UM, a global media agency network of IPG Mediabrands, today announced the grand opening of “Marva’s,” a first-of-its-kind multifaceted commerce experience located at the agency’s Midtown Manhattan headquarters. Named after UM’s long-standing receptionist Marva Sealy, “Marva’s” is an exploration and education space on all things commerce, a research hub for clients and partners, and a re-imagined version of the traditional employee store.
“At Marva’s, we showcase the power of commerce media across all touchpoints through a never-before-done, immersive experience,” said W. Joe DeMiero, US CEO, UM. “We’re excited to bring clients, partners and UM’s experts together to test and learn on all things commerce by leveraging the experience of a real-world convenience store as a real-world laboratory. We can observe how people shop, identify emerging trends in behaviors, and test new approaches in real time, with the goal of supercharging our clients’ and our own commerce efforts now and in the future.”
Marva’s is strategically designed to support four current trends driving the future of commerce media: convenience on the go, continuous availability, loyalty-driven sales, and the concept of “retail is media.” Employees and visitors can take a self-guided tour that follows the evolution of Commerce, starting with media offered in-store, online and then at checkout and delivery.
UM US Head of Commerce, Amie Owen, says, “Much like the commerce media landscape, our vision is to have Marva’s continually evolve, always highlighting the latest innovations and predictions in the space. Marva’s will be the birthplace of many new ideas, products, and strategies in the years to come.”
The launch of Marva’s reflects the agency’s commitment to collaboration, innovation and a multi-pronged approach that optimizes brands’ commerce media ROI:
- “Commerce as a tactic” drives sales online and in-store through 400+ global media retail networks, identifying consumers most likely to covert and connecting the dots on their consumer journey to reach point of sale.
- Created out of the merging of data, tech and retail media, “Commerce as a strategy” customizes each pathway to a specific user journey, using the latest data and advancements in shoppable tech to reach audiences where they are, with the right messages, at the likeliest moments of purchase.
- “Commerce as content” engages shoppers with a personalized advertising experience through curated content based on their own media consumption and behaviors.
To outfit the store, UM Commerce partnered with Cooler Screens, Aki, Inmar and Flowcode to showcase both in-store and digital media offerings; Grocery TV and Instacart’s AI-powered Caper Cart for retail/commerce media tactics; Amazon’s Astro robot to deliver goods and exclusive drop merchandise to employees right to their desks; and iHeartRadio, on an in-store station and future podcasts live from the space. UM clients like Behr also contributed to the remodeled space.
The announcement is the latest in first-to-market media and product launches by UM Commerce, which is responsible for more than $2B in billings globally. Building upon a decade of AI- and Machine Learning-powered technology offerings that drive new business and organic growth, UM most recently launched Shoptimizer, a retail budget allocation and optimization tool that delivered a 12-15% increase in incremental sales for brands that participated in the test phase. UM was also the first agency to create comprehensive tools for planning and buying commerce media such as ShopSmart, a dashboard housing hundreds of solutions sorted by KPI and retailer. The agency was the first to use data-led recommendations in journey-orchestrated, cross-channel commerce media plans. UM Commerce’s track record of innovation and success contributed to this year’s Campaign Media Agency Global Network of the Year win.
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