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2023 Retail Media Awards

Meet the 25 innovators who are forging the evolution of retail media and advancing connected commerce across the path to purchase.

After combing through a plethora of nominations, the Path to Purchase Institute (P2PI) selected 25 commerce marketers who are pioneering retail media for our inaugural Retail Media Awards program. The awards recognize innovative leaders across brands, retailers, agencies and solutions providers who are effectively leveraging or helping others leverage retail media for successful digital and omnichannel campaigns. P2PI honored the winners in June during an awards celebration and ceremony at our Retail Media Summit in Chicago. Read on to get to know the trailblazers making an impact at their companies and across the industry …



Risa Andersen
Head of North America Media & Data

Over the past six years, Risa Andersen has been an instrumental leader in driving PepsiCo’s in-house media strategy and planning team. She now leads all media and data capabilities for PepsiCo across North America, including retail media. Her team leverages PepsiCo’s proprietary measurement and scorecarding tools to collaborate with retail media networks to evolve capabilities and media performance, as well as other data-driven capabilities that serve national media, including measurement, insights and audience.

Andersen and her team have driven the standardization of ROI measurement across RMNs leveraging PepsiCo’s proprietary ROI Engine capability. They’ve also evolved its standardized RMN scorecard — a way to benchmark RMN capabilities — to include 11 distinct RMNs and 43 different criteria. By understanding each RMN across these attributes and side by side with one another, the team can better determine how it should invest while also doing their part to elevate capabilities across the industry.

The next big trend in retail media is: Adding incremental channels to RMN offerings. The future of retail media is increased flexibility. While off-platform media isn’t a new idea for RMNs, they will unlock new and optimized partnerships, execution and measurement opportunities with the likes of social and CTV platforms. Additionally, as they move to leveraging their shopper data in more ways, they will also offer increased flexibility in how advertisers can buy, optimize and measure via these off-platform channels.

The most exciting opportunity in retail media is: Full-funnel media planning, because if the RMNs can deliver on flexibility, transparency and costs, companies could connect national brand creative with retail media capabilities via a collaborative planning process. That would allow for retargeting audiences with sequential messaging for more efficient and effective campaigns.


Yolanda Angulo
Director, Shopper Marketing
Mondelez International

Yolanda Angulo leads the company’s retail media efforts as well as the integration of shopper marketing and e-commerce. She has been instrumental in building out ways of working, key learnings and processes with Mondelez’s core strategic omni-customers as well as with regional players. She developed a database of learnings, costs and returns that has been shared internally across the Mondelez organization. She also has led the company’s efforts in the digital out-of-home space, and developed a retail media program at Ahold that won a North America Regional Excellence award at Mondelez.

In the past year, Angulo focused on a tech-forward, multimedia, omni-campaign driven by insights and a business opportunity for a key customer that leveraged weather patterns to promote summer activities using Mondelez cookie and cracker products. She initiated three test-and-learns with new digital media platforms/vendors across multiple retailers that garnered strong results, including sales lift and brought new buyers to the brand.

She is proud of the group’s work with its vendor partners, having opportunities to expand on and compliment current first-party retail media partnerships. She will continue to ensure there is clarity around key KPIs upfront, as well as continue to request and push for incrementality and/or clarity of measurement.

The most exciting opportunity in retail media is: The phygital world is here, but the level of technology has clearly improved and evolved over the past few years. That has resulted in the opportunity to leverage shopper data, connect with shoppers in a more 360-degree way and to deliver the content consumers are looking for, making the shopping experience easier and more enjoyable everywhere.

The future of retail media is: Hyper-personalization. Technology is enabling us to get to know our consumers and shoppers in perhaps a deeper way, to develop a relationship and build loyalty. It’s a two-way street, and hopefully we learn from each other to build our pipeline, create relevant content and stay top-of-mind/on her list all the time.


Kristi Argyilan
Senior Vice President of Retail Media
Albertsons Companies

Kristi Argyilan led the launch of Albertsons Companies’ retail media network, Albertsons Media Collective, which partners with marketers to grow their businesses through Albertsons’ ad tech platforms. Since 2021, she and her team have leveraged the retailer’s 34 million weekly customer base and first-hand knowledge of customer shopping habits to provide advertisers and agencies with a deeper understanding of their customers.

The team has seen the industry react to its push for transparency and its commitment to a co-op garden model. Its integration with The Trade Desk is a partnership that highlights the co-op garden model, featuring a focus on transparency and collaboration with its partners. While the retailer continues to invest in its own platform and solutions, it is also a priority to develop direct connections with other leading tech partners to deliver beyond its own walls. These partnerships make it easier for brands to reach the right audience across the internet and beyond, including the industry’s fastest-growing digital channels, such as connected TV.

