As COVID-19 prompted a surge in eCommerce, grocers pivoted to shore up the digital tools at their disposal, from bolstering their online shopping capabilities to improving their curbside and delivery experience. And many found success by launching Retail Media Networks or devoting additional resources to existing ones in order to capture brand dollars and consumer attention.
Retail Media Networks should be a key part of every grocers’ marketing playbook, considering that brands spent at least $5 billion on retail media in 2020, according to Forrester, and 66% of CPGs plan to run a media plan with a Retail Media Network in 2021, finds an Inmar Intelligence RMN Brand Survey. In fact, Forrester predicts Retail Media Networks will eventually become as standard to every retailer’s revenue profile as loyalty programs.
As more Retail Media Networks come to market, competition for budgets will increase, which underscores the need to provide brands and advertisers with a good experience and greater ROI. In order to deliver this, retailers will need to prioritize efficient workflows, greater access to data and more accurate measurement.
However, there are some aspects of a Retail Media Network that prevent brands from having the best experience possible, which could be solved with a more comprehensive alternative that’s evolving: the “Retail Marketing Platform.”
Here are three common challenges retailers face as they aim to deliver a competitive ROI and better experience to brands and advertisers, and how the evolving Retail Marketing Platform addresses them.
Challenge 1: A Retail Media Network operates in a silo.
Solution: A Retail Marketing Platform will be more inclusive, creating a clearer picture of the customer’s behavior
While digital identifiers enable Retail Media Networks to deliver targeting and measurement to online media campaigns with greater precision, that is only a part of the shopper journey. Once that customer moves offline. the picture gets a little murkier, given that a Retail Marketing Network offers little integration between marketing and merchandising. Is the person who just landed on your website the same one who came into the store today?
“The only way to be sure is by having a persistent view of the customer that captures each channel they visit,” says Steve Ustaris, vice president of marketing for Inmar’s retail cloud data and media solutions. “With a Retail Marketing Platform, a brand gains a holistic view of their customers' activity, whether they redeemed a coupon at the point of sale or made a purchase based on a social media ad.”
A more complete view can also drive advertising sales, since CPGs can consider the entire portfolio of opportunities a retailer offers—such as onsite, offsite, influencer marketing, point-of-sale promotions, loyalty programs and more.
Challenge 2: A Retail Media Network can’t offer personalization in the way consumers expect.
Solution: A Retail Marketing Platform will take an incentive-based approach to forge more beneficial relationships.
While all marketers talk about how crucial it is to personalize messages along the customer journey, it's easier said than done, Ustaris says. “We’ve all seen the decks that offer potential answers to reach, say, a lapsed customer, but without sufficient data, it’s impossible to deliver on these promises.”
A Retail Marketing Platform can help connect the dots by integrating loyalty and incentive programs to deliver greater ROI through personalization.
“Successful personalization is going to come from incentives, which have to be linked through unified targeting,” Ustaris says. “Integrating your loyalty programs with your Retail Marketing Platform allows you to provide the right offer to the right customer at the right time. This combination of media and offers will drive loyalty, engagement and better relationships.”
“Effective personalization has to deliver real value to the consumer,” says Ustaris. “And that can’t be achieved without a relevant offer. While a relevant ad message may be appreciated, a relevant offers in the ad is even better.”
Challenge 3: Even the best Retail Media Network doesn’t provide clear attribution across all touchpoints and channels.
Solution: A Retail Marketing Platform will make it easier to track the customer journey.
As mentioned, with a Retail Marketing Platform retailers can merge “mass” media with one-to-one marketing through a single, persistent view of the customer. It also supports unified targeting and measurement across all marketing and media channels and creates a more robust reporting profile that simplifies tracking and attribution.
That’s appealing to CPGs, which would prefer a more inclusive report. Currently each channel is likely to have its own reporting system since measurement typically is limited to the application. Add in multiple channels, like in-store media, a receipt reward campaign and coupons, and the CPG might be receiving five separate reports. Making it even more confusing is the fact that these reports won’t be deduplicated, leading to an elaborate guessing game about the actual impact of the marketing campaign.
“Optimally the brand would love to see all this data in a single report so they have a full view of how their campaign dollars are working in aggregate,” says Ustaris. “Today, that would be extremely cumbersome as it would require pulling different reports from different systems and compiling them manually. By contrast, a Retail Marketing Platform can provide a unified look at integrated results, which helps brands see their return on investment, ideally encouraging them to spend even more.”
Can Your Retail Media Network Keep Up?
“Many of the retailers we speak to already have a good portion of the framework in place to create more of a Retail Marketing Platform type solution that will deliver the value and ROI their partners seek,” says Ustaris. “They just need someone to help them connect the pipes, insert the right applications and tweak their go-to-market approach."
There’s no doubt that Retail Media Networks will be a game changer, which is why retailers are increasingly looking for a better solution.
“The promise of Retail Marketing Platforms is to allow retailers to take all their channels — every touchpoint they have with a consumer — and create a marketing opportunity out of it. The seamless consumer journey across channels can become a reality.”
Find out more about how the evolving Retail Marketing Platform can supercharge your existing network and relationships.
About Inmar Intelligence
Inmar Intelligence is a leading data and tech-enabled services company. $120 billion dollars of commerce runs through our market-driven platforms which are propelling digital transformation through unified data and workflows to help leading Fortune 5000 companies, emerging brands and health systems drive innovation.
Throughout our 40-year history, we have served retailers, manufacturers, pharmacies, health systems, government and employers as their trusted intermediary in helping them redefine success. For more information about Inmar, please follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook, or call (866) 440-6917.