Consulting Insights

Leveraging Retail Media Networks for Holiday

The holiday season is fast-approaching. Is your retail media advertising ready? 

Now is the perfect time to kickstart your holiday planning — but between increased competition for consumers’ attention and an ever-evolving media landscape, it can feel difficult for marketers to plan. To maximize your share of wallet potential, our experts recommend leveraging Retail Media Networks as a priority tactic this holiday season. 

Retail Media Networks allow advertisers to buy ad space across retailers’ online properties. By taking advantage of deep consumer insights fueled by first-party data, these platforms allow marketers to better target consumers at or near the point of purchase. Read on for our experts’ tips on making the most of Retail Media Networks this holiday season. 

Align with Your Merchandising Team on Brand Goals

This holiday season, your brand goals may look different than the goals of your merchandising team. We recommend aligning and partnering with merchandisers to understand industry trends within your product category. It’s also important to align on their holiday plans, sales ambitions, and key moments such as product launches to keep in mind. By staying informed, marketers can ensure their retail media activities will actively help reach these shared goals this holiday season.

Plan Retail Media Creative Early

Your product assortment may look different across retailers through which your products are sold. For the best shopping experience, retailer-specific creative is crucial to reflect the correct inventory, key message, and promotions. To prevent delaying campaign launches due to creative setbacks during this busy time, we recommend planning retail media creative concepts early in the asset development process. By getting your brand marketing team engaged with retailer-specific creative early in the planning process, you can reduce overall asset production costs while enhancing the impact of your ads. 

Lean on Retail Media Partners

Check in with your retail media partner to learn about new capabilities your brand can capitalize on. From holiday ad packages to new ad placements, these opportunities can help ensure your brand leverages the full potential of Retail Media Networks during the holidays. We recommend having these conversations early, as any new capabilities may require additional budget. 

Ovative Suggests: This is the perfect time to get a pulse check from your retail media partners on what’s working and what isn’t. Work with your partners to apply these learnings to your holiday media strategy and ensure that Retail Media Networks will help you reach your holiday goals. 

Embrace a Learning Mindset

The last few years have seen nothing but instability, from a global pandemic to widespread supply chain issues—and the brands that have embraced change and adapted have remained successful. With the current economic outlook seemingly so uncertain, marketers must continue to approach this holiday season with a learning mindset. 

Media strategy aside, marketers are guaranteed to learn something about their audiences this holiday season. We recommend working with your retail media partners to understand the larger picture. Tangible insights regarding customer behavior, platform differences, and creative performance will drive more strategic media planning in the future. By embracing a growth mindset, you’ll be able to identify invaluable customer insights to fuel strategy refinement for the following year. 

Plan for Competition

Marketers should be prepared to face heightened media costs and intensified competition on Retail Media Networks, particularly with the use of lower-funnel tactics such as Sponsored Products. These tactics have demonstrated their efficacy in generating immediate impact, driving sell-through, and influencing sales. 

Marketers should anticipate a decline in overall media efficiency compared to the previous year. Therefore, discuss the possibility of reallocating budgets with your team, moving away from awareness-focused strategies and diverting resources towards mid-to-lower funnel tactics to enhance competitiveness (only if they align with outlined holiday objectives). 

Regarding Sponsored Products, it is crucial for advertisers to be well-informed about their average cap-out date—the point where their budget exhausts—and allocate budgets strategically to ensure sustained visibility. Moreover, continuous evaluation of live campaign performance is essential to identify areas for optimization. This entails focusing on high-performing tactics, target audiences, and keywords to maximize results. 

Marketers should also keep a close eye on budget pacing and collaborate closely with Retail Media Networks (RMNs) to gain insights into forecasts. By doing so, they can make necessary timely adjustments based on key performance indicators (KPIs) and available spend allocations. Flexibility and adaptability will be crucial this holiday season. 

Plan for Success This Holiday Season with Retail Media Networks 

To make the most of the holiday season, marketers must leverage Retail Media Networks effectively. By starting to plan now, partnering closely with retail media partners, and aligning internally on brand goals, marketers can position themselves for success. With these tips, the holidays won’t just be the busiest time of the year, but also the most successful! 

Ovative approaches all major and emerging Retail Media Networks with a relentless focus on driving enterprise results. We don’t just set and forget our campaigns—we are constantly optimizing to ensure success with our media tactics. Reach out to learn how our Retail Media Networks team can ensure you’re set up for success this holiday season. 


Amanda McCann

Senior Manager, Consulting

About the Author

Amanda is a Senior Manager on the Consulting team at Ovative, specializing in Retail Media Networks.

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