Inside Dollar General’s retail media network that includes Meta partnership

Retail tech

Now, Dollar General has its strategy set in ad tech, with the Dollar General Media Network. Last month, Dollar General struck a measurement partnership with Meta, which has also been working with retailers such as Walgreens. Last month, Meta was at ShopTalk, the retail industry confab in Las Vegas, discussing new integrations with major stores. At the event, Meta talked about new products for retailers, which connect data from customer relationship management platforms to target ads.

“Retailers are more closely partnering with the CPG brands they stock to create ad campaigns that reach customers across a variety of online surfaces, from apps to e-commerce sites and social media,” Meta said in its announcement at ShopTalk.

Also read: TikTok-Instagram rivalry heats up with search marketing

Retail media is viewed as such a lucrative category because brands are looking for more ways to apply data to ad campaigns under new privacy restrictions across the web. One of the biggest changes in recent years has been around third-party cookies. Apple has constrained the use of cookies on Safari web browser, and Google is expected to do the same on Chrome by the end of next year. Without cookies and other trackers, marketers can’t readily target ads on the open web, and they can’t track whether an ad worked. That’s where retail media networks are stepping in.

The retailers have direct relationships with customers to get permission to use their information. Platforms and publishers, including Meta, are creating new marketing infrastructures to use the data without leaking or compromising it.

One way Meta keeps limits on its data is by using aggregates of consumers, not sharing one-to-one matching that could point to an individual, Fox said. Dollar General uses Meta’s marketing API—application programming interface—to connect sales data from stores to ad campaigns. It cannot sync an individual sale to a particular Facebook user, it can only look at anonymized cohorts comprised of 100 people.  Fox calls the Meta integration an “advanced measurement API environment.”

Last year, Walmart Connect, the ad platform by the retail behemoth, crafted measurement partnerships with Snap, TikTok and Roku.

Dollar General started testing the Meta partnership last year and worked with Unilever, a general merchandising brand and a large beverage brand, Fox said, without disclosing all the names. Unilever is using the Dollar General media network to “gain more valuable insights and data on our campaign performance,” according to Jennifer Bryce, head of U.S. retail media at Unilever, commenting in a press release about the partnership. The measurement is “closed loop,” because Dollar General matches actual sales in the stores back to the ads that ran online.