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How The Trade Desk’s new Ocado deal aims to ‘expand the definition’ of retail media


By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

March 8, 2023 | 6 min read

Adtech giant The Trade Desk has partnered with Ocado to integrate the grocer’s first-party audience data with ad campaigns across the open web. Its VP of data partnerships Steve Martin explains how this is a retail media game changer.


How The Trade Desk’s new Ocado deal changes the face of retail media

The Trade Desk has partnered with online supermarket, Ocado Retail, to unlock first-party customer sales across the open web – the first deal of its type in the UK, the organization claims.

Speaking to The Drum, Steve Martin vice president of data partnerships EMEA and APAC at The Trade Desk (TTD), said: “we’re expanding the definition of retail media.”

“The existing shopper marketing part of retail media is typically quite lower funnel and looking to probably reinforce a buying process that somebody’s already in to some degree. This is about bringing this data into the upper funnel and giving guidance on where to spend money during the brand building, awareness and research stage of the funnel.”

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TTD claims the partnership will enable advertisers to connect ad campaigns and customer sales across the open internet for Ocado suppliers and its own clients. It already has similar partnerships in place around the world, like Walgreens and Walmart in the US.

Brands will be able to unlock insights from Ocado behaviors, such as targeting people who are regular buyers of soft drinks for example. Martin claims the product will help clients build customer acquisition to build brand loyalty. Additionally, it claims it can close the loop between advertising spend and sales.

As for expanding the definition of retail media, Martin adds: “We are not talking here about media that retailers own. In fact, we’re specifically talking about using retail data on media that retailers don't own in order to open up new ways of using the data.”

It’s a complementary service to many retailers’ media offerings as a result with Martin denying it “cannibalizes” any existing efforts as a result. “Monetizing your own on-site media is obviously somewhat limited by the amount of on-site media you have.”

He adds: “We’re trying to get this data into the media channels where people actually do their brand building like CTV and digital out-of-home.”

Finally, with the first-person data from Ocado opted into by users, TTD claims the solution is future-proofed. “We do see this as both a future proof and also a better way of doing measurement. People in general are trying to measure things like input metrics. The further down towards the end goal you can get the better, and seeing people actually going and buying the product that's being advertised is a good as you can get.”

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Amid a sprawl of retail media competitors, however, is this what will win the market over? Martin concludes to expect more retail buy-in with the TTD product “soon” too.

If you want to learn more, check out our Evolution of E-commerce Deep-Dive or pick from the stories below.

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