Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

NDA meets Kim Ludlow of Microsoft’s retail media platform PromoteIQ

New Digital Age (NDA) meets Kim Ludlow, Head of EMEA, Microsoft PromoteIQ to discuss the latest developments in the world of retail media…

What scale of retailer is the PromoteIQ platform best suited to?

The latest developments to the Microsoft PromoteIQ platform further our vision for to offer the market the most complete omnichannel retail media platform, helping retailers fully enable their brand partners to connect with audiences through onsite, offsite, and in-store activations – all while delivering measurable return on investment through a holistic platform experience. We’ve already seen customers of a range of sizes benefit from PromoteIQ, from companies with a revenue size of just under 100 million to multi-national category leaders. 

How does the platform assist those retailers approaching Retail Media for the first time?

Microsoft PromoteIQ is built with brands and retailers in mind as an end-to-end solution that provides the tools they need to monetise more of their inventory while enabling them to own their data and customer relationships. It is designed to be intuitive, so even those that do not necessarily have the expertise in retail media can embrace innovation and technology. 

As it is a SaaS-based platform, brands can to easily build and manage campaigns to serve on their retail partners websites. The white-label nature of the platform also allows flexibility and customisation tailored to the needs of a retailer’s unique requirements and business goals. 

Microsoft sales and support teams are there to guide retailers through the process of integrating the PromoteIQ platform into their business, holding the retailer’s hands through the journey – from providing advice on placement types, how to engage with brands, pricing, all the way to targeted return-on-ad-spend. Ultimately, the platform aims to help retailers create a better shopper experience, and help brands meet customers wherever they are.

What advantages does the PromoteIQ platform have over its competitors?

PromoteIQ sits within the wider Microsoft Advertising portfolio, which means that retailers can integrate best-in-class digital tools across search, native, display, video, and retail media. Retail media is a fast-evolving space, and it is Microsoft’s vision to create the industry’s most complete omnichannel retail media stack to support retailers through the evolution of retail media. PromoteIQ allows retailers to be able to fully enable their brand partners to connect with audiences where they are and reach people at all stages of the shopping journey – whether it is onsite, offsite, or in-store, helping retailers succeed in an omnichannel shopper environment.

From a day-to-day perspective, the PromoteIQ platform uniquely offers full configurability, which gives control back to retailers and empowers them to invite brands to advertise where they want to while monetising more of their inventory. 

On top of this, the pilot release of the Microsoft Retail Advertising Network further expands the broader Microsoft Advertising platform’s onsite capabilities. By setting up ad campaigns on Microsoft and partner properties, the Microsoft Retail Advertising Network enables brands to reach a highly relevant shopper audience, in turn, driving incremental traffic to the retailer’s website. 

Is the Offsite component of Retail Media (i.e. using first-party and shopper data to activate third-party inventory) widely understood yet?

As ecommerce evolves, Offsite is a critical tool for retailers to leverage their data and help reach shoppers at the awareness and consideration stage. This is something that retailers are aware of, and many are trying to build Offsite solutions manually today. Microsoft aims to simplify this. With PromoteIQ Offsite, retailers will be able to activate their first party audience data to help their brand partners reach shoppers using third party inventory across the open web and social. 

Take purchasing a TV as an example – as it is a higher-value product, although the purchasing intent is there, the consideration phase would be relatively longer. PromoteIQ Offsite allows brands to reach shoppers on social and across the open web using the retailer’s first-party data for maximum targeting effectiveness with the goal of driving shoppers through the funnel to a purchase decision. 

The importance of Offsite retail media is undeniable and a holistic solution like Microsoft PromoteIQ is critical to the process of informing and educating retailers about the new monetisation opportunities they can potentially unlock.  

What does Microsoft hope to achieve in the Retail Media space?

We are currently witnessing a key stage in the evolution of retail media. Through digital innovation, there are more tools to unlock the way retailers can accelerate their economic engine while further engaging with their customers. Through our retail media business and technology investments are working to bringing together the best of our capabilities across Microsoft Advertising to enable retailers and brands alike. 

Together with the wider Microsoft business portfolio and other components within Microsoft’s Cloud for Retail solutions, we are committed to empowering brands and retailers through times of change and helping them embrace new innovative solutions, so they can fully reap the benefits of an integrated digital strategy. 

As one of the market leaders in the retail media landscape Microsoft is currently accelerating its growth internationally and committed to empowering retailers in the UK.