The Rise of the Retail Media Network

As a marketer, you know accurate consumer data is like gold to your business. It opens up a world of knowledge that allows your brand to more effectively market your products or services to your target audience. 

We’ve enjoyed relatively unregulated access to our consumers’ online behavior over the last decade or so with third-party cookies. Able to monitor and track one’s behavior across the web, brands and agencies alike have had a clear view of where we spend our time online and what we do. With such a treasure trove of data to explore, brands can better understand their consumers, segment their audience, and personalize their outreach, all of which help make their marketing more effective. All made possible by these powerful little third-party cookies. Until now. 

With third-party cookies phasing out within the year due to privacy concerns and increased regulations, marketers must adapt and find new ways to collect valuable zero-party data and create engaging, targeted marketing campaigns. 

Enter the retail media network.

What is a Retail Media Network?

In short, a retail media network is a platform that connects retailers and brands to provide targeted advertising to their consumers. But, of course, it wouldn’t be marketing if it were truly that simple. So, let’s get into the details. 

Behind most retail media networks are what’s called an SSP and a DSP. An SSP, a supply-side platform, is an advertising platform designed to organize and publish a supplier’s “ad inventory,” which, in this case, is their digital ad space. A DSP, a demand-side platform, allows an advertiser to buy that digital ad space and manage advertising campaigns.

Through retail media networks, advertisers (like your brand) can place programmatic ads. 

Programmatic advertising refers to the use of software to automate the buying, placement, and optimization of online advertising. This process eliminates the need for manual negotiations, manual insertion orders, and manual ad trafficking

Retail media networks are typically managed by the retailers themselves. For example, several major retailers have already created their own networks, like Walmart, CVS, and Ulta. The retailers then take advantage of the extensive zero-party data they are able to collect on their consumers through their own sites to create advertising experiences that are relevant, personalized, and valuable to both the consumer and the brand.

Retail Media Network DSP and SSP

The Importance of Retail Media Networks in Today’s Digital Age

One of the greatest factors impacting the rise of the retail media network is the impending loss of third-party cookies. We mentioned above that third-party cookies are being phased out within the next year, leaving marketers in all industries without a constant influx of valuable consumer data. 

Retail media networks, on the other hand, allow brands and retailers to partner with one another and exchange the data they have. For example, consider retail giant Walmart, which, as mentioned above, already has its own retail media network platform. Across its app, website, and of course, retail locations, Walmart directly collects billions of data points on its consumers. They monitor things like website behavior, purchase history, and ad engagement, just to name a few. 

This information is gold to other brands with similar target audiences. What marketers just lost through the deprecation of third-party cookies, they gain through access to robust retail media networks. 

The Shift to Retail Media Networks from Traditional Advertising

The ad industry continues to evolve in tandem with technological advancements and consumer sentiment. Recently, the use of third-party cookies has raised alarms among consumers who consider the tracking to be increasingly invasive. On top of that, the lack of regulation has resulted in a level of secrecy and consumers aren’t even sure what data is being collected about them. As a result, ​regulators and browsers have started to take action to restrict the use of third-party cookies.

The online marketplace continues to grow year over year, with about 20% of all retail transactions taking place online. With over 2.3 billion online shoppers each year, no brand can afford to ignore the digital marketplace.

So, publishers and advertisers are able to adapt and shift to retail media networks. On the rise, retail media network spend is expected to hit $51.4 billion this year. That’s an increase of 26% year over year, according to AdAge.  According to Forbes, retail media networks are “the fastest growing ad-supported digital media channel.”

What are the Benefits of a Retail Media Network?

Retail media networks provide several benefits to both advertisers and publishers.

Increased Reach and Brand Awareness

One clear benefit of running programmatic ads through a retail media network is the immediate boost to your ad’s reach and therefore, brand awareness. With this, you know exactly where your ads appear online, and can in turn use that to your advantage to get the most relevant impressions you possibly can. 

Some more traditional methods of advertising limit your ability to place ads where you want. However, with a retail media network, you can tap into the enormous potential of a retailer’s distinct audience. 

Better Targeting

Similarly, retail media networks empower brands and agencies with more accurate and specific targeting. 

As mentioned above, advertisers can now choose exactly where their digital ads appear online. Savvy marketers prioritize only the most relevant networks that offer them the highest chance of converting a retailer’s audience into their own consumers. 

For example, consider a CPG brand that sells snacks and beverages on the go. Previously, this brand would have to employ more of a “spray and pray” advertising strategy, hoping the digital ads they placed would just show up where their consumers spent time online. 

Of course, it wasn’t the dark ages and advertisers could employ some level of targeting, retail media networks simply cut out the middle man and give advertisers direct access to the platforms they want to appear on.

Improved Engagement

With increased accuracy and better targeting comes improved consumer engagement. 

Retail media networks create a more personalized shopping experience, showing your consumers products and services they actually want when they’re ready to buy. These programmatic ads use the wealth of consumer data retailers have, and match segments of consumers with only the most relevant ads. 

Retail media networks often use native advertising to seamlessly integrate ads into the shopping experience. This type of advertising is designed to look and feel like the surrounding content, making it less intrusive and more engaging for customers.

Not only that, but ​​retail media networks use data to optimize their ad campaigns in real time. This helps to ensure that ads are delivered to the right people at the right time and that they are as effective as possible.

