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How Meredith's programmatic advertising is evolving

This month, Meredith announced a partnership with The Trade Desk, to launch the latest evolution in its programmatic advertising strategy: programmatic shoppable display.

“Shoppable display is taking our shopper engine and utilising it with standard display ads in Private Marketplaces, to power those display formats beyond what they do today,” said Chip Schenck, VP of Data and Programmatic Solutions at Meredith Digital.

Chip Schenk ()

Above: Chip Schenck

Meredith has been running programmatic advertising for four years, starting with open market, moving into their private marketplace, and rolling out channel-based buying, audience-based buying, and moving into different platforms like mobile and video, Schenck said. “This programmatic shoppable display is just the next product evolution of our long-term strategy, which is to enable buyers to have choice between running things direct through the ad server or running things through programmatic pipes.”

Meredith partnered with The Trade Desk Inc., a global technology platform for advertising buyers.  At launch, The Trade Desk will have exclusive access to Meredith's programmatic shoppable display inventory on Allrecipes.com, the world's leading digital food destination with more than 45 million monthly unique visitors, as well as across Meredith Digital's network of sites, including Bhg.com, Shape.com, and MarthaStewart.com.

"At Meredith, we reach millions of grocery shoppers every day who are about to step foot into a store, and we have first-party data that gives us unique insight into their grocery shopping behavior," Schenck said in a release. "Helping advertisers leverage our data and deep audience insight, alongside their own data, to target shoppers at different points of their journey is the next phase of data-driven marketing."

Meredith's shoppable display media enables advertisers to leverage a combination of audience behavioural insights, SKU-level product data, retail store locations, local weather, and geo-targeted promotions, coupons and discounts for products at local retailers to build consideration and drive in-store purchase. Shoppable display ads leverage Meredith's proprietary audience intelligence and digital shopper marketing platform to deliver the right ad to each user on the path to purchase.

“The biddable marketplace has to work across ubiquitous formats, it has to leverage things that can be traded by all DSPs and all exchanges, and the unit that essentially that is the most ubiquitous is the 300 x 250, and so, what shoppable display is, is  essentially taking the standard display-sized ad, so that demand-side-platforms, the buyers, can identify and work with it, and taking our data, our unique data, our access to the consumer, our access to understanding what's on the page, and the engine takes all of that data and identifies from the database from the page and the location, what offer and what call to action should be served.”

They ran a pilot campaign, and results were measured by Nielsen SimTest technology.

“Nielsen gave us a certain number of impressions that we had to hit to be measurable,” Schenck explained. “It looked at it at a SKU-level, using some proprietary methodology that Nielsen had developed and we got the results a couple of weeks later.”

“In the standard sales-lift measurement, in the full year program, you don't get anything back until after you've started to plan the next year, but with this you can use it to understand the next campaign you're planning in market,” he said.

The early pilot campaign yielded some unexpected results as well, Schenck said.

“What we were surprised about is the amount of sales-lift in the pilot program,” he said. “The 19 to one return on ad spend (ROAS) was extremely high. Not all campaigns are going to be that high, but that was the thing that surprised us most.”

Into the future, the shoppable display will continue to evolve, Schenck said. “It's important to note that it's an evolution, because programmatic started out as inventory. But the marketplace recognises that publishers have unique attributes and certain things that are unique, like first-party data, like custom capabilities, and so, the marketplace is starting to recognise we need to integrate some of these abilities into programmatic, to start differentiating how buyers buy.”

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