Retail, Algorithms, and a Unicorn: Reflections on a Milestone
“Who’s Who at CommerceIQ” Spotlight Series
Jenny Moore, Director of Advertising Services
In recognition of Prime Day and demand from our services team to help customers optimize their Amazon advertising campaigns, we’ll be talking with CommerceIQ‘s Director of Advertising Services, Jenny Moore. With brands spending almost 45% more on Prime Day ads this year, Jenny and her team have had a busy month using CommerceIQ’s technology and machine learning based automations to help them boost sales and profitability while keeping their digital shelves fully stocked.
Q. What brought you to CommerceIQ?
I’m drawn to innovative companies and start-ups and was blown away when our CEO described the leadership team’s vision. Doing something that challenges me was an important consideration, and having opportunities for personal growth and helping others grow were equally important. Most of all, it was the CommerceIQ technology and caliber of professionals I would get to work with and learn from that sealed the deal for me.
Q. As Director of Advertising Services, what does your role entail?
I lead a team of very intelligent and driven advertising professionals across all aspects and channels of e-commerce advertising. They are the best of the best, drawing from backgrounds at Amazon, Walmart, Instacart, Kroger, Target and Costco. My job includes providing guidance on strategic planning and best practices, and developing growth plans to increase incremental returns for our clients using CommerceIQ’s e-commerce management platform to derive those insights. Having a tech-led approach like this to optimize retail media, especially omnichannel, is essential. I’m continuously looking for ways to move the needle with respect to our client’s KPIs using the capabilities of our software to give them a competitive edge.
Q. What impact did the pandemic have on e-commerce advertising and how it has evolved recently?
The pandemic has accelerated e-commerce adoption across the board, whether it’s online shopping, click n’ collect or delivery. The brands we work with are on a mission to go where their consumers are through advertising. As such, we are seeing an increased focus and budget geared towards e-commerce retail media. Brands are more strategic than ever about full funnel advertising because they know the path to purchase is no longer linear. And, they need our help to understand this omnichannel landscape as it evolves.
Q. With Google phasing out cookies and Apple’s privacy changes, where does that leave brand marketers?
We’ve seen a huge shift recently to retail media channels as a result of Google and Apple’s changes. Brands are leaning in more on retail media because they know that marketplaces like Amazon are not reliant on third-party data. Amazon owns the path to purchase data and will not be impacted by those changes. For example, Amazon DSP targeting is based on first-party data and that’s not going to change. Similarly, Kroger, Walmart, Home Depot and other retailers have their own version of “walled garden” data that is really appealing to brand marketers.
Q. Have advertising agencies been able to keep up with the changes in retail media? Why or why not?
The challenge with retail media is the interdependent nature of advertising with sales and inventory levels/supply chain. Big-6 advertising agencies that have been successful with traditional media in the past decade simply aren’t equipped to offer these capabilities from a technology and data perspective. We are taking a different approach by focusing on technology/automation and leveraging our e-commerce expertise to keep up with changes in the industry that are rapidly evolving. What we bring to the table is our e-commerce knowledge, award-winning technology and retail-aware strategy in lockstep with the changing landscape. Another challenge ad agencies have with retail media is measurement. Rather than purely looking at ROAS (return on ad spend), brands that are advertising on e-commerce marketplaces must also consider their placement in search results or SOV (Share of Voice) because these rankings have a direct correlation with consumer purchases.
Q. What would be your advice to brands that want to leverage machine learning to optimize their retail media spend? What pitfalls should they avoid? How should they get started?
Don’t look at advertising in a vacuum. Evaluate it as a lever for driving an entire e-commerce strategy. This is what CommerceIQ does from retail to supply chain, from content to advertising. We track all of these variables. We understand the importance of having retail-aware strategies to increase discoverability, SOV, incremental sales and profitability. It’s imperative to consider the retail and operational components, and have an optimized assortment. Our automations manage thousands of full funnel optimizations a day, freeing up teams of experts to focus on strategic initiatives that grow their brands in a very competitive space. Relying on manual optimization is no longer scalable and any brand that tries will be falling behind their peers if they don’t use a tech-based approach.
Q. On a personal note, what was your career path and inspiration to being where you are today?
I started my career in e-commerce with AT&T in the B2C division and joined a startup in 2017 when e-commerce media was on the rise. I’ve always enjoyed working in a fast-paced setting, which is how I landed at CommerceIQ. Building something from the ground up is so rewarding. What inspires me every day is that while I love connecting and helping others, my team helps me even more. At CommerceIQ, I’ve gotten to know each person really well and they feel like my extended family. I’m truly inspired and never feel bored.