The partnership with Omnicom Media Group (OMG) leverages multi-party clean room technology, powered by Snowflake, allowing the team to combine its near-real-time shopper data with audience data from the NBCUniversal, Paramount and Warner Bros-Discovery linear and streaming channels in a privacy-safe manner. As a result, OMG clients will be able to directly connect advertising campaigns to purchase data with a high degree of precision, delivering increased media ROI and better business outcomes.

The most exciting opportunity in retail media is: AI. It will be a key unlock for retail media, specifically for media buying, creative generation and audience creation. Many of the tasks that humans still have to touch, like optimizing campaigns, can be accelerated by AI.

The future of retail media is: Endless. And less about retail, more about media. Standardization will strengthen the retail media ecosystem, causing all boats to rise with the tide. We’ll also see more retail media networks explore partnerships with non-endemic brands to open up their platforms to a new, broad slate of advertisers and generate new revenue streams.


Melanie Babcock
Vice President of Retail Media & Monetization
The Home Depot

The Home Depot Retail Media+ Network has experienced substantial growth in the last two years, which has led to team growth, investment in tools, processes and technology. Melanie Babcock sits at the helm of the group that has spent time this past year working on processes, role alignment and technology solutions to improve the associate experience.

When The Home Depot started its journey in retail media, there were fewer than 10 retail media networks in the market, heavily focused on grocery and mass retail. Since then, Babcock has successfully led her team to identify key strategic needs and make investments to drive tangible, revenue-generating outcomes, including growing the media business by more than two times year over year. Babcock assumed her current post in February after serving as the retailer’s vice president of integrated media for nearly four years prior.

The next big trend in retail media is: Extending retail media into the physical store experience. The retailer’s strong customer experience connection between online, app and in-store gives it an opportunity to enhance the in-store customer shopping experiences with digital out-of-home messaging.

The most exciting opportunity in retail media is: Retail media brings that “last-mile delivery” to reach the customer. Digital media ads are measurable and at the point of decision-making. That’s the last piece that’s been missing in that marketer’s toolbox.


Ray Balberman
Director, Strategy
Loblaw Media

Ray Balberman was a pivotal member in the launch of Loblaw Media in 2019. He’s a trailblazer for learning and evolving the industry as retail media gains more traction with marketers in Canada. This past year, he supported the launch of Incremental Customer Long-Term Value (iCLTV) measurement, which uses transactional data to project the incremental sales impact of a media campaign for 12 months after the campaign ends. With this capability, Loblaw Media can help quantify retail media’s impact, providing a more holistic understanding of campaign performance. He also contributed as a key stakeholder in the launch of MediaAisle Sponsored Products Retail Media Platform, a self-serve, auction-based sponsored search platform built fully in-house by Loblaw Media. When combined with MediaAisle Demand Side Platform (DSP), Loblaw Media has made significant investments in its own technology, which will allow for maximum flexibility to build products to advertiser demand, and to reimagine new post-cookie identity solutions.

Balberman also integrated the company’s media and loyalty programs to drive holistic planning. By launching ad products and programs where media and loyalty offers are integrated seamlessly for Loblaw shoppers, the retailer is unlocking new types of digital engagement. Recent efforts that have made an impact include helping to drive the evolution of narratives surrounding retail media in Canada — from being focused on lower-funnel search and display products to a more full-funnel, omnichannel solution. Furthermore, Loblaw developed strategic planning best practices based on campaign results, custom analytics and industry meta-analyses on performance, which Balberman says drove a significant increase in clients planning for more consistent, omnichannel campaigns that resulted in overall improved effectiveness.

The next big trend in retail media is: AI-based shopping assistants and search algorithms.

The most exciting opportunity in retail media is: Creating new jobs and professional growth.

The future of retail media is: Integration across shopper, trade and brand dollars.


Irina Barskiy
Director of Digital Demand Generation

An eight-year veteran of Danone, Irina Barskiy assumed her current post in June 2022 and began working on an e-retailer transformation internally that centralized all retailer media/search under one team. She created an infrastructure, working with many cross-functional teams to understand objectives and priorities for each channel/platform. The strategy allows the team to capitalize on opportunities and growth and right-size investments based on where the company has the largest opportunities to win.

Barskiy also onboarded a new agency to add to Danone’s strategic capabilities in retail media and partnered with its media and shopper team to have a best-in-class approach, resulting in a more than 30% improvement in its ad returns. She believes collaborating closely with all cross-functional stakeholders was key to evolving the company’s retail media success, in addition to building a cohesive plan and stacking multiple tactics across the entire consumer funnel that ladder up to overall objectives. Working with internal and external partners, Barskiy also helped the company understand the impact of its retail media dollars by leveraging new data points, including share of voice, sales lift studies and marketing mix models, to help understand incrementality and halo impacts.

