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In-Store Digital Audio Networks Now Part Of IAB’s Retail Media Definition.

With retail media networks one of the hottest channels in advertising, the Interactive Advertising Bureau on Tuesday released a "Retail Media Buyer's Guide." Along with a primer on planning and buying for the channel, the guide updated its retail media definition to include digital in-store advertising, including audio networks that provide customized background music and on-location advertising for retail locations.

“Retail media is considered the third wave of digital advertising because it combines the targeting and measurement capabilities of digital advertising with the scale and reach of traditional advertising,” IAB says in the new buyer’s guide. Its new definition encompasses onsite, offsite display, social commerce, CTV, and in-store digital advertising. In-store options include displaying ads and promotional content within a physical store, such as audio, digital signage, product displays, location-based, notifications, and interactive kiosks.

Advertisers have flocked to networks from Walmart, Amazon, Target, and others for the first party data the retailers collect on their customers’ browsing, searching, and buying behavior. Targeting consumers based on their shopping-related characteristics has opened up a new frontier for advertisers whose products are sold by the retailer.

The IAB guide notes that digital in-store audio and visuals can be updated in real time and served dynamically. It suggests that planning and activation “could be focused on creative and context,” such as the store location or environmental factors like the weather or an event. In addition, some in-store digital and audio inventories can be purchased through programmatic buying platforms.

Digital audio can run throughout the day within the retailer venue with multiple ads running in rotation, the IAB guide points out. This is the model used by Vibenomics, the Indianapolis-based company that has partnered its in-store audio network with Kroger, Hy-Vee grocery stores and other retailers. “Brands have been demanding in-store digital capabilities for quite some time, but retail media networks have hesitated to make the move, fearing that it would be too costly or difficult to implement,” says Paul Brenner, President of Audio OOH and Chief Strategy Officer at Vibenomics. “The IAB's Buyer's Guide is a product of all parties recognizing that the time is right for in-store, on-site and offsite retail media advertising. As retailers advance their individual capabilities, I expect to see more audio and digital signage spending — with audio leading the way in reaching consumers.”

Large scale audio players can also get in on the retail media action by integrating their own first party data, in a privacy-protected way, with that of the retailer to help advertisers find their audiences. Nicole Perrin, VP of Business Intelligence at Advertiser Perceptions, which surveys advertisers and agencies, sees an opportunity for radio by following the cue of media companies in other channels. Roku, for example, partnered with grocery store giant Kroger to share first party data so advertisers can target the appropriate audience on its streaming video platform. Integrating with Kroger’s data enables Roku to show the advertiser insights about what happened after the ads ran.

“Radio or digital audio companies would have the same potential there to find retailers to partner with in some type of a data co-op situation,” Perrin told Inside Radio in a recent interview. “Data clean rooms are a technological venue where this sort of thing could happen.”

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