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Building a new ads paradigm for DTC brands

Today we’re excited to share what our team has been building over the past several months: Market, the retail media network for independent brands. What started as a conversation about the state of digital advertising turned into a discussion about how absurd it is that DTC brands are still forced to rely on Google and Meta to acquire customers. From that conversation, we began to rethink what an ad network would look like if it had DTC brands’ best interests in mind.

Our team has spent the majority of our careers building walled garden ad platforms. With Market, we have the opportunity to build a different kind of ads paradigm. One that takes the best aspects of large platform ad systems and combines them with an open network that gives every brand an opportunity to make more money and access data that is usually locked behind walls and premium subscriptions.

An ad network for the participants, not the platform

As we began to sketch out the details for Market, our guiding principles were to build a system that is fair, transparent, and open to the brands that are part of it. This unfortunately is the opposite of what the major social and e-commerce walled gardens have evolved into over time.

So what does that mean specifically?

  1. Fair: Ensuring we don’t build incentive structures that favor larger brands over smaller brands.
  2. Transparent: About the economics of our platform, including how Market and every stakeholder earns revenue.
  3. Open: A network that doesn’t close its walls, rather it lets network participants use data across other marketing channels to improve measurement and efficiency.

With these principles in mind, we built Market to help DTC brands sustainably increase revenue in a variety of ways:

  1. Utilizing under-monetized customer traffic to create a new revenue stream: Without impacting sales, brands can generate revenue by helping shoppers discover new and complementary products from other brands within the Market network.
  2. Reaching new customers in context while using transaction data for targeting and attribution: Brands can get in front of new customers within contextually relevant environments that increase conversion — powered in part by transaction data to deliver stronger relevance between brands and customers. 
  3. Gaining access to privacy-safe shopper data to help inform decision-making outside the Market network: Rather than keeping Market’s optimization data in a black box, every brand in the network can leverage Market’s insights and use them across marketing channels like Meta or Google.

We are also only charging for advertising that flows through our network – transparent, objective, pricing without arbitrage or opaque rev shares. This means that we can share our attribution reports, but let you evaluate Market based on your attribution. We don't ever want to grade our own homework (attribution) and charge you for it (rev share). This helps make sure that our system continues to align advertiser objectives with performance.

Looking ahead

This is just the beginning — we have a big vision — and we want to partner as closely as possible with independent brands to build an ad network that they are actually excited to use. If you’re interested in learning more or providing your feedback, please sign up for our beta below.

We’ll also be at Shoptalk next week (3/27 & 3/28) and would love to meet if you’re planning to be there.


James & the Market team