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Retail Media Networks must embrace data collaboration

I recently traveled to San Francisco for RampUp, LiveRamp’s data collaboration summit, alongside our CEO Sam Knights and Co-Founder Matt Lee. After listening to insightful presentations from industry leaders and participating in numerous thought-provoking conversations with peers, it’s clear that there is immense potential for retailers and other businesses across sectors that hold data to leverage it to make better experiences for the consumer.

The media landscape is evolving, yet measurement lags. Retail Media Networks must be at the forefront of offering brand advertisers consistent measurement metrics that clearly illustrate the impact of brand investment dollars.
Sean Crawford is the Managing Director of Threefold.

The sessions that stood out to me the most came from Scott Howe, LiveRamp CEO, who delivered a keynote on “Moments That Change Everything” and Lori Johnshoy, Head of Retail/CPG/Media Network Industry Strategy at LiveRamp, who moderated a panel discussion on “The Secret to Long Term Media Network Success” that featured Parbinder Dhariwal, VP, General Manager at CVS Media Exchange (CMX) and Melissa Emerich, COS, Director of Strategy & Revenue, AD Retail Media at Peapod Digital Labs.

Here are my 3 retail media takeaways

  1. The potential of data is immense, but collaboration is essential. Businesses must unite to aggregate their first-party data, make it addressable and enhance the customer experience. Dhariwal's emphasis on prioritizing customers resonated with me: Customers should be at the center of everything you do to create brilliant experiences in both physical and digital retail. CMX’s recent collaboration with Pinterest exemplifies this approach, leveraging first-party data to craft relevant, meaningful and measurable ad opportunities, boosting CVS' ad revenue while enriching the customer experience. Without true collaboration, it won’t be possible for Retail Media Networks to compete.

  2. Embrace the end of the cookie era. If it occurs this year, view it as an opportunity rather than a setback. “Good privacy is good business,” and retailers possess a wealth of data to improve return on ad spend (ROAS), publisher yields and audience reach. As much of retail media now operates digitally, the demise of cookies presents a chance to bolster RMN capabilities and solidify their status as advertisers' preferred media platforms. The cookie's demise is coming sooner rather than later; don’t get left behind and adjust your strategy now.

  3. The media landscape is evolving, yet measurement lags. RMNs must be at the forefront of offering brand advertisers consistent measurement metrics that clearly illustrate the impact of brand investment dollars. Traditional advertising no longer suffices as consumer media consumption patterns shift. Notably, 62% of US 18-34-year-olds watch streaming content via connected TV daily. Retailers must lead efforts to enhance measurement, offering transparency on what works and what doesn't to capture a share of the shifting TV ad spend. Amid intense competition among RMNs, robust and transparent measurement practices will distinguish leaders in attracting incremental ad spend and achieving scale.

Now is the time to support data collaboration. Want to chat about how Threefold can help enable this for your Retail Media Network? Drop me a line at

Sean Crawford

About Sean Crawford

Sean Crawford is the Managing Director of Threefold and the driving force and face behind Threefold’s North American expansion, which began in 2023 and has already seen the agency sign its first major US client.

Sean was recently awarded the 40-under-40 award from the Path to Purchase Institute, which honors the next generation of leaders in omnichannel marketing. As a retail media thought leader, Sean has presented at numerous industry events in the UK and North America and has been published by the industry press, where he has been called on to share his decade-plus of experience as a retail media pioneer.

About Threefold

Founded in 2008, Threefold is the world's leading Retail Media Network (RMN) specialist, headquartered in both New York and London. As part of the SMG agency network, which employs over 250 retail media experts, Threefold's primary mission is to unlock incremental CPG budgets, curate media campaigns that supercharge sales and elevate its retail partners into top-tier omnichannel media owners, spanning in-store, off-site and online.

Threefold's services include consultancy, evaluation, and a white-label in-house solution that has seen the agency build, run and operate over 10 Retail Media Networks to date. In the UK, Threefold runs and operates Walgreens' Boots Media Group and Morrisons Media Group and additional live partners include major retailers like Asda, The Co-op, Signet Group and The Very Group.


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