NEW YORK: Smaller retailers are tapping brand manufacturers' first-party data to help drive sales as lines start to blur between media and shopper marketing budgets.

An appliance maker such as Maytag, for example, which recently ran a brand campaign aimed at driving traffic to its owned properties, would not expect to generate sales via these channels.

But by making the data it gathered available to a retailer, the latter can retarget people who are known to be potential buyers of the product.

"Once you get to our stage in the funnel, we're talking to people who are already shopping," said Alexandra Schmitt, associate brand manager for shopper marketing at Whirlpool.

"The brand campaign is typically where the marketing dollars are working hardest in terms of generating awareness," she told Ad Exchanger. "But we always like to use the halo of what a brand campaign is doing wherever we can at the shopper level," she added.

"We like independent retailers representing our brand in their markets."

One such – Tennessee-based retail chain Electronic Express – reported that online orders and revenues increase by more than 10% when targeting against that Maytag data for a month-long campaign in May.

"Merchants are talking to me more and more about mixing online media dollars with shopper marketing," said Preston Lane, marketing coordinator at Electronic Express.

She outlined how the marketing emphasis had flipped from directing people to stores first with the hope of subsequently engaging them online to driving them to a website first with the aim of a store visit to follow.

"There definitely is a leaning among merchants to work and spend more together on digital," she said.

A recent study by performance marketing business Criteo observed a similar trend, with the growth of ecommerce and an associated focus on the shopper across devices and channels leading to increasing demand to coalesce brand budgets with trade budgets.

Data sourced from Ad Exchanger; additional content by WARC staff