Over the past number of years, the buying journey for retailers and brands has changed rapidly, forcing the industry to adjust their order management system (OMS) to provide an omnichannel customer experience to advertisers. From programmatic advertising to social media, this has ultimately made retail advertising management more complicated for retailers and consumer packaged goods companies.
Preparing and pitching the right media package for a customer across Out-of-Home, in-store, print and digital mediums for campaigns at both national and local markets may feel more like a game of Tetris than a well-implemented strategy. Instead of attempting to slot advertisers into open slots in an uncoordinated manner and hoping things work out, an efficient OMS can change your entire perspective.
These tips can help you optimize your advertising management channels to see active growth across all opportunities in your stores.
1. Create Reliable Connections Across Ad Channels
With so many avenues for retail ad sales available to vendors, there’s a lot of ground to cover in positioning advertisers within your business.
While your store may be offering a seamless customer experience, in the back-end advertising operations must manage an interlocking mix of channels, locations, and target groups to help brands follow customers through their shopping journey.
The better you keep your media channels connected and in sync across stores and departments along with the rest of their resource management applications, the easier it is to keep things moving smoothly. Linking advertising sales, orders, and campaigns requires a customized connection with programmatic servers, OMS, ERPs, CRMs, and financial managers.
This can take the onus off of your internal operations, providing a way to check availability and impressions in real-time, confirm bookings, deliver data and billing, and manage reporting without missing a beat.
In essence, this allows retailers to streamline both media campaigns, and package offers, regardless of location, season, or demographics.
2. Have Your Order Management System Mirror your Business Structure
Retail isn’t a one size fits all industry, even if you are working in the same field.
Each retail store is effectively its own world as layout, branding, and focus can differ significantly at each location. Depending on customer needs, store size, the local community, this leads to differences in the advertising messages needed across stores.
Whether you are a department store, supermarket, or grocer, you’ve custom-built a mix of specific retail media channels carefully curated and adapted to your customers’ campaigns and sales cycles, combining online and in-store experience to follow brands’ customer behavior.
It is essential that this business structure is clearly reflected in your order management and is adapted to your needs and not the other way around.
Your order management system needs to adapt the specific requirements of your business model including aspects such as processing orders, optimizing campaigns, and inventory management to leverage its full potential.
Don’t let the software take the reigns; your company needs to be in control.
Amazon is an excellent example of this; in early 2018, the online retailer completely revamped its artificial intelligence (AI) as a tool to accommodate its unique needs rather than employing a mass-market solution.
It is now the third digital platform in the US. The benefits of using this AI allowed Amazon to:
- Generate smarter recommendations for customers
- Automate advertising activities
- Provide measurement capabilities
By doing so, it allowed Amazon’s advertisers to understand what outcomes they are driving to Amazon properties. This is an example of how a good advertising package helped Amazon follow their customers through their shopping journey and their considered buying process.
3. Nurture an Efficient Ad Agency Relation
Take a look at your company’s entire portfolio of brands, leads, accounts, contacts, and campaigns. Now imagine how many errors may arise simply by the lack of timely communication between advertising operations, trade operations, brands, advertisers, or agencies.
According to a report by IAB Europe Attitudes on Programmatic Advertising Study:
- 62% of advertisers felt it is a high priority to integrate programmatic with other in-house teams such as customer relationship management
- 61% of agencies believe they can increase efficiency by managing inventory previously managed by ad networks
- 44% of publishers benefit from an efficient advertising sales and ad operations process
This highlights the importance of integration and cross-communication between sales, inventory, and retail operations to manage brands and customers across the supply chain right from the start.
For ad operations, an account matches an advertising customer, whilst in-store operations may match a supplier. Stores must foster collaboration between teams, advertisers, and agencies, both in-store and in their headquarters, to keep everyone on the same page across channels and roles.
4. Set the Right Rules and Restrictions for Campaigns
Retailers are the pinnacle of brands’ ultimate fight for exclusivity. Imagine a brand requests an exclusive product launch targeted at in-store product placement stores in specific locations, a digital advertising campaign for a niche customer demographic closeted by a pathway of digital out of home banners in the nearby vicinity of your stores, and an exclusive product catalog in its footsteps at a specific date.
It is an ambitious, seamless, and consistent campaign-and the dream of every advertiser but requires clockwork coordination within the retailer’s advertising operations to execute in their portfolio of retail advertising channels.
Make sure your order management system can set up the provisions and help you press the right buttons through all your channels in a timely manner, that you can trigger the right rules and restrictions, and that your ad exchanges are capable of working through all of these quickly to prepare a quotation and configure a media package.
5. Find Efficiencies Within Your Retail Advertising Software Stack
Assessing and vetting technology partners is one of the top challenges for advertisers, publishers, and agencies, as they must secure that their choice for an OMS connects with the rest of their enterprise applications.
A good option to find efficiencies and integration is to consider applications built on the same core platform developed for different purposes, such as financial management, account billing, or advertising sales. With these efficiencies, chances to cross-link from one department to another one grows exponentially:
- They can improve two-way communication between areas such as a CRM or billing system.
- It reduces manual re-entry of information from departments using under the same platforms, such as quotes, budgets, and contracts.
- It streamlines workflows as you can work through accounts shared with advertising, orders, or supply chains.
- It allows to completely manage projects out of a single dashboard.
- It fosters a better learning and onboarding process for employees.
Portals such as the AppExchange®, group a large group of software applications with the capacity of fostering efficiencies between them.
6. Unite Different Reports Under the Same Dashboard
Advertisers and agencies want to improve yield and demand consistent KPIs for media campaigns to ensure that their campaigns are effective.
When retailers offer packages mixing a plethora of digital, linear, and in-store platforms across stores and channels in their advertising sales, they must be able to organize vast amounts of data from first, second, and third parties, and align those statistics for a regular reporting process. That way stores, agencies, and advertisers can connect the dots, calculate ROI and analyze the campaign traceability in a comprehensive manner.