News Briefs


Surfside Expands Cannabis Advertising Platform to Canada


Surfside Solutions Inc., a data and marketing platform servicing the cannabis industry, made its end-to-end marketing technology generally available to Canadian dispensaries and brands in July.

Surfside combines its first-party customer data platform and a demand side platform to provide an "all-in-one" solution for cannabis businesses. The businesses will be able to activate customer data by advertising to new and existing customers across websites and mobile apps, according to a company news release.

"By giving us the ability to advertise to local cannabis consumers with digital ads and track the results for both e-commerce and in-store sales, Surfside helps make sure that every ad dollar we spend is helping us grow," Will Alexander, head of marketing at Burb, a British Columbia-based dispensary chain and cannabis brand, said in the release.

The Surfside platform enables cannabis businesses to:

  • Advertise to cannabis consumers across more than one million websites and mobile apps.
  • Reach custom and lookalike audiences based on some-25,000 behavioral attributes.
  • Track in-store and e-commerce results from ad campaigns in a performance dashboard.

"We have been building our presence and capabilities in Canada through a series of partnerships and campaigns over the last twelve months and we can't wait to start helping more Canadian clients grow as we invest more heavily into this important market," said Travis Scadron, vice president of business development at Surfside, in the release.


Stingray Enhances Place-Based AOOH Measurement

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Music, media and technology company Stingray has partnered with Geopath, a nonprofit organization that provides audience metrics for out-of-home advertising, to measure retail-based digital audio out-of-home (AOOH) advertising impressions in the U.S.

Geopath will utilize verified third-party audience measurement data, technology and media research methodologies using a holistic integrated approach — to provide tools enabling advertisers to quantify this new retail media format as part of the company’s media mix.

Stingray Advertising’s retail-based digital AOOH advertising network connects brands with highly qualified consumers during their in-store shopping journey. This is achieved with contextually relevant audio messages that are digitally ad-served (directly or programmatically) to shoppers. While this category is applicable in various retail sectors, it is currently expanding, particularly in grocery and convenience stores, where brands can have an immediate impact on consumers' decisions.

Stingray’s network includes Ahold Delhaize, Albertsons Cos., Brookshires, CVS Pharmacy, Jean Coutu, Metro, Rite Aid, Southeastern Grocers, Tops Markets, Walmart Canada and Weis Market, with coverage across Canada and every designated market area in the U.S.

"Location-based AOOH cuts through the cacophony of in-store messages, giving the advertiser an undiluted share of the space and access to an unrivaled composition of principal shoppers while they shop," said Ryan Fuss, senior vice president of Stingray Advertising, in a news release. "Brands can share their voice and tailor ads to precise location proximities, conquesting
 strategies and consumer journeys, all through the power of retail-based digital audio advertising."

Stingray Advertising’s in-store audio advertising network reaches 140 million shoppers each week in over 20,000 grocery retailers, superstores, discount stores and pharmacies in North America, according to the company.

"[Geopath’s] ability to use and combine both mobile data and first-party transactional data gives Stingray the ability to deploy quickly and ensure accurate measurement across our inventory," said Philippe Cote, VP of technologies at Stingray, in the release. "For the first time, advertisers will be able to access Geopath-measured audio inventory directly at the point of purchase while benefiting from Stingray's industry-leading audio ad verification technologies. This is a game changer."


Sam’s Club Adds Egglife to Stores

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Emerging CPG brand Egglife Foods recently revealed it has gained national distribution with Sam's Club.

Sam's Club stores across the U.S. will stock 12-packs of Egglife everything bagel egg white wraps, a tortilla substitute made with cage-free egg whites, garlic, onion, poppy and hemp seeds, and sea salt.

"We're so excited to expand the reach of this better-for-you product to families across the country," said Stephen Koehler, senior buyer at Sam's Club, in a news release. "Our members are always looking to discover the next big health innovation, which is why it makes perfect sense to stock Egglife at our locations nationwide."

"Sam's Club is a perfect environment to test new and unique products, and nothing is more innovative than Egglife," said Ross Lipari, chief sales officer at Egglife Foods, in the release. "We're looking forward to seeing where this partnership takes us."

In the past 18 months, Egglife says it has earned a 500% growth in retail doors, with its egg white wraps now available in over 10,000 stores across the country as well as on Instacart or online at Egglife’s line of simple and fresh foods are high in protein, but free of sugar, fat and gluten, according to the company.


Walmart, Omnicom Make Media-Buying Deal


Walmart Connect, the retail giant’s closed-loop omnichannel media business, has partnered with Omnicom Media, the media services division of Omnicom Group. The partnership marks the first such agreement between Walmart Connect and an agency holding company, according to a news release.

