Marketing News: The growth of retail media networks and other forms of online engagement

Marketing News
The growth of retail media networks and other forms of online engagement

New research shows the importance of online engagement and the growth of retail media networks as the lifeline business needs to survive pandemic restrictions and thrive in the ‘new normal’ world.

Many organisations have revamped their online engagement strategy over the past 12 months. Research conducted by the Content Marketing Institute reveals that almost a third of B2B marketers said their organisation has established an online community within the last 12 months. Among those who have not, 27% say they are likely to within the next year.

There has also been rapid growth of retail media networks, where retailers set up an advertising platform on their website, app, or digital platforms within their own network. Retail media networks target ads to customers at or near their point of purchase, or use purchase triggers such as at the point of choice between competing brands by using discounts to encourage repeat purchases or influence choice.

These types of online ‘concession stands’ have become synonymous with brands that have high traffic referring websites. Amazon is the best known example – its retail media network is called Amazon advertising. This platform allows advertisers to tap into new audiences and can open up potentially lucrative new markets.

BMW runs concessions on eBay and Amazon marketplaces with the aim of opening the brand out to people who wouldn’t go to a dealership to buy BMW-branded merchandise usually available at point of purchase.

But one major concern for many businesses in the newly published survey is trying to reach audiences in an overcrowded virtual world. To combat this – more than half of marketers reported that their marketing spend remained the same in the past 12 months to capitalise on the online shift, with 1 in 5 reporting an increase and a third said that their company will now spend more on digital marketing to increase visibility and awareness over the competition post pandemic.

Three quarters (74%) of marketers who made strategy changes during the pandemic say that they intend to keep their strategy in place for the long haul. More than half (56%) stated explicitly that they will continue to focus on digital channels and around 46% will keep changes they have made to their media mix.  Add to this, 1 in 4 shifted traditional advertising spend to content marketing.

Sources / Further Reading
2021 B2B Content Marketing: What Now? Content Marketing Institute
Senior marketers set to revamp online engagement strategy in response to COVID, new study reveals Retail Times