messaging and timing are right, in-store audio can be extremely effective, its proponents say. But in-store audio occupies a tricky position in the media landscape, often seen as a so-called “tweener”.

“I think we’re a tweener because we can be considered a bit of a media product, and a bit of a customer marketing product, and a bit of a digital product,” Gary Seem, president and co-founder of InStore Audio Network, recognized. “I’m not sure these are good ways to assess our business because the media space is no longer a television-dominated world. The location-based out-of-home space is becoming so important and solutions like InStore Audio Network don’t quite fit into traditional media segments.

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Accelerating the programmatic market for in-store audio requires breaking down silos and legacy practices, said Michael Provenzano, CEO of Vistar Media, a supply-side programmatic software company specializing in outdoor advertising. “Brands should challenge retailers and say, ‘I need you to operate as a comprehensive, highly technical editor,'” Provenzano said.

Some of these legacy practices include in-space advertising specifically related to consumer marketing agencies making direct purchases. This has caused some confusion and hesitation among brands, Dentsu’s Porter said, saying some might be wary of the complexity of adding another channel.

“Let’s say I’m a shampoo brand that wants to be in 25 markets and 37 cities within those markets, and I want to be in retail,” Porter said. “I think those four markets could do out-of-home audio, and in eight markets I’m doing digital screens by register, and in that market it’s refrigerator doors. Put it all together as a plan and the client will look at it and say, “Boy, that’s a lot of different things.” But if you buy a roadside billboard, you can get it in any market. »

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