The most exciting opportunity in retail media is: Brand building versus performance marketing. As platforms beef up their advertising capabilities, retail media is a brand-building vehicle and not just another “performance marketing” channel.

The future of retail media is: Personalization and omnichannel cohesiveness. Personalization has been the name of the game for brands with first-party media. CPG brands selling through third parties can capitalize on some of these same personalization and data efforts as well. As more retailers enter this space, we can expect to see networks innovating with their offering, forced to improve tech, data/measurement and capabilities to compete for more brand dollars.


Renee Caceres
Vice President, Retail Media

Renee Caceres was one of the first internal associates at Walmart Connect. She led the development of the processes and tools that supported first its operationalization and later its migration to an in-house retail media business. Today, Caceres heads up the retail media efforts for video commerce company Firework, and this past year created its first-ever retail media network sales strategy, development and implementation for video commerce. Firework’s technology, she says, has made connecting with customers through video commerce in a meaningful and scalable way finally possible — thus evolving the media mix for brands and retailers.

She also spearheaded the company’s debut with regional retailer The Fresh Market for their shoppable video-live commerce retail media network partnership, as well as launched long-format and live video events with Sam’s Club to kick off the holiday season for its members. Through this partnership, Sam’s Club members were able to interact with products in a new way, combining the best of the in-store experience, trusted influencer reviews and real-time shopping directly on their phones and computers.

The next big trend in retail media is: Standardization versus differentiation. Fragmentation in the market is rampant and brands want to consistently understand how their dollars affect KPIs and results across all RMNs.

The most exciting opportunity in retail media is: Personalization at scale. Retailers are often data rich and insights poor, and retail media networks have the unique opportunity to be the bridge. By using data to better predict what customers want and why in real time, brands will be better equipped to deliver alternative options and personalized experiences to meet their customers’ needs wherever they may be, at scale.


Jeff Clark
Vice President of Product and Omni-Commercialization
Walmart Connect

Jeff Clark was charged with kick-starting Walmart’s retail media initiative when he joined the organization in 2017 and has since created the platforms and experiences that have fueled Walmart Connect’s substantial growth over the past few years. He led the development and growth of an API-powered infrastructure that enables agency partnerships, the company’s self-serve interfaces and the Walmart DSP — all of which were developed with robust and integrated measurement and reporting capabilities. He also oversaw the integration into Walmart’s in-store network of more than 4,700 stores across the U.S.

Clark heads up the teams that have integrated retail media into Walmart’s TV wall, self-checkout screens and in-store radio, with additional integrations coming soon. Last year, the team invested heavily in improving Walmart’s sponsored search products, with advancements such as second-price auction, evolved search algorithm enhancements, introduction of new search placements and expanded self-serve capabilities that reduced average cost-per-click and increased average ROAS for advertisers. Furthermore, he led the release of the Walmart DSP, which has enabled advertisers to connect and measure both online and in-store performance, offering targeting, reporting and omnichannel insights down to a granular level; and also Walmart’s Display Self-Serve platform, which provides more speed, flexibility and control to launch and manage display campaigns.

A more recent focus is on expanding advertiser access to omni-touchpoints with customers. With enhancements in display advertising, the group is leaning into providing new in-store experiences for shoppers, along with an expanded suite of omni-insights to connect across channels.

The next big trend in retail media is: Omnichannel solutions with in-store connections. Pure digital advertising isn’t enough anymore. Brands tell us they want to engage with shoppers across the entire shopping journey, including in stores.

The future of retail media is: Seamless digital-to-physical customer experiences. Search and display will always be the fundamental backbone for strong retail media strategies. But retailers with brick-and-mortar stores are starting to create an essential differentiator by bridging the digital-to-physical shopping experience.


Jill Cruz
Executive Vice President, Commerce Strategy
Publicis Groupe

Jill Cruz leads commerce strategy for Publicis Commerce, sitting at the intersection of experience, CRM and media. She provides thought leadership, commerce training and enablement services to all Publicis agencies to build best-in-class retail media network practices. She is most proud of her work during the past year that resulted in deepening retailer relationships and building value into the team’s partnership agreements to help influence the product roadmap for the agency’s clients.

She is a member of the IAB Retail Media Network Council and will also be the co-chair of the Retail Media Measurement Working Group, which is working to standardize measurement across retailers and vendors. Prior to her current post, she held a dual role within WPP, where she was on the senior leadership team at Wunderman Thompson Commerce and helped grow commerce revenues by 2.5 times, leading three key clients to become some of the organization’s most successful ones in 2021. She also led Mediacom to help build its retail media network practice and developed a dedicated retail media team to serve one of its largest CPG clients.

The most exciting opportunity in retail media is: Connected, digital in-store solutions. As RMNs add more media partners to their offerings, it is harder to measure reach and keep various messages from overlapping, causing a poor consumer experience and alienating shoppers from feeling the personalization that they expect.

