Nine ramps up grocery buyer targeting with Data Republic deal

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 8 November 2016
Data Republic CEO Paul McCarney and Nine's Alex Parsons.

Nine Entertainment has enhanced its ability to help advertisers target grocery buyers after striking a deal with technology company Data Republic.

The deal provides Nine access to shopping basket data from 1,600 stores outside of Coles and Woolworths, and coincides with the launch of Australia's “largest women's network” 9Honey, a vertical for Nine's female-skewed digital assets.

The transactional data is split into 45 different grocery categories and can be matched to Nine's 15.3 million authenticated users, providing advertisers with a more complete picture of audience spending habits and who to target in specific campaigns, such as light buyers in beer.

“[Groceries] is a category which, historically, digital hasn't catered to well in terms of FMCG and there's a tonne of market opportunity in that space. It's the one area we believe there is material upside in terms revenue is around FMCG,” Nine chief digital and marketing officer Alex Parsons says.

“The ability to use targeting to create an audience which has a higher probability to transact is a really good thing for advertisers. Advertisers appetites for [targeting in a premium environment] are still quite high and will only be growing over time.”

Data Republic provides a platform for companies to exchange data in a secure environment that adheres to strict privacy laws, such as anonymising individuals details.

The use of offline data to provide a much richer understanding of audience is increasingly sought after by advertisers looking to target specific segments rather than mass reach.

For traditional media companies, it allows them to offer targeting solutions that compete with the likes of Facebook, which collects volumes of rich user data that advertisers can use for targeting.

Nine's access is to WorldSmart loyalty card data, which covers a vast network of stores that nearly number as many as Coles and Woolworths combined.

Nine's broader plan is to use Data Republic to gain access to other segments, such as finance and travel. The platform's foundation investors include Qantas Loyalty, Westpac Reinventure and NAB Ventures.

It is the potential to building access to more segments in the future that appeals to Nine as it looks to use more data analysis to enrich its advertising offerings.

“The beauty of this is it's a platform that enables, potentially, multiple implementations across different categories in the future - there's an investor in Data Republic in travel and finance, for example,” said Nine chief digital and marketing officer Alex Parsons when asked why the network didn't look for data solutions that included Coles or Woolworths.

“Going with a point solution here and an alternate point solution there costs a lot more money and probably doesn't deliver quite same benefits to our business. The real reason we went with Data Republic is that while this is grocery and FMCG to start with, it opens up more alternatives in the future.”

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