- Hy-Vee will begin broadcasting targeted audio advertisements inside its stores through a partnership with Vibenomics beginning Feb. 15, according to a news release.
- Audio advertisements can run in select stores and promote items like batteries, greeting cards and adult beverages close to the point of sale, said Paul Brenner, president and chief strategy officer of Vibenomics.
- Kroger, Albertsons and Southeastern Grocers are all broadcasting audio ads in their stores as they expand their retail media networks.
Grocers have for years broadcast announcements and upbeat music throughout stores using their public-address systems. Now, they’re starting to use those same systems to run advertisements tailored to local audiences, said Brenner.
Audio out-of-home advertising, as Vibenomics refers to the channel, sits at the end of the customer marketing funnel, and can help remind shoppers or give them that final nudge toward buying a product, he noted.
Vibenomics works with advertisers and ad agencies to develop 15- and 30-second spots, and consults with retailers on where and how to run the ads using its cloud-based management platform. The company works with suppliers across 30 categories, with those making impulse products, in particular, gravitating toward audio out-of-home advertising. Brenner noted Energizer batteries as a frequent client, and said adult beverage is its top category.
The company recently developed an ad for Twisted Tea that humorously replicated an employee announcement, with a voice actor telling shoppers to meet him in the alcohol aisle.
“Retailers have made all this investment to get people into their stores, and the best we can do is create spots that entertain, get their attention and drive them to make a choice to buy or keep a product in mind for next time,” Brenner said.
Vibenomics, which also manages music playlists for retailers, began working with Kroger in 2020 and is now broadcasting in more than 2,500 stores. Retail media firms like Quotient are also offering audio ads within their portfolio of marketing services, with specialized firms like Instore Audio Network handling production and management of the spots.
As the value of first-party retailer data has grown, grocers are quickly scaling and evaluating new marketing services that bring in additional revenue at a time when many are deepening their digital investments.
In addition to running ads on their e-commerce platforms, grocers are exploring ways to monetize and measure services, like audio broadcasts, that they’ve offered for a long time. This includes sampling, with retailers now offering to place product samples in delivery and pickup orders for a fee, and next-generation grocery carts, with smart cart makers touting the ability to push personalized ads and coupons to shoppers while they peruse store aisles.
“Retailers have figured out that their first party data has value in different ways,” said Brenner. “They're all trying to figure out how to, as quickly as possible, spin up those systems and those advertising capabilities to try and win some of that market share.