The future of retail media is: Automated. We can no longer operate siloed and manually in an algorithmic world. We need an end-to-end service model that encompasses industry-leading tools and tech automation that will allow us to execute and measure flawlessly.


Annie Derrig
Marketing Director - Walgreens
Procter & Gamble

Annie Derrig has spent more than nine years at Procter & Gamble, assuming her current post as marketing director on the Walgreens Customer Team in July 2020. Since then, she has helped shape and advance Walgreens Advertising Group’s (WAG) measurement, reporting and standards in its managed service and self-serve media models. She also helped broker the first self-serve media model test with WAG, establishing the roadmap to obtain third-party measurement. Her partnership with WAG has helped to shape the requirements for ad viewability, invalid traffic, brand safety and financial stewardship. Derrig also codified learnings from WAG media campaigns throughout the past year and applied those learnings to unlock both efficiencies and effectiveness of WAG campaigns.

She led the development of P&G’s Women’s Wellness campaign aimed at women aged 45+ that kicked off in September 2022 at Walgreens in partnership with WAG. The campaign led to category growth, and Derrig and her team unlocked learnings that will strengthen future P&G/WAG partnerships as they continue to empower women throughout their ever-changing needs.

The next big trend in retail media is: Activating rich consumer insights via first-party data at scale. With more data available, there is a huge opportunity to both refine targeting and deliver personalized, relevant messaging to shoppers in a more cost-efficient way.

The most exciting opportunity in retail media is: Delivering the right solutions at the right time. The competitive nature of the industry will continue to push retailers in their journey to enable seamless shopping (even faster) and, ultimately, deliver better outcomes for the shopper.


Adam Fish
Director of Omnichannel Strategy
Wells Enterprises

Adam Fish leverages addressable audiences to drive omnichannel campaigns for Wells Enterprises and its family of brands. He led the team’s development of addressable audience segmentation to enable more precise media targeting and deliver more relevant messages to consumers this past year. The digital-first media planning approach that bridges brand and retailer media allows for a more seamless omnichannel brand experience that is tailored to where consumers are in the purchase journey. Internally, the capability is referred to as Unified Media, a process that allows Fish and his team to shift investment more easily across channels and audiences, and to optimize campaigns in real-time to maximize effectiveness and increase ROI.

The initiative integrated media planning processes across brand, shopper and e-commerce objectives — and drove an increase in media effectiveness to drive sales. The company has also been an early adopter of video search ads across several platforms, as well testing CTV to directly add to cart with QR codes. By leveraging retail media programmatic buying capabilities, Fish and his team can better connect activity between brand and e-commerce initiatives by overlaying audiences exposed to awareness messages with a retailer’s category buyers to deliver a more personalized message. The result is a more relevant experience for the consumer and increasing likelihood to purchase.

The next big trend in retail media is: Increased use of data clean rooms for measurement.

The most exciting opportunity in retail media is: Connecting upper-funnel media like CTV to purchase.

The future of retail media is: Seamless integration across the purchase journey.


Tony Fung
Director of Shopper Marketing and E-Commerce
Bob Evans Farms

Tony Fung joined the company in early 2020, developing and conceptualizing the brand’s shopper marketing capabilities and retail strategy. He leads its shopper marketing strategy and execution across mass and grocery channels as well as e-commerce and omnichannel capabilities. He has continued to use retail media in his campaigns, most recently for the launch of Bob Evans’ mashed cauliflower assortment, which won Product of the Year accolades. The campaign included retail-sponsored search across key retailers, on-site and off-site digital banner ads, and national immersive digital ads.

Fung believes retail media networks give brands a great opportunity to drive the future of commerce marketing, and the ability to optimize in real time as needed. By partnering with retail media teams, the company has been able to tap into retailers’ first-party data and create unique and personalized messaging to reach its targeted consumers more efficiently — and, more importantly, to understand closed-loop measurement. With the constant evolution of retail media, he believes it is crucial to adopt a test-and-learn mindset and approach to help gain insights into consumers’ preferences and needs, and to also help create a benchmark for future campaigns.

The next big trend in retail media is: Using first-party data to reach consumers via connected TV (CTV). By using retailer’s first-party data to target shoppers via CTV, brands can understand real-time conversions on the ads and connect impressions directly to purchase.

The most exciting opportunity in retail media is: Closed-loop sales measurement and reporting. We will continue to see more brands allocating dedicated budgets for retail media advertising due to valuable first-party data, contextually relevant ad experiences and closed-loop reporting.


Mark Heitke
Director, Ad Product & Audience Strategy
Best Buy Ads

Charged with evolving Best Buy Ads’ retail media portfolio when he assumed his current post in January 2022, Mark Heitke has led his team and the enterprise in reimagining and relaunching an expanded and unified portfolio. He established a product hierarchy and operationalized a 360-degree portfolio across display, search, store, social and content advertising channels — with significant advancements in video, sponsored products and shoppable ads — and fostered the growth of self-service opportunities.

