Asda will soon know the impact its digital ads have on in-store sales

In a first for the European market, Asda has woven Nielsen’s Brand Lift technology into its mobile programmatic activity giving it the ability to connect its digital ad spend to the impact it’s having on in-store customers.

It’s a step forward in how Asda is able to meaure the effectiveness and impact of its mobile activity, with it previously reliant on e-commerce and direct response metrics.

“In 2016, one of our media buying strategic pillars is to fully understand the impact of digital advertising on store behavior, this is a step in the right direction,” explained Nick Bamber, head digital advertising at the retailer.

With Brand Lift, Asda is able to gather purchase intent data from audiences seeing its mobile programmatic media. This data indicates if the proposition and products advertised would motivate those audiences to shop in an Asda store.

The results are then fed back in to the buying platform with Asda then able to optimise and “reshape” its media so that customers see products and offers that are relevant to them and at a time that’s most useful.

“We want to reach the right customer at the right moment and know that our media is having a positive effect on where that customer decides to shop," added Chris Gorney, digital capability and performance media manager at Asda. “This collaboration with Nielsen and the data it provides allow us to bring Performance Media practices and efficiencies in to a brand comms world.”

Steve Thornton, digital account manager at Carat North – Asda’s media planning and buying agency – said this capability is something the industry has long needed and that it’s already impressed with the results that have emerged.

It comes amidst a wider drive at Asda to understand the benefits of managing its media programmatically, as both an advertiser and a media owner. Last year, it began selling unsold ad units programmatically across three of its major websites ahead of of a push on the main grocery site.

The moves amount to supermarket's early steps towards launching a private ad exchange.