Article: 5-min Read

Reducing buying complexity: The push for greater standardization. 

Nicolas Pirog

Director of Measurement Strategy

As retail media rapidly evolves, there’s also a growing need amongst advertisers and retailers for greater standardization. To adapt to an ever-changing media landscape, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Media Rating Council (MRC) have proposed a set of measurement and reporting guidelines to reduce result discrepancies and push for greater transparency in the industry. These guidelines offer a path to clearer standards across incrementality, audience measurement, ad delivery, in-store advertising, viewability, reporting, and transparency. 

Roundel, Target’s retail media network (RMN), has a unique position within the industry. As one of the main contributors to the IAB/MRC Retail Media Measurement Guidelines, Roundel fully supports IAB’s drive for industrywide measurement standards. Nick Pirog, Director of Measurement Strategy at Roundel, talks about key takeaways from these new guidelines and his contribution.  

The need for industry transparency. 

Omnichannel retail media ad spending is projected to grow exponentially in 2024. Since the retail media industry is still relatively new, a lack of standards and transparency around defining those metrics has led to buying complexity for advertisers.

In fact, 69% of retail media buyers are frustrated with the complexity of the buying process.1 An additional 62% state that a lack of measurement standards is a significant advertising obstacle with RMNs.1

The growing number of RMNs is putting a strain on advertisers trying to navigate buying and measuring with different metrics and definitions from each RMN. For example, how do we define a metric for “New to Brand”? Does this mean someone who hasn’t shopped in 13 weeks or 13 months? Does it refer to someone who has never shopped a specific brand, or an entire category, or even the retailer? This creates unique challenges since each retailer’s tech stack and data are different.

The work that IAB and the industry have done over the past few months is a big step in the right direction—particularly with its focus on greater transparency and disclosure across metrics and measurement methods. While total standardization will always be elusive, moving toward common definitions will benefit the entire ecosystem.

Closing the gap of buyers’ expectations. 

In the coming months, Roundel will continue to take part in the IAB-led process to deliver and refine guidelines that make retail media measurement better for all advertisers. In the meantime, we’re striving to provide transparency to the brands who work with Roundel. For example, we offer a single source of truth for reporting through Roundel™ Kiosk, our industry-leading self-service reporting tool. With Roundel™ Kiosk, our clients have access to over 100 clearly defined standard and custom metrics.

Another area of focus in the IAB guidelines is attribution methodology. Here too, we pride ourselves on being fully transparent about the details of our methodology and helping advertisers interpret campaign performance results.

Implementing IAB standardization.

As the IAB, the MRC, and the industry finalizes these guidelines over the coming months, we can expect that many RMNs—Roundel included—will need to make tweaks to align to common metrics and definitions. We look forward to bringing even more transparency to our data and reporting over time. As these standards and the retail media industry continue to evolve, Roundel is committed to collaborating with industry partners to grow and shift. Ultimately, our focus is delivering strong performance for our clients, and we believe these measurement guidelines will help all of us in retail media succeed. 

Nicolas Pirog

Director of Measurement Strategy

Nick Pirog joined Roundel in April 2023. As Director of Measurement Strategy, he is focused on enabling Roundel’s efforts to drive performant campaigns for advertisers, as well as develop and strengthen Roundel’s overall measurement roadmap aligned to market needs. 

Prior to working at Roundel, Nick honed his skills as an Analytics and Strategic Partnerships leader for over 12 years—working with notable companies, including Google, BBDO Atlanta, and BKV. He earned his degree from Emory University – Goizueta Business School. 

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1IAB Retail Media 2023: Operational Strategies to Meet the Growth Potential