In partnership with Best Buy’s reporting and ad tech teams, Heitke championed a multi-year effort to launch My Ads, a platform designed for brands and agency partners looking for a more turn-key solution. My Ads is currently in pilot with seven brand partners and will be available more broadly later this year. Heitke believes that helping grow the expertise and knowledge of the industry only serves to create a more effective ecosystem. He has served as a consultative partner to other retailers who are just beginning their journey in the retail media space to ensure they are positioning themselves for success.

The next big trend in retail media is: Moving beyond e-commerce to stores. While retail media started online due to its measurement capability and standardized ad formats, leveraging the full footprint can help brands execute new and innovative experiences in the future.

The future of retail media is: The future of retail overall. Retail media investments are forcing retailers to rethink and balance their place as an advertising destination with their shopping experience, and I believe it will unlock innovation across retail categories.


Jenny Holleran
Group Director
Kroger Precision Marketing, 84.51

Jenny Holleran has been a member of the 84.51 team for nearly eight years, first in business development for omnichannel media and, since early 2018, heading up media sales and connecting brands with customers through data-driven media. She works to deepen relationships with client partners across the advertiser and agency community, helping them drive growth by balancing category business and brand priorities, while aligning their campaigns to measurable KPIs. She focuses on driving the value of effective media against brand objectives, and helping CPGs think differently about retail media as media and the power of audience targeting.

Holleran believes she has furthered the evolution of the space as she has worked to shape positions and perspectives on consumer-focused, accountable advertising across the industry, including through speaking engagements at the Path to Purchase Institute’s Retail Media Summit and Future Forward. She has also been “diving in deep” with global and U.S. media leads across the CPG community to partner during this transformational time. As CPGs restructure their brand and retail teams in an omni-approach to drive effectiveness and efficiency in the landscape, she sees it as a group effort, noting that building out joint learning agendas has been critical in the evolution.

The next big trend in retail media is: Sustainability in digital advertising, with retail media playing a key role. Insights can help direct ads to the most relevant households, reducing advertising waste and energy consumption at the same time.

The future of retail media is: A better experience for both consumers and brands. As the industry matures, we can expect to see retail media networks become easier to activate and more consistent across platforms, making it easier for brands and agencies to reach their target audiences and drive results.


Julie Kahn
Associate Director, Digital Strategy
Blue Chip

Julie Kahn is a proponent of retail media network standardization, transparency and accountability — and she’s helped shape how many of Blue Chip’s clients engage with their largest retail partners since joining the company in July 2021. From key clients to the emerging brands that are newer to retail media investments, she focuses on strategy, activation and measurement, working to ensure their retail media spend is measurable and each dollar is accountable to results.

Through her work, she is also helping to evolve the industry toward more transparent and actionable measurement with the shared metrics from retail media networks. After months of conversations, she persuaded a prominent retailer to update their entire media platform to enable greater transparency and to share metrics they were not willing to share before. On behalf of several Blue Chip clients, she and her team oversee strategy and buying of retail media investments for more than 15 different teams.

The most exciting opportunity in retail media is: The emergence of omnichannel activations and media partnerships. Partnerships with media companies will enable brands to leverage retailer first-party data to reach shoppers at multiple digital touchpoints with unique and custom messaging. 

The future of retail media is: Personalized and dynamic customer experiences. By customizing messaging and offers to specific audiences, brands will connect with and appeal to shoppers in ways that are more authentic, engaging and impactful. This will not only drive new customer acquisition, but also trial of new products among existing brand shoppers.


Sam Knights

Sam Knights leads the global SMG business, which has launched multiple omnichannel media networks for some of the largest retailers in the U.K., including Boots Walgreens, Morrisons, The Co-op, The Very Group and Signet Group. These retailer media networks have seen double-digit percentage advertising revenue growth and have increased their profit contribution from this ad spend to their own retail P&Ls. In the last year alone, Knights and his team have spearheaded the launch of Boots Media Group, helping Boots monetize its first-party data via the launch of Audience360. It’s the first retail media network in the U.K. to offer CPGs the opportunity to use first-party retailer data for media targeting with closed-loop sales attribution, and other U.K. retailers are looking to follow suit and mirror Audience360’s success.

His team also launched Morrisons Media Group, a retailer media network for the fourth-largest grocer in the U.K. Knights champions efforts that will result in the retail media industry being increasingly transparent in its media performance reporting. His fundamental belief is to do retail media the right way by ensuring CPG brands see retail media through a marketing lens to drive growth for everyone. His passion lies in proving that retail media works and delivers positive results for both CPGs and retailers.