Making the announcement at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, Walmart executive vice president and chief revenue officer Seth Dallaire said, "As marketers prepare for the deprecation of third-party cookies, we're building a platform and ecosystem that leverages the scale of Walmart's first-party data and strong customer relationships to help them deliver strong ROI in an increasingly fragmented environment. Our partnership with Omnicom illustrates Walmart Connect's focus on driving growth, improving product capabilities and educating the industry on the role retail media platforms have in delivering measurable solutions that connect clients with omnichannel shoppers."

Spanning pricing, agency support, ongoing product feedback and ground-floor opportunities, the partnership particularly enables cross-screen planning against Walmart audiences in Omni (i.e., Omnicom's open operating system that facilitates the entire consumer purchasing journey). This allows Omnicom's agencies to serve up connected experiences across media and commerce platforms within owned, earned and paid environments.

Planners can identify domains, apps and screens with the most effective reach and cost for Walmart audiences. Additionally, using the Omni ID, they can also push advertiser's first-party data to the Walmart DSP where it combines with Walmart audiences.

Walmart Connect and Omnicom first collaborated in 2021 with Omnicom Media Group's participation in beta tests for the Walmart DSP's frequency cap function.


Accenture to Acquire The Stable

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Accenture has agreed to acquire The Stable, a commerce agency that supports brand launches online and in stores. The deal builds on Accenture’s continued investments in commerce to help clients accelerate growth and sustain relevance across North America, according to a company news release. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Stable, which was recognized as one of Inc. Magazine’s fastest growing private companies in 2021, works to grow consumer brands of all sizes, stages and verticals through omnichannel retail and direct-to-consumer commerce. The Stable acquired Arkansas-based agency The Retail Firm, marking the Minneapolis-based agency’s fourth acquisition since 2020.

Under its new deal with Accenture, The Stable will enhance Accenture Song’s global commerce transformation expertise and expand its ability to operate data-driven digital commerce ecosystems that deliver innovative marketing and commerce experiences.

Accenture Song helps clients grow with a focus on customer relevance. Its offerings span ideation to execution: growth, product and experience design; technology and experience platforms; creative, media and marketing strategy; and campaign, commerce transformation content and channel orchestration.  

Founded in 2015, The Stable provides a full suite of omnichannel commerce capabilities aimed at driving revenue and efficiency for brands across consumer goods, retail, marketplaces and DTC channels. The company builds and executes strategies that acquires customers, creates immersive experiences and scales brands, based on data and insights and brought to life through sales and operations, creative, digital and patented technology.

The Stable’s team of more than 400 people will join Accenture, building upon the latter’s strategy, design, performance, technology and larger-scale operations capabilities to better serve Accenture’s clients particularly across CPG and services segments, and expanding into high tech, life sciences — over the counter (OTC), media and retail industries for their commerce needs, according to the release.

The Stable is also the latest in a series of acquisitions that Accenture has made to scale commerce expertise and excellence, including Businet System and Tambourine both located in Japan, Openmind in Italy, Glamit in Argentina, and Experity in Brazil. The acquisition of The Stable aligns with Accenture Song’s strategy to deepen its capabilities across product innovation, commerce and marketing transformation, sales and service.


EnsembleIQ Recognized for Outstanding Leadership


Path to Purchase Institute parent company EnsembleIQ has been recognized by workplace evaluation firm Comparably in its fifth annual “Best Leadership Teams” list for small/mid-size companies (500 or fewer employees).

This honor is based on ratings voluntarily and anonymously submitted to Comparably by EnsembleIQ employees about the performance of the company leadership team. Those rated included direct managers and senior leaders, who all received “A” level grades during the past 12 months (June 24, 2021 through June 24, 2022).

“The leadership team is approachable and open to new suggestions and ideas. They make themselves available to the team at-large and encourage/motivate us to perform our best,” one employee shared. Another stated, “Communication is excellent. I am asked to participate in any meeting or event that can help my growth and knowledge of the company.”

“This evaluation clearly illustrates that our team members value how company leaders have created a positive culture that encourages, supports and celebrates the diversity of our employees,” EnsembleIQ CEO Jennifer Litterick said in a news release. “Prioritizing positive culture change has strengthened the core of our organization. Our leaders are providing a supportive, flexible and development-driven environment for employees to innovate and drive growth by delivering actionable business intelligence and connections to retail, healthcare and hospitality business professionals and solution providers.”

Culture is an essential component of EnsembleIQ's strategy in attracting top-tier talent. In addition to utilizing Comparably for cultural assessment, the company has a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council with 35 people serving on three employee-driven task forces focused on Community, Cultural Competence and Cultural Belonging. It also offers two volunteer days per year and a platform to find in-person or remote volunteer opportunities that are individual or team based as well as monthly leadership training, a well-being program with a focus on mental health, and a culture where employees receive feedback every week. 

EnsembleIQ previously was honored by Comparably as a Best Place to Work in Chicago, where the company is headquartered. EnsembleIQ also operates out of a Toronto office and includes team members working remotely throughout the U.S. and Canada. View open positions at EnsembleIQ here.