NEW YORK: Nordstrom, the department store chain, has yielded various benefits from managing programmatic advertising responsibilities through an in-house team.

Michelle Alfano, Nordstrom’s senior manager for programmatic display advertising, discussed this subject at MediaPost’s 2018 Brand Marketers Insider Summit.

“I feel like we’ve definitely pushed the bounds on efficiency,” Alfano said when describing one of the advantages of its in-house programmatic unit. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Nordstrom’s in-house programmatic play displaces agency model.)

“I feel like we’ve been in a pretty good spot to negotiate when we need to make a difference between us buying through a particular venue or another because of that trade-off.”

Further advantages include getting a clear view of why certain marketing initiatives are working, online and offline data trends, customer segmentation, targeting, and sequential messaging.

“In terms of what we’ve been able to do, and bring it back to tying it to an individual customer level, that’s something that I couldn’t even have benchmarked, because we weren’t able to do that when we were leveraging the agencies,” said Alfano.

Another benefit concerns privacy. “Obviously, our customer data is really near and dear to us. We value them and we’re not really willing to share that information out with a lot of partnerships,” she said.

“So, by bringing it in-house, we had more control over who we were deploying messaging to and what channels we were going through.”

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a powerful tool for the formulation of customised messaging – and can be balanced with “curated” collections of, say, top-tier clients.

“I think everybody’s iterated off … the balance between AI and then also knowing who your best customer is. We balance that as well,” said Alfano.

“There’s a difference between serving you up with the same pair of khaki pants because it’s Fall and you need a pair of khaki pants versus somebody saying that khaki pants are now in season.

“The AI really helped enable some of that with a dynamic creative, but also just this understanding of who these core customers are and who these new customers are – which is a big pivot for us as well.”

Sourced from WARC