Future-Proofing Retail Media Networks through Dynamic Creative Optimization

DCO for your RMN can be a Monetary Game-changer

By Albert Nance, Client Success, Senior Director at Clinch

February 5, 2024

Retail media networks (RMNs) have taken the digital ad world by storm over the last few years. The ability to monetize your website(s) as a media network offers a new, welcomed revenue stream in a highly competitive and ever-evolving commerce landscape. As the RMN market is projected to surpass $100 billion in coming years, it’s no surprise that RMNs have been sprouting across various sectors, from hospitality and finance to conventional retail.

And it makes sense, as retail media networks are fundamentally built to enhance the consumer experience, provide deeper insights and consequently drive improved sales. At their best, they focus on personalization (understanding consumer interests), optimization (delivering a suitable product and message at the opportune moment) and boosting conversion rates (consumers are often closer to making a purchase decision).

Today, a savvy RMN recognizes the immense financial opportunities tied to delivering enhanced messaging, precise targeting and an exceptional customer experience through ad placements across diverse channels in our connected commerce world. By efficiently capturing first-party data and transforming it into a revenue stream, RMNs advance their maturity and position themselves for success.

Dynamic creative optimization (DCO) serves as a catalyst for unlocking the full potential of both emerging and established RMNs. By streamlining processes, expediting time-to-market, enhancing creative reach and, most importantly, capturing a gold mine of data insights, DCO emerges as a powerful accelerator for RMNs seeking a competitive edge.

Imagine having to manually launch hundreds of campaigns a week across different products, clients, audiences, geographies and stores. Complexity cannot live here. DCO can streamline the media and creative process, offering a one-stop shop for marketers through the use of dynamic templates and complex decisioning.

Dynamic templates allow creative elements to be swapped out, meaning a different message, product, logo, CTA, description and landing page can all change automatically at the moment of the ad served, based on the end consumer, without someone having to individually build each creative option. It’s like offering everyone the perfect glass slipper instead of one-size-fits-all. This saves RMNs money in production, timing and media planning.

Data is not just the fuel of the future, it’s the driving force of the present and beyond. Crafting personalized messages for individual consumers naturally boosts conversion rates due to heightened relevance, stronger brand connection and a streamlined path to purchase with fewer clicks.

Equally crucial is treating each impression as an experiment. This ensures that every dollar spent on media serves as an investment in research and organization. Advanced DCO partners will capture the creative and campaign insights while offering the ability to share back at the log level. By capturing this first-party audience data, RMNs can see the proof and create their own audiences.

As a proof point, we are currently witnessing more mature RMNs aggregating the first-party data collected via their network into audience segments and data packages, then monetizing those learnings by selling them back to their RMN customers and others.

This will only expand as more RMNs mature. In the coming years, these segments built on first-party RMN data will be further honed and better defined as the audience data becomes cleaner and clearer through AI learning, data science and data refinement.

This will have three advantageous applications in the coming years. First, a new audience option that will compete against and, ironically, complement the current media behemoths, especially given the eventual deprecation of the cookie. Second, a larger increase in the need for personalized advertising. Finally, and much further out, uber-hyper-focused audience segmentations accelerate the industry toward achieving the elusive marketing holy grail of 1:1 ad-to-conversion ratio.

When looking ahead, retail marketing will center around the omnichannel shopping experience — an omnichannel experience that DCO is tailor-made to support. And as marketers, our ability to understand, navigate and create the path to purchase with consumers across different and fast-growing media channels like digital, CTV, video and more, requires the ability to control and manage the complexities that come with it. Successfully making the tactical elements turnkey via DCO for your RMN can be a monetary game-changer for everyone involved: you, your partners and the consumer.