Interactive Advertising Bureau
08 August 2023

Member Guest Post with Advertima: Retail Media is Revitalising – Not Replacing – Trade Marketing


In this week’s member guest blog post we caught up with James Allison, Director of Partnerships at Advertima. In this exciting and informative piece James looks at how the digital era has changed the path to purchase, how Retail Media has added into the marketing mix and what retailers need to do to achieve balance. Below James looks at the three key strategies to implement Retail Media successfully. 

Traditionally, brands have invested in trade marketing, to ensure retailers list their products, and in shopper marketing, to ensure shoppers consider and desire their products on their path to purchase. 

The digital era, however, has changed things for all stakeholders.

  • Shoppers are more empowered than ever to discover and purchase products across a plethora of digital and physical channels 
  • With the increase in digital channels, brands have more ways to reach and influence shoppers than ever. While this comes with its own complications, it does offer brands an opportunity to establish stronger direct relationships with shoppers and even build their own first-party data 
  • With the advent of Retail Media networks, retailers have the option to become media owners and add a high-margin revenue source to their books

The brand marketing mix and spending patterns have kept pace with these changes and the deluge of new channels and touchpoints available. 

In this scenario, retailers want to know:

  • How to grow incremental revenues by tapping into the $100 billion Retail Media opportunity
  • How the growth of Retail Media will impact their traditional trade and shopper marketing relationships and budgets 

The addition of Retail Media to the marketing mix is one of the most exciting new developments for both brands and retailers. What started as a part of shopper marketing has now ballooned into an independent new media category, with 68% of advertisers already working with one or more Retail Media networks.

For brands, Retail Media promises new data-driven opportunities to influence shoppers through the funnel and as close to the point of purchase as possible. For retailers, it promises a new source of high-margin revenue at a relatively low investment. However, even as brands are expanding marketing budgets to accommodate the new Retail Media opportunity, some retailers are unsure of the impact on trade marketing budgets, fearing they may stagnate or shrink to accommodate these new spends. 

Retailers want to harness the incremental high-margin revenue opportunity presented by Retail Media but also want to protect their existing trade marketing revenues.

The good news is that this is not an either-or situation. With the right approach, retailers can win new Retail Media budgets and ensure brands continue to value trade marketing investments. In fact, Retail Media done right can even revitalise trade marketing.

To achieve this balance, retailers need to:

  • Recognise the advertiser’s changing priorities
  • Create a differentiated Retail Media value proposition
  • Shift their organisational mindset to harness this new revenue opportunity. 

Here’s how:

  1. Recognise the advertiser’s changing priorities 

In an increasingly complex media environment, brands are re-evaluating their marketing and advertising budget allocations to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness of spending. 

The incremental and growing media budgets will flow to partners that can deliver an optimal combination of:

  • Real-time, contextual targeting based on audience demographics and behaviour at scale (reach)
  • Full-funnel reach across multiple touchpoints on the shopper’s path to purchase
  • Audience engagement as close to the point of purchase as possible
  • Verifiable audience and campaign data to optimise ROAS 
  • Low-complexity, friction-free execution across digital and physical channels 

From all the media channels possible, 58% of US advertisers will make incremental investments in Retail Media over the next two years, mainly because it checks most of these boxes. 

With the right Retail Media offering, this is a golden opportunity for retailers to capture a new source of high-margin revenue. 

  1. Craft a Powerful Retail Media Value Proposition 

Because it is so lucrative, Retail Media is already becoming crowded and competitive, and brands are more selective about who they work with, based on their value proposition. Retailers need to stand out with a differentiated Retail Media offering that’s hard for advertisers to refuse!

Online Retail Media networks are dominant today, mainly because the technology to target and measure online audiences and campaigns is already in place. But with 80% of grocery shoppers shopping in-store, and online traffic reverting to pre-pandemic levels, FMCG advertisers are looking for a more full-funnel, omnichannel Retail Media solution.  

Online + In-Store Retail Media networks can help grocery retailers truly unlock incremental new Retail Media revenues by digitising both online and in-store audiences equally efficiently. 

While there is no way for retailers to digitise in-store shoppers so far, recent breakthroughs in computer vision technology are disrupting the status quo. For example, with Advertima’s In-Store Audience Creator, retailers can digitise in-store audiences, offer real-time contextual targeting based on audience demographics and behavioural triggers, change creatives based on who is in front of the screen, and generate verifiable post-campaign performance reports or in-flight campaign optimisation.

In fact, verified audience and campaign data is one of the key advantages of the Advertima In-store Audience Creator. The data can be leveraged to drive up campaign ROAS, win advertiser confidence to invest even more incremental budgets, and help the retailer’s trade marketing negotiate more favourable joint business plans (JBPs).

  1. Shift the organisational mindset to capture incremental revenues

Just as the new in-store Retail Media environment is complex for advertisers, it is also new for retail organisations. Investing in the right technology can help, but unless there is buy-in within key teams in the organisation – namely the Retail Media and trade marketing teams – winning and keeping incremental new budgets will be a challenge. 

Trade marketing teams have always understood the shopper and know when, where, and to whom each category of products will sell best. They can add tremendous value by working alongside Retail Media, who understand audience and media inventory monetisation better. Together, they can craft the best offering, negotiate the best deals with advertisers, and price it right. 

An aligned retailer team is an important differentiator. Brands want to work with retailers that:

  • Offer seamless, full-funnel access to the shopper’s journey 
  • Minimise complexity
  • Help co-create the most efficient and effective campaigns
  • Back up performance claims with a verifiable audience and campaign data 

Competing instead of collaborating for advertiser budgets, on the other hand, will achieve the opposite effect – fragmented budgets, more complexity, reduced value to advertisers, and lower preference as a media partner. 

The time for retailers to align their teams and upgrade their technology and infrastructure to support a full-funnel omnichannel Retail Media offering is now. 

To plan your moves and start generating incremental high-margin Retail Media revenues from your in-store shoppers, get your copy of our latest whitepaper, “How to Integrate In-Store Audience into Your Omnichannel Retail Media Network: A Playbook for Retailers.”


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