The next big trend in retail media is: Measurement. Retail media will only continue to grow if it is completely transparent and measurable. Using first-party data, SMG can now run test-versus-control digital activations in order to get to incremental return on ad spend (iROAS), a significantly better measure of the incremental impact of marketing campaigns. Getting this right will be a crucial driver of future sustainable growth.

The most exciting opportunity in retail media is: Omnichannel media, and connecting digital to physical. The big unlock will be to combine the U.K. and U.S., taking learnings from both markets to enable brands and retailers to activate campaigns that reach 100% of their shoppers across physical and digital estates, linked through loyalty data.


Erin Lastra
Vice President of Retail Partnerships

Over the past year, Erin Lastra led the onboarding and transitioning of retailer partners from a legacy platform to Criteo’s Commerce Media Platform. She also coordinated and managed a market test for the global commerce media company’s new demand-side platform, Commerce Max, hand-selecting Best Buy and a video game brand partner to execute a self-service, full-funnel campaign that is armed with the platform’s audience builder to create their own segments using Best Buy’s first-party data. The team launched on-site and off-site ads, using Criteo’s closed-loop reporting to analyze product-level sales data in real-time, allowing them to adjust their strategy as needed.

Lastra had the opportunity to engage with global counterparts to help share best-in-class learnings of the success they’ve experienced in the Americas to its EMEA and APAC markets, traveling to Europe, Tokyo and Singapore. She also served as a catalyst to help the company’s retail partners succeed as they grow their retail media programs, often realizing that they have limited space on-site and can drastically scale their programs if they also prioritize off-site campaigns across the open internet.

Her work has made this goal a reality for Criteo’s partners by advancing the company’s off-site offerings and working closely with retailers to ensure they are maximizing the potential of their off-site campaigns — enabling self-serve buying capabilities to garner more growth for their programs.

The most exciting opportunity in retail media is: Expansion across verticals like last-mile delivery. Fast is the new slow. Consumers want things quickly, and retailers are partnering with order fulfillment and transportation companies to enable this fast delivery, providing massive opportunities for these companies to activate and enable their retail media offering to ensure they are reaching the consumer at the right time while they are shopping with relevant ads.

The future of retail media is: An overarching commerce media environment. Commerce media effectively enables both endemic and non-endemic players to access data, outside the walls of a retailer’s e-commerce site, to drive their campaigns, while also enabling retailers to expand their retail media monetization offerings.


Austin Leonard
Head of Sales, Member Access Platform (MAP)
Sam’s Club

Austin Leonard joined Sam’s Club in March 2022. He leads the partnership and sales team that supports advertisers, agencies and ad tech partners since launching the Sam’s Club Member Access Platform (MAP) in June of last year. MAP delivers an additive ads experience for members. He has also led the building of in-club attribution measurement for search, proving that online search behaviors lead to offline sales. MAP connects all member clicks to their offline sales for Sam’s Club advertisers and has real-time, first-party omnichannel data connected back to member IDs, including in-club, in-app and web. MAP therefore delivers accurate transaction data, while advertisers can see what revenue is generated by which ads, including search and sponsored products campaigns. The team has been able to deliver higher return on ad spend and increased sales in a truly omnichannel way. Overall, ROAS has increased an average of nearly 30% since adding in-club sales to the sponsored products attribution mix.

The launch of the MAP Retargeting Platform called OmniDesk was also a focus this past year. Sam’s Club MAP uses real-time, accurate data from verified Sam’s Club members, including data on purchase history, demographics, recent purchases of similar items and basket size — data that is not available on other retail media platforms. Thus, MAP campaigns can deliver personalized ads in real time to members who have expressed interest in a product but have not yet made a purchase, as well as stop serving ads once the member makes a related purchase.

The next big trend in retail media is: Measurement outside walled retail/social gardens. As consumers shop seamlessly between online and in-store, true omnichannel measurement will become increasingly important.

The future of retail media is: Breaking down the walls between “national” and “shopper,” which will open up better experiences for members (shoppers) and better opportunities for advertisers to reach highly engaged, highly coveted audiences.


Jeff Malmad
Global Head of Commerce

Jeff Malmad has been leading the growth of Mindshare’s commerce capability for more than five years, first as U.S. commerce lead and, more recently, as the global lead, driving commerce media strategies and consumer engagement. He and his team have worked with leading retail media networks to improve data and measurement solutions in commerce; bring retailers’ verification and brand safety guidelines to the same standards as other digital partners; and expand clients’ access to retailers’ on-site advertising inventory, from product listing ads to shoppable video and more. Part of that collaboration has been working closely with GroupM on a commerce media scorecard that helps brands assess and evaluate retail media networks from around the world.

