Big-box retailers are big-time marketers, but they’re also big sellers of advertising. Most civilians (aka consumers) might be shocked to know that their favorite stores run massive marketing businesses.

What’s the top product inside these retailer-owned advertising businesses? You.

If you are using a free service, you aren’t the customer; you’re the product. There’s no more perfect example than Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. The user is the thing being packed up and sold to paying advertisers.

In the case of the retailer-owned advertising business, consumers are both the customer and the product. A glorious (highly profitable) double-dip!

Walmart vs Target


Programmatic is a big, hairy topic for the uninitiated. Today, we’re going to cover one of the most overlooked subjects within programmatic: Supply.

The subject of “targeting data” seems to be sucking all of the oxygen out of the room because of the coming cookie apocalypse. Lost in the shadow of that conversation are the actual publishers that run the ads and the importance of managing your path to their inventory.

As a marketer, it is helpful to understand how the sell-side (the publishers) brings their inventory to the market. …


Programmatic is a big, hairy topic for the uninitiated. Today, we’re going to cover one of the most overlooked subjects within programmatic: Supply.

The subject of “targeting data” seems to be sucking all of the oxygen out of the room because of the coming cookie apocalypse. Lost in the shadow of that conversation are the actual publishers that run the ads and the importance of managing your path to their inventory.

As a marketer, it is helpful to understand how the sell-side (the publishers) brings their inventory to the market. …


I talk to brands around the world every day. Big brands. Multibillion-dollar brands. Often it is in the context of some adtech or martech business challenge. One of my first questions is usually: “Where’s the data?”

Today, most brands have contractual ownership of their data. What sort of data?

  • Data used to target and execute campaigns, like first-party data
  • Data collected during the execution of a campaign from ad tech platforms like an ad server, verification provider, DSP, research vendor, etc.

In the past, much of this data was owned by the ad agency of record. Other data sets might…


And so begins the time of year when we see, read, and hear that 2021 will be the year of [insert digital buzzword here]. So I hate to be that guy, but it is now or never.

Curation of your customer data should be the thing that keeps your entire marketing organization up at night.

Sometime last quarter, your team probably got together over a Zoom call and worked through your 2021 strategy including your “learning agendas” for the upcoming year. I hope that every one of those agendas focused squarely on your first-party data asset (or lack thereof).

Every…


Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

As a marketing management consultant for Fortune 100 marketers around the globe, I see a lot of marketing briefs. I see a lot of marketing plans. I also see a lot of fuzzy ROI / ROAS analysis.

In this post, I intend to illustrate the challenges in this area and suggest a better way to get more value from your overall campaign planning process. The framework I will propose applies to marketing organizations large and small.

Our industry’s standard campaign creation process broke years ago. Today’s ways of working were born in simpler times. There were infinitely fewer media properties…


A beginners guide

I work with mega-corporations around the world. Brands that we all know and love. Despite their seemingly endless resources and a deep bench of marketing talent, I often find myself asking the same question over and over again.

How do you know if the campaign worked?

If you are a small or medium business with far fewer resources, asking yourself the same question, don’t sweat it! The big guys don’t often know either.

In this article, I’m going to give you the same advice I give them without the sticker shock of a consulting invoice.

Photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash

What do we want to happen?

Seems obvious…

Travis Lusk

Marketing technologist helping Fortune 100 brands get the most value out of digital marketing.

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