At more than 2,300 Kroger locations across the United States, customers will hear targeted shopping ads from several brands carried by the grocer. Kroger’s ads will be curated to each location, based on factors such as weather or local events. The ads aim to reach shoppers as they are on the path to purchase, allowing brands to connect at a pivotal point in the shopping process. The ads could keep certain products and brands top of mind for grocery shoppers, which in turn could lead to increased individual sales for Kroger. The ads began running on July 20 and could reach up to 11 million consumers in the first month. The grocer will modify which ads run depending on customer response following the initial rollout.
Kroger is working with audio-advertising company Vibenomics on the targeted ad campaign, which will help determine the brands and specific products shoppers engage with the most after hearing an ad. The in-store initiative could offer a unique change from traditional out-of-home audio advertising, as Kroger is focusing its reach solely on in-store shoppers. The marketing strategy could help Kroger stand out in the crowded grocery market, particularly as recent months have seen grocers focus on e-commerce sales to reach socially-distant shoppers. While Kroger itself has focused on courier partnerships and digital fulfillment during the Coronavirus pandemic, according to a Gartner report, the new targeted ad campaign could redirect attention from virtual grocery shopping back to the in-store shopping experience many consumers still favor. By creating an in-person audio campaign Kroger can remain technology-focused, but still set itself apart from competitors who have concentrated their digital upgrades only online or through social media.
Whereas many brand campaigns focus on converting listeners into consumers, Kroger’s targeted ads appeal to those already giving it business. By reaching out to the millions of shoppers visiting its stores, Kroger could strengthen consumer loyalty by running ads for brands and products they already prefer. The targeted ads also give the multiple brands involved in the initiative a chance to discover the effect their commercials have on in-store shoppers, providing a potential learning advantage.