He also launched and grew Mindshare’s Commerce Media Bootcamp to train Mindshare teams across North America on commerce media and create new employee career paths as a result. Furthermore, he spearheaded a partnership with Kroger to create versions of Mindshare’s Inclusion PMPs that connect back to the products that brands sell through retailer sites and leveraging retailer media networks. Malmad believes that retail media is media — you can’t separate the two — and everyone working in the media and marketing industry needs to understand how to leverage it in order to better engage their consumers.

The next big trend in retail media is: Influencers working with retailers more broadly and more consistently to expand their programs and engagements.

The most exciting opportunity in retail media is: AI enhancing retailer search. Retailers should explore and leverage generative AI experiences within their destinations, because AI will allow for a more personalized search experience that will eventually evolve into a personalized retailer experience.


Sarah Martin
Senior Manager, Commerce Marketing
J.M. Smucker Co.

Sarah Martin leads the Walmart media business for J.M. Smucker’s coffee and consumer foods brands. She drives significant new buyer growth and is building incremental sales for categories, including the 2022 Coffee Scale DSP Beta Test with Walmart Connect, among others. The campaign saw ROAS of more than $26, surpassing the $2 DSP baseline, and has been shortlisted in Zenith’s 2022 ROI Excellence Awards. Martin also led the charge for the 2023 Folgers Switcher campaign, which was aimed at gaining back shoppers who were trading to other brands. The campaign featured a partnership with brand and sales on a Walmart rollback, pinpoint targeting that resulted in strong incremental sales, a $20.90 iROAS, and the highest performing audience being lapsed brand buyers.

Martin begins every project and campaign with the shopper first, since she believes the amount of retailer data gives marketers much more actionable data to build their campaigns. Starting with the retailer data, like Walmart Luminate — as well as brand insights and industry trends — has made the targeting of the shopper more successful for J.M. Smucker campaigns, yielding not only strong ROAS for its media, but driving incremental growth by reaching and converting new shoppers for its brands.

The next big trend in retail media is: Total funnel media driving conversion. Leveraging media that is building awareness of brands and products, but able to drive immediate conversion for the shopper, can help brands and marketers meet their objectives and KPIs. With the data and traceable reporting, retail media networks can help brands and CPGs reach shoppers, retarget the shoppers and drive conversion through new media channels.

The most exciting opportunity in retail media is: Staying current with growing social media channels. This is an exciting time for brands and marketers to stay relevant and authentic to our shoppers, while also developing new marketing strategies to communicate to them.


Tom Miller
Sellr Technologies

Tom Miller has been at the helm of Sellr Technologies, with its in-aisle digital assistant, for nearly five years. His focus lies in the emerging retail media space, with a vision that goes beyond the online/in-app e-commerce channels — where the majority of retail media currently sits. He has a goal of securing more brick-and-mortar retail media activations.

This past year, he oversaw the company’s efforts of market-testing its interactive, on-shelf Sellr digital platform with 1,000 devices in 100 physical stores, during which the team saw substantial sales lift and shopper engagement for both suppliers and retailers. Category-specific ads run on tablets placed on shelf, and still image “featured product ads with pricing” encourages shoppers to tap for additional information about the product or associated recipes. Shopper engagement is tracked, and suppliers typically realize double-digit incremental sales when advertising on Sellr, while retailers see 1%-2% total store sales revenue increases with the Sellr digital network.

Miller also led efforts as it launched ad conquesting, which enables advertised brands to market over non-advertised brands as shoppers browse, scan or search for competitor products.

The next big trend in retail media is: The incorporation of AI capabilities — for retailers to better understand shopper demand trends, for consumers to identify new products based on previous purchases, and for suppliers to personalize ad content to shoppers based on their shopping habits.

The most exciting opportunity in retail media is: Precision marketing through technology. Opt-in consumers already get highly targeted content, but technology will become more sophisticated to aim content to “likely” shopper demographic profiles. Although anonymized to protect individual privacy, it will become more precise to the audience based on a growing combination of data inputs.


Joey Petracca
Chief Operations Officer & Co-Founder

Joey Petracca leads the creation, development and positioning of all of Chicory’s contextual commerce advertising solutions. He and his co-founder started the company in 2012 to help people more easily cook their favorite recipes at home, but they have expanded to building shoppable technology and solutions. Over the past year, he managed the building and development of two new products: Branded Cart and Featured Retailer. Branded Cart prioritizes a particular brand’s product at the add-to-cart stage of Chicory’s Recipe Activation experience — its signature shoppable recipe button. Featured Retailer offers different retailers a special visual spotlight at the retailer selection step of the experience. Both products seamlessly integrate marketing tactics into the e-commerce experience, enhancing the shopper experience and generating incremental revenue for retailers and publishers.

In developing and advancing in-recipe, contextual advertising technologies, the company helps CPG brands and retailers more easily reach high-intent shoppers and win the basket off-site, without the use of consumer data.

