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Omnicom Media Group Tackles Supply-Chain Challenges for its Clients

By May 16, 2022Global News

This story was originally published in Digiday.

As the supply chain crisis continues to wreak havoc on industries that use marketing to sell their goods, Omnicom Media Group, Digiday has learned, has created a tool designed to help brands calculate where and when to redirect media spend as a result of supply chain issues they face — rather than just putting a halt on spend when there’s a supply crunch.

One can debate all day the factors that caused the current supply chain crisis that’s gripped most industries. But it’s an indisputable fact that the crisis isn’t going away anytime soon. And that reality is having a profound effect on how marketers are spending their ad dollars — which is putting pressure on media agencies to adapt and optimize as quickly as possible to those shifting winds.

The Supply Chain IQ Score, as OMG is calling it, takes the form of a metric determined by accessing and analyzing product SKU data it has secured through a partnership with a firm called Crisp, an inventory data platform that imports data for about 80 percent of all grocery retailers and distributors. That feed of near-real-time information from the likes of Walmart, Amazon, Target and others, directed through Crisp, gets fed into Omnicom’s Omni marketing orchestration platform, where a cocktail of insights is mixed up by adding media spend data and market basket affinity insights. Out comes a shot of IQ score.

“There is a gap between media strategy and planning, and connecting the execution of that media to supply chain,” said John Schorr, OMG’s managing director of commerce. “So it creates a win-win situation for brands by reducing waste and increasing efficiency and effectiveness. We’ve had clients over the last couple of years pause all media activity based on product availability gaps, because they don’t have the insight to understand where a product is available.”

Evelyn Mitchell, digital advertising and media analyst at Insider Intelligence, agreed closing that gap is inherently a positive. “Having that data integrated into a planning platform makes it easier to leverage that data strategically in the context of media investment,” said Mitchell. “In the short term, optimizing spend away from out-of-stock products can reduce media waste. Longer term, it can preserve consumers’ trust in a brand. If consumers are getting served ads for a product they can’t find anywhere, it can take a toll on the brand’s image.”

The partnership with Crisp is an invaluable element for OMG, since it allows the media agency network to tap a mainline of inventory data. It helps that Are Traasdahl, founder and CEO of Crisp, had a long relationship with OMG through his time as founder and CEO of mobile ad-tech firm Tapad. The idea to essentially weaponize this data for marketers came to him when he met with a brand CMO who, when asked why she had taken the meeting, responded “Well, I can’t sell what’s not on shelves.”

According to Traasdahl, “That’s when the lightbulb went off because this data has a lot of value on the advertising and marketing side,” he said.

“From an efficiency standpoint, it’s accessible … so anyone can log in anywhere they are to access data in real time as the score updates and to utilize it for planning in-market media and investment optimization decisions that have to happen,” said Marc Rossen, OMG’s svp of investment activation & analytics.

Schorr noted that the IQ score is already in use for an OMG client in the CPG space that plans to launch a new product in the next month across 18-20 regional markets (he declined to name the client or product).

“We can get more granular with our media and our messaging — and that applies to programmatic, search, social, whatever the digital channel might be,” he said.

Should that product run low in any of the markets, or not pick up sales momentum,  Schorr said media execution can be altered in less than a day when it used to take weeks because of siloed information.

“Sales or operations or logistics teams would work with this data, but they didn’t talk to the brand or marketing team,” he said. “Now we’re seeing these teams that used to be sort of disparate, coming together and collaborating.”

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