The Drum and InMobi recently sat down with key experts to get industry viewpoints to help retailers prepare for and capitalize on the retail media revolution. Here is our interview with Tesco’s Nick Ashley.
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How has retail media played a part in Tesco’s response to the pandemic?
At the start of the pandemic, we significantly reduced activity so that we could prioritize communications to our customers around providing food for all and safety for everyone. This included the new measures we put in place across stores to ensure customers could get the products they needed in a safe environment. We used a number of retail channels to do this, including direct customer emails, online communication and in-store messaging. We also worked collaboratively with brands to target helpful messages to customers where appropriate. For example, as more of our customers were cooking from scratch, we increased the number of branded content opportunities as part of our Food Content partnerships. Brands are able to support customers with inspiring new recipes, while getting their product seen in a relevant way.
What do you think retail media can deliver for advertisers that other channels cannot?
We believe there are three big benefits for advertisers in retail media - particularly CPGs. Firstly, access to highly relevant, highly targeted behavioral audiences and at significant scale. Retailers are often the interface between customers and brands, so giving advertisers the opportunity to communicate to and engage with their customers as they're making a purchase decision is hugely valuable to brands. Secondly, we see an opportunity to increase the use of insight for those planning campaigns to choose the right customers, channels and messages in the first place. Finally, closed-loop measurement, which gives advertisers a true picture of the incremental value their campaign generated – and, most importantly, whether it had a positive impact on the customer.
Does retail media have a role to play in advertiser's 'post-third-party cookies' strategy? Do you expect to see more ad budgets being allocated to retail media?
Definitely. As brands try to identify alternatives to third-party cookies, retail media offers relevancy, accountability and scale. With the launch of Tesco Media and Insight, we believe we can offer a platform that will bring together the wealth of customer insight we have with the data science from dunnhumby, and use it in a way that helps our brands to be more efficient and targeted – and ultimately to serve customers better. Tesco's weekly media reach rivals some of the biggest online platforms, and our new platform will offer a range of targeting options that mean brands can connect with customers more effectively.
Who do you see as the major players in the retail media space right now?
It's a fast-moving space and more players seem to be emerging all the time, with some really interesting platforms from the big retailers in the U.S. At the moment, we're very focused on how we can use retail media to support our suppliers and better connect with customers. Tesco Media and Insight, powered by dunnhumby, offers brands the U.K.'s largest closed loop grocery media and insight platform, and we're very excited to work with suppliers and agencies to drive better engagement with customers.