The next big trend in retail media is: Contextual commerce, which seamlessly integrates high-intent contextual moments and commerce experiences to drive consumers through the purchase funnel. The combination of these elements creates a powerful tool for expanding retail media beyond a retailer’s website without relying on cookies or online identifiers.

The future of retail media is: Solutions-based advertising, which focuses on understanding and catering to the broader context and needs of consumers. In the realm of CPG and grocery, consumers rarely engage in “spearfishing,” where they seek out specific individual products. Their purchases are inherently bundled and driven by the solution they’re seeking.


Nicole Rainey
Senior Retail Media Manager
Mars Wrigley

Nicole Rainey coordinates media planning and buying across national media and shopper marketing for Mars Wrigley, collaborating with her cross-functional teams to develop fully integrated media plans. She facilitated a process across Mars Inc. segments in 2021 to align on joint areas of opportunity with customers’ retail media networks, for which she and the Mars Inc. team partnered with RMNs on mutual growth opportunities, unlocking significant value for the business. Rainey went on to design and launch an improved retail search strategy for Mars Wrigley U.S. in 2022. To do so, Rainey took a bottoms-up approach, rooted in data, to build a business plan that maximized sales, returns and brand growth, and earned the support of leadership.

More recently, Rainey has developed a process for evaluating RMNs’ upper-funnel offerings to drive brand growth. She continues to focus on working to ensure the company’s national investment with RMNs is mutually meaningful to Mars and the network, and she works with her cross-functional teams and agency partners to build a process for partnering with RMNs to test their ability to deliver on national media goals.

The next big trend in retail media is: With the anticipated growth in retail media network investment coming from national media, coupled with RMNs needing to improve their reach-based media offerings, we may continue to see RMNs partnering with traditional media/streaming partners.

The most exciting opportunity in retail media is: The connection between Ads teams and Retail teams — a big area of opportunity in this space, both on the brand side and the retailer side. As media investment increases and the traditional path to purchase collapses, it will be more important than ever for them to be synchronized and ensure that inventory can keep up with the increased traffic to the retailers.


John Storms
Senior Director - Head of Sales & Business Development
Lowe’s One Roof Media Network

Lowe’s One Roof Media Network launched in 2021, with John Storms joining the team in early 2022. Since then, he has been a cornerstone of the organization, helping lead and build a retail media network client services team that champions the principles of Lowe’s. His extensive retail and media experience has helped Lowe’s One Roof Media Network achieve new revenue heights.

Storms implemented a client-centric playbook for growth by focusing on building strong relationships with both external brand and agency partners, as well as internal cross-functional partners, such as the merchandising team, to ensure all full-funnel media solutions fit the needs of the brand, category assortment and the customer. In accelerating year one program adoption, he leaned into his prior experience as a merchant to evangelize the importance of retail media and connection to driving mutually beneficial results for merchants and their brand partners.

The next big trend in retail media is: A connected off-line and online retail media offering that seamlessly invites brands to reach customers wherever they are in their digital or physical shopping journey in a frictionless and native way.

The most exciting opportunity in retail media is: Climbing up the funnel. Lowe’s sees its next big opportunity with off-site channels like connected TV, streaming audio and digital out-of-home. Reaching customers along this journey is critical to driving traffic to the store and website.


Nich Weinheimer
Executive Vice President, Strategy

Nich Weinheimer leads the Skai Retail Media platform, managing more than $1.5 billion in retail media spend. He has been with the company for nearly six years, leading strategic partnerships and business development, e-commerce and, most recently, strategy since he assumed his current post in August 2021. This past year, he oversaw the launch of Skai’s omnichannel platform for walled gardens as well as an exclusive strategic partnership with retail search analytics platform, Analytic Index.

As key retailers have become digital publishers, it is common for them to limit the data they will openly share with brands advertising on their sponsored listings. Third-party data providers that develop proxy signals, like Analytic Index, provide brands and agencies the suite of data they need to augment retailer data sets in their efforts to understand share of voice, estimated sales and traffic, etc. Weinheimer leads the company’s efforts to continue the evolution of retail media as it drives top retail media performance for the brands and agencies leveraging Skai’s automation, cluster bidding algorithms and tools for scale. Additionally, he leads strategic direction and development of Skai’s retail media operating system for retailers.

The next big trend in retail media is: Retailers monetizing first-party data in walled gardens. This powerful handing-of-the-keys to the brand with the requisite control and transparency ushers in an extremely valuable and measurable performance media type that previously was unclear for the brand. This is changing the game.

The most exciting opportunity in retail media is: Clean rooms to measure full funnel. These solutions allow brands and retailers to collaborate “behind the firewall” and get the aggregate insights and measures that allow the advertiser to build a data-driven argument for future investment, and for retailers to capture growth and upside without betraying their privacy promises to the consumer.

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