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Media Owner of the Month: Grocery TV



Aliana Heffernan

We recently interviewed Marlow Nickell, CEO of Grocery TV, for this month’s installation of our Media Owner of the Month series. This Austin, Texas-based out-of-home company has built a digital signage network that enables brands to engage consumers, directly at the point-of-purchase. The following is our Q&A with Marlow, where we got to learn a bit more about Grocery TV and how they’ve become the largest DOOH advertising network in U.S. grocery stores. 

Could you describe your business – the types of screens in your inventory, where you can find Grocery TV’s screens, regions in which you operate, etc. – and what your network offers brands?

“Grocery TV is the largest digital out-of-home advertising network in grocery stores nationwide.  Our retail media network shows video advertising to consumers in over 3,000 grocery checkout aisles. 

The checkout is the point of purchase, a key moment in the buyer’s journey, and a part of the store that everyone goes through. With a high average dwell time of 4.5 minutes, brands have ample time to reach each consumer.

Brands work with us because they want to grow awareness in the highest traffic retail environment (on average, 1.6 visits per week). In-store brands often have the goal of increasing sales, which we’ve proven on average by 13%. In addition to frequency, brands partner with us because they see the grocery store as a trusted, brand-safe environment.”

What sets Grocery TV apart from other digital channels?

“While our network offers a wide variety of audience targeting, it’s often the household decision makers. The household trend of “co-shopping” or taking turns going to the supermarket opens the door for brands to reach multiple decision makers in each household. Our network allows brands to capture the attention of consumers when they’re in a “buying” state of mind and often in between other daily activities. They can leverage this unique touch point and available demographics data to deliver targeted advertising that resonates with the grocery audience.CPG brands have the added advantage of consumers being able to act on their ads and buy their products directly in stores. Brands use our network to share important product launches, seasonal campaigns, or even simply increase awareness of their existing products to stay top of mind with shoppers.

Finally, we care about the quality of our network. We verify impressions by only playing ads when a shopper is in the checkout lane. We’re also careful about which ads we allow on our network to keep it family-friendly. Our team is always making suggestions on how brands can improve their ads to better suit the grocery environment. Our goal is to show shoppers ads that they can relate to, and in turn optimize performance for brands.”


What has been Vistar’s most valuable contribution to your business?

“It’s hard to choose one! Overall, Vistar has been an incredible partner because they dramatically increased awareness of Grocery TV. Their platform makes it easy for brands to view our offerings and place creative on our network--something that has not always been easy in the DOOH industry. We’ve been impressed by the growth we’ve seen from them. They’ve also helped the industry as a whole by bringing programmatic to the DOOH space in a conducive way.”

What Vistar software capabilities do you find most useful? 

“As a nimble and often busy team, we appreciate how user-friendly the Vistar software platform is. They make it easy to review new ads, view relevant metrics, and understand which ads are being placed where. On top of that, their support team is full of incredibly helpful individuals who are always willing to assist us when needed.”

Where do you see the digital out-of-home industry moving in the next 12 months? 

“With the ease of programmatic buying, we think more brands will start to treat buying DOOH like online digital advertising. The DOOH industry is also developing rigorous measurement and data analysis techniques, making it more attractive to previously online-only brands. 

Brands are becoming increasingly strategic about where, and how they’re reaching their buyers. It’s no longer enough to pick one media channel and run a few ads; brands are thinking through the specific touch points along their entire customer journey. Simultaneously, they’re trying new media to stand out from the noise.

Programmatic buying, enhanced measurement techniques, and the need to stay relevant to consumers are all making DOOH more desirable and accessible to all types of brands.”


What is the one thing that you wish more digital buyers knew about out-of-home? 

“While DOOH buying may be treated more like online advertising in the future, the format still widely varies. The one biggest mistake we see brands make is to copy campaigns from one media channel to the next without putting any thought into the context or media format. 

Brands have an opportunity to leverage the unique environment of each media channel by showing contextual creative that resonates with customers. For example, one financial institution on our network showed a celebrity holding groceries to promote its credit card that gives cash back on purchases like groceries. We encourage brands to be creative and ask themselves: how does my product relate to the experience of the viewer before, during, or after they’re in this specific environment?”

Ready to find out how you can buy premium inventory from networks like Grocery TV?

Or do you want to learn more about how Vistar can support your digital signage network?


Click here to read our other Media Owner of the Month posts.

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