Nestlé Launches Internal Programmatic Unit To Scour Digital Media Deals

Nestlé has launched a team of media and tech experts to improve its programmatic supply and analytics.

The new hybrid unit, called the Global Digital Media Center of Competencies (DCoC), consists of internal media talent and executives from Nestlé’s holding company vendors, WPP, Publicis, IPG and Dentsu.

The team focuses on six core competencies: supply and trading, audience separations, retail media, dynamic creative optimization, ad operations and media transparency, said Sebastien Szczepaniak, global head of sales and ebusiness, which includes ecommerce and digital marketing.

The move allows Nestlé’s country-based media groups to tap the DCoC for near real-time support when negotiating contracts with tech companies or publishers or facing thorny reconciliation and analytics questions, Szczepaniak said.

The only tech or data vendor Szczepaniak cited as part of the DCoC so far is Amino Pay, a blockchain tech company for digital supply chain payments, processing and analytics, which is part of the media transparency competency’s toolkit.

Media transparency tests in the past year have already helped Nestlé trim its SSP roster from about 65 vendors to less than 10, each with direct supply relationships.

Google and Amazon are two of the SSPs working with the DCoC, but Szczepaniak said walled garden budgets will decrease under the new program if the platforms don’t meet supply transparency standards.

That may “trigger some friction” with big technology companies, but “that’s an important part of what’s happening right now,” he said.

Szczepaniak declined to provide specifics on the standards that digital media suppliers will need to meet, but he said the DCoC has developed Nestlé’s Negotiated Terms, which are contractual guarantees for inventory quality, scale and analytics that programmatic partners must commit to.

The DCoC also manages Nestlé’s centralized first-party data asset, a key investment moving forward as the brand cuts its third-party data use and cookies diminish, he said. Nestlé is cultivating its own data and partnering with second-party data companies, such as retailers with online ad platforms where consumer data sets can be commingled.

Those second-party data deals are managed by the DCoC’s retail media competency. For example, the Nestlé team works with the European retailer Carrefour on a blockchain technology pilot to help collect data and personalize marketing for people shopping in stores. He said Walmart also has an ad platform where the brand’s and retailer’s first-party data sets can be matched for online targeting.

Szczepaniak said the first-party and second-party data activations are critical for the DCoC to achieve an ambitious goal: doubling the rate of personalized messages from 20% of Nestlé’s digital media impressions this year to 40% by the end of 2020.

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