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Omnicom creates internal ecosystem to handle commerce media functions as it kicks off its Cannes presence

BY Michael Bürgi, DIGIDAY
June 2023

As it did last year, Omnicom is blitzing Cannes Lions with a series of moves and partnerships that aim to cement its place as a leader among agency holding companies in commerce media. Digiday has gotten inside access to four of these developments.

At Cannes Lions today, Omnicom is formally launching Omni Commerce, a connected commerce orchestration solution that incorporates tools, technology and data but also leverages e-commerce and retail partnerships it has in place today and plans to strike in the future.

Omni Commerce essentially creates a solution (that’s available to all Omnicom’s clients) that encompasses all the elements of the holding company’s commerce media inputs — insight, activation, optimization and attribution across the entire commerce landscape — as a means of breaking down the silos between commerce and brand investment. Ultimately it helps make the planning, buying and posting process as seamless as can be with the Wild West that the commerce media currently resembles.

Megan Pagliuca, chief activation officer for Omnicom Media Group, said Omni Commerce addresses two major areas: connected commerce but also connecting various retailers’ offerings through a single solution.

“A huge challenge we have for our clients is the allocation of budget for that planning, insights and measurement between brands, and retail or shopper budgets,” said Pagliuca. “So this is us providing the tools [to do that]. Then the second component is delivering just better work within a retailer or cross retailer.”

Kochenash explained that the commerce landscape also happens to be a handful, with sales data from national and loca/regional retailers, alongside aggregators like IRI and Nielsen, and what he described as an “ocean full” of other solutions, data and insights.

“The first step, we believe, is curating and connecting the right data from the right partners in a scalable, actionable way,” he said. “We’ve directly integrated this into Omni and been very deliberate about it so that we have one platform where all these things are connected. It’s not multiple bolt-ons that we built or bought — we’re trying to do this the right way.”

Added Clarissa Season, Annalect’s chief experience officer: “It’s an end-to-end offering for our teams to use to get insights as quickly as possible to our clients, and really impact their commerce business.”

One of Omnicom’s numerous retail media network partners feels the same. “We know marketers are looking to work with fewer and bigger partners, as the retail media landscape becomes increasingly fragmented. But even then, brands still have to connect the dots to get a holistic view of their retail media impact,” said Ryan Mayward, senior vp, retail media sales at Walmart Connect, which delivers custom audience forecasts from the Walmart DSP to Omnicom. “We have a shared goal of making it easier for brands to easily and efficiently harness the full power of retail media, and tools like Omni Commerce will help to do that.”

Clearly, the need to coalesce the tech and multiple data streams is vital to making this sector work even more effectively, as explained in a recent study from Coresight Research.

“Retail media has multiple moving parts, and technology will play a huge role in determining retailers’ success in the space. Technology providers should look to tap strong growth in demand of technologies such as data analytics and ad optimization and creation,” according to the study.

On Tuesday, Omnicom will unveil a partnership with a major new retail media network. Read it here first.