Since the onset of the pandemic, the way consumers shop and discover new products has changed. Independent retailers have begun embracing new technologies such as e-commerce to meet their needs. And, as CPGs continue to allocate money toward digital advertising, looking for new ways to connect with shoppers, retail media provides a prime audience in a buying mode.
As retail media continue to evolve, InMobi Commerce’s goal is to provide retailers and advertisers with the information they need to thrive and understand today’s retail media ecosystem. That includes talking with industry experts about emerging trends in retail media, tips on how brands and retailers can collaborate more efficiently, and more.
In this edition of “Take Five,” Sarah Hughes, Head of Marketing at InMobi Commerce, spoke with ADSTA’s Al Jones and Shawn Tuckett to learn more about how independent grocers are approaching retail media and how advertisers can make the biggest impact with their retail media budgets.
You can listen to the full interview below:
Shawn Tuckett: Retail media just offers such an efficient way for retailers to optimize their revenue and find new revenue streams. It can be difficult to find new ways to make money at the store, especially with the small margins, and just the challenges that grocery stores have always faced. So, retail media opens a channel that has a huge growth opportunity, and it’s an extremely valuable initiative for retailers to be prioritizing at this point.
Al Jones: As we see a lot of things move from print to digital, it’s a real opportunity for independent retailers to add some very valuable digital content to their sites. Whether it be awareness-type campaigns, promotions campaigns, digital couponing, etc. There’s just lots and lots of opportunities that exist out there.
Al: One of the big opportunities is taking a lot of these large-scale events or promotions that the CPGs (consumer packaged goods companies) have spent a lot of manpower putting together – for example, Kraft-Heinz collaborating with Paw Patrol to create exclusive pasta shapes or some of the other interesting things that they’re putting together – and extending the impact of those programs by getting digital media content out to the shoppers, while they are shopping, and tying all of that brand equity together.
Keep in mind that the consumer is really who you’re trying to advertise to and that consumer is not monolithic – they don’t just shop at one store.
- Al Jones
Shawn: Independents sit in a tough spot when it comes to the CPGs and having access to the national campaign budget that Al talked about. The beauty of ADSTA is that it creates an efficient channel for the CPGs to engage with independent grocers. A large company, like Kraft or Procter & Gamble, isn’t going to go after every small grocery chain – it's just like herding cats, it’s just not going to happen.
But if you take those stores and combine them into one network where a CPG can now do a single buy and get access to all 3,500 stores across the network – it’s one implementation, it’s one set of creative. It opens the opportunity for CPGs to really engage with a group of stores that’s larger than Kroger in terms of store count. By purchasing a media buy across a network of stores, like with ADSTA and other technologies like it, brands can expand their reach and find audiences that they normally would have skipped due to inefficiency.
Al: Yes, the efficiency of the buy is really important, but efficiency in execution is also crucial. It’s interesting when you’re looking at a brand’s digital assets and getting them out to these independent grocers, it’s often very difficult for one store chain to manage all those assets and the communication back and forth with the brands.
With a network like ADSTA, we make that simple and easy. We help streamline the process for both brands and retailers by standardizing creative and managing assets to get campaigns running live and at 100% compliance, which I know is very important.
Shawn: Since 2020, retail media has become the topic of the CPG world. You can’t go to a conference now without seeing a million sessions on it and just all kinds of different thought leadership.
Right now, we are in the growth stage, but in three to five years retail media is going to become table stakes. Everybody is going to need to be doing it to be competitive in an e-commerce environment.
I think the great thing for the independents is that they sit in a position where, yes, they aren’t the first priority, but it always trickles down to them. As those other major retailers’ media networks become saturated, more expensive and more competitive, the CPGs now have an opportunity with the independents to really differentiate themselves and get access to shoppers that they may have missed otherwise while still getting the reach they are looking for.
So, three years from now, retail media is going to have fully traveled down to the independents as well. They’ll be getting the same opportunities as the national chains are today.
Al: It’s also important to keep in mind that the consumer is really who you’re trying to advertise to and that consumer is not monolithic – they don’t just shop at one store. So, then if you’re able to effectively get your message across to that consumer, then that’s just good for the industry in all facets.
For more interviews with retail media experts, check out InMobi's "Take 5" playlist on YouTube!
Alan M. Jones has been Vice President of Marketing and Advertising Sales with ShoptoCook since January 2018. Mr. Jones started with ShoptoCook as Vice President of Content in April 2017. From 2013-2017, Mr. Jones was a Marketing and Sales Consultant for Food Industry disruptors and In-store companies including Fetch, Engage, GMG, DBA Worldwide, Sterilyfe, Handstand Innovations, and MessageWrap. From 2002 - 2013 , Mr. Jones held various positions at Insignia Systems subsequent to his leadership position as Sr. Vice President of CPG and Retail Sales. After graduating from Michigan State University with a BA in Marketing in 1981, Mr. Jones held various positions with SmithKline Beecham Consumer Brands in the areas of sales training and management including Director of the Mid-Atlantic Division.
During his 12+ years with Webstop, Shawn has helped hundreds of excellent grocers evolve their advertising for the digital age, allowing many stores to increase the number of store trips and increase their loyalty member spending up to 110%. Shawn recently oversaw the launch of the Adsta Retail Media Network which allows Webstop retailers to monetize their digital assets and gives CPG brands a valuable retail channel to promote their products.
Shawn joined Webstop in 2008 after graduating from the University of Florida with his BA in History and Masters in Management. In his first role as Director of Business Development, Shawn led a wholesaler sales initiative overseeing the rollout of the Webstop Multi-Retailer Website Platform, which has supported over 2,000 independent grocery stores.
When Shawn isn’t thinking about Webstop, he travels with his wife Angie or plays with his two young kids Leighton and Gunnar.
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