Vibenomics provides $ 12.3 million in funding to expand in-store programmatic audio network

Audio in the store is thanks to a vibe shift.

Programmatic advertising company Vibenomics plans to expand its network of retail partners through an infusion of investor money. The company announced a $ 12.3 million Series B round on Tuesday, led by Panoramic Ventures, bringing its total funding to just over $ 30 million.

Vibenomics expects its roster of 6,000 retail locations (just over half of which are stores such as Hy-Vee, QuikTrip, Kroger and GetGo) to grow to more than 20,000 locations by the end of 2023.

In addition to more grocery stores, convenience stores, airports and outdoor walking areas, Vibenomics is looking to add drug stores, big boxes and liquor stores to its network, said CEO and co-founder Brent Oakley.

Vibenomics, which has 40 employees, also plans to increase its workforce by 25%.

“Our staff expansion will focus on revenue-generating positions, specifically marketing and advertising sales reps,” Oakley said. “We are looking for people here with advertising sales experience in different regions to grow our market nationwide as we expand.”

Although Vibenomics has partnerships with locations in 49 states, 90% of its staff is based in central Indiana, where the company is headquartered.

audio ad tech in store

Vibenomics’ offering includes a media player that retailers can use to monitor in-store music and serve programmatic ads, generally for in-store specific offers, through integrations with DSPs, including The Trade Desk and Vistar Media. Vibenomics plans to add more DSP partners as it expands, Oakley said.

Advertising messages can be customized day to day or even minute by minute, but campaigns are typically targeted at a brand’s content calendar, with customized messages for holidays and per season.

To eliminate media waste, the tech only serves ads that promote products that can be purchased at the individual retail location, Oakley said, making the solution well-suited for performance marketing campaigns for brands with consumer-packaged goods. Vibenomics verifies stock-keeping units (SKUs) with its retail partners or receives information on store-specific transportation from advertisers.

“When advertisers come to us to promote a specific product, we know which stores are selling it, and where it’s in store,” he said. “This is incredibly important because, according to our data, when a shopper hears an ad in the store, they have a 77% tendency to buy that advertised product.”

Vibenomics partners with SafeGraph (which recently came under fire for selling abortion-related location data) for attribution. Vibenomics buys SafeGraph location data to bind foot traffic to hourly impressions per ad; SafeGraph is responsible for ensuring this location data is privacy compliant, according to Vibenomics. No third-party tracking cookies are used, Oakley said.

To prove the effectiveness of campaigns, Vibenomics works with IRI to measure incremental sales lift and return on ad spend by looking at point-of-sale data. Vibenomics also collaborates with Ask Suzy for market research on market awareness, purchasing intentions and ad recall. And it uses the panel-based ABX Advertising Benchmark Index to determine the effectiveness of creative campaigns.

Based on studies conducted over the course of 2020 and 2021, IRI found that in-store ads served by Vibenomics drive an average sales increase of 22% for the advertised item. According to Suzy’s market research data, on average 61% of consumers were “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to buy an advertised item, with 25% without the help of advertising.

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