Access to Valuable Data

Of course, the main benefit we’ve been talking about this entire time is the access to valuable data supplied by retail media networks. Advertisers gain access to a retailer’s first-party data when using a retail media network. 

Not only are you able to tap into a tremendous amount of data that’s already been collected, but you can also improve the accuracy of future data collection as well. 

For example, with programmatic advertising, brands can now more accurately link their ads to conversions. They’re able to know exactly which ads on exactly what app or website resulted in a consumer’s purchase. 

This access to richer data unlocks a world of knowledge and possibilities for brands. This insight informs all other aspects of a brand’s marketing strategy, including ad placements, bidding, and design. 

Your Brand’s Retail Media Network Strategy

However you look at it, digital advertising is constantly evolving. As a marketer, it’s up to you to stay on top of important shifts in regulations and consumer sentiment. 

As you can see, retail media networks provide brands and publishers a leg up in the oversaturated, competitive marketplace. By leveraging data and insights, they provide a personalized and relevant shopping experience that can lead to increased ad engagement and better results. 

If your brand wants to take advantage of the benefits of retail media networks, contact us today

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Systems and Network Administrator

About Us

Marketing Resources, Inc. is a leading promotional marketing agency that specializes in purpose-driven promotions. With over 25 years in the business, MRi helps brands Identify, Develop, Execute, and Analyze promotions and marketing projects that consumers love. We’re a team full of committed, passionate, solutions-driven, hands-on, and innovative individuals who collaborate to bring success to our client’s programs.


The System and Network Administrator plays a critical role on the MRi Digital team, and overall in the success of our company. They are responsible for the day-to-day administration and technical support of complex Linux servers, Virtual Infrastructure and Systems Management, and maintenance and support of end-user systems. You’ll be working closely with our teams on client projects and making sure our internal systems are updated and secure. 

Our ideal candidate will be proactive, have great organizational skills, not shy away from communication with our teams, think through and help solve different problems, and gain an understanding of our business to help our team achieve amazing results.

In this role, we’re looking for that person who does not accept average.

You will help us create the best digital, promotions, products, and campaigns to achieve our client’s marketing goals. MRi takes pride in our ability to constantly push the boundaries of development in the digital promotions space, and you will take an active role in working closely with our client services, business development, creative, and project management team to guide, develop, and deliver exceptional work for our clients and partners.

Our ideal candidate will be proactive, have great organizational skills, not shy away from communication with our teams, think through and help solve different problems, and gain an understanding of our business to help our team achieve amazing results.

Responsibilities May Include

  • Design, install, configure, upgrade, maintain, monitor, and tune performance of Linux-based servers and infrastructure, both internal and client-related promotions.
  • Provide support for problems and issues that come up from our clients, vendors, and internal teams.
  • Examine and audit various server logs and determine if any corrective action is required.
  • Review releases of new operating systems and evaluate the implementation in the enterprise.
  • Install, configure, and maintain server firewall and other security software.
  • Identify and provide technical resolution for potential security breaches, then establish and monitor security and apply appropriate fixes.
  • Implement and maintain technical solutions for disaster recovery and business continuity of enterprise and client systems.
  • Select the ideal server hardware for the company’s needs and administer physical server hardware, including repair and replacement of parts as necessary.
  • Monitor and maintain proper end-user system security by ensuring operating systems and software are up-to-date and applying patches as necessary.
  • Maintenance and support of all end-user service accounts including Office365, Google Workspace, hosted VoIP accounts.

The Essentials

  • 1-2 years of experience in Linux server administration in a small to midsize environment.
  • Bachelor’s degree or minimum 4 years of related work experience.
  • Able to effectively plan, deploy and administer Linux servers in an enterprise environment.
  • Strong familiarity with Linux OS, Windows, macOS, application, and hardware troubleshooting.
  • Familiarity with VMware ESXi and XenServer/XCP-NG, DigitalOcean, Amazon AWS, and Docker.
  • Networking and Storage – Familiarity with pfSense (*BSD pf) firewalls, Ubiquiti network gear, Synology NAS equipment, iSCSI, NFS, SMB, and AFP file protocols.  TCP/IP, UDP, and VLAN. configurations to manage networking and storage.  
  • Ability to compose thorough and clear documentation on routine tasks, standard operating procedures, and other documents beneficial to team members.

You’ll stand out if you have experience with

  • Debian-based Linux or Ubuntu operating systems, roles, services, concepts, security, permissions, middleware, and facilities required. (e.g. SMTP, NFS, SMB, iptables, LVM, LUKS).
  • Amazon AWS S3, EC2, and ElasticBeanstalk required.
  • Samba4 as an Active Directory Domain Controller, Administering Active Directory through. the use of GPOs and OUs.
  • Supporting Windows and macOS systems.
  • Scripting concepts and methods with competence in at least one relevant language (e.g. Bash, Python, Perl, etc.)
  • Internet clients/servers/protocols, including HTTPS, SSH, MTAs (e.g. Postfix).
  • An ability to explain complex technical processes in a more simplified version to team members, clients, and partners.
  • Experience with IT project management practices and techniques.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.

The Perks

  • Medical insurance options
  • Dental insurance
  • 401(K) plan with company match
  • Flexible remote work policy
  • Paid sick days
  • Generous vacation and paid holidays

Interested in applying?

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