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7 Tips to Raise Your Retail Game

Angela Myers
Angela Myers

The opportunities and challenges within retail media are immense and evolving at a rapid pace. It’s crucial to stay on top of the latest trends and best practices. Here are seven tips to act on now:

1. Prove your worth.

Waiting a month or more for broad reports doesn’t cut it anymore. As cookies phase out, measurement and attribution methodologies are changing. Retailers have an advantage here with their wealth of first-party sales data and advanced analytics tools. The ability to quickly help brands directly connect media spend to audience transactions and optimize in real time can help justify much larger investments.

2. Create adaptable tech.

Retail media can complement other media channels and help brands achieve their campaign objectives, KPIs, attribution windows and results. While standardization is needed, retail media technology needs to enable flexibility so brands can access data and set up metrics tailored to their goals whether that’s driving brand awareness, product sales or customer acquisition. The tech should fuel the strategy, not limit it.

3. Be customer-obsessed.

Retailers possess an unparalleled understanding of their customers – including their transactional history, engagement behavior, browsing behavior, demographic information and more. To stand out, retailers need to double down on these rich first-party insights and enable their teams to build actionable audiences, inform creative strategies and develop highly targeted, personalized media plans that drive engagement and purchase decisions. Retailers and brands that view customer obsession as their main differentiator will gain the lead.

4. Go fast.

Retail media is evolving at an incredible pace. Whether you’re many years into it or just getting started, your pace should aim to match the market’s pace. Test and learn, optimize your process and iterate on your measurement until you are satisfied with the results. 
Slow and outdated measurement stymies innovation. Retail media can and should provide a much faster feedback loop on advertising effectiveness compared to more traditional measurement methodologies that require longer time frames. This increased speed-to-insight is game-changing for brands that adapt swiftly and optimize their strategies in real time. It will separate the great from the good retail media networks.

5. Tear down those silos.

If the lines of your organizational structure weren't blurring before, surely they are now. To truly win at retail media, retailers need to create harmony between their retail media, brand marketing, data/tech teams and merchandising teams. It's no small endeavor, but it can be done when all teams are anchored in the same goals and using the same data. Sounds like magic, right? For brands to win, they need to set measurable, macro-level goals based on their advertising and marketing spend and work together to synchronize their cross-channel efforts to achieve success. 
With the explosive growth of retail media, much of this is being redefined in real time. While there is no standard approach, the larger networks and brands lead the way, forcing the rest of the market to pay attention and adjust. To maximize retail media’s impact, open dialogue between retailers, brands, agencies and ad tech partners can help drive alignment on best practices and optimizations that can propel continued innovation.

6. Leverage integrated insights.

The most sophisticated retailers and brands are beginning to leverage all their shopper, market and past campaign insights as the cornerstone of their media planning efforts – both within retail media and beyond. By unifying these insights, retailers can and should create sophisticated, data-driven approaches to developing actionable personas for use across all addressable communication. The focus is on actionable. This empowers brands to craft highly effective campaigns that provide contextually relevant experiences to consumers that resonate at every touchpoint.
The true transformational impact will be realized when brands create comprehensive media plans with this information as the guiding force, extending those target audiences and insights across all channels, including search, social, TV and out-of-home to maximize reach and impact.

7. Innovate to stand out.

Retail media should be held to the same standards and best practices as other digital media channels when it comes to viewability, fraud, brand safety and more. At its core, success in retail media requires achieving desired results and selling more products. It's the same way you evaluate TV or search campaigns.
Some standards are certainly required for retail media to scale efficiently. However, each retailer needs room to differentiate and provide custom solutions. Rigid standards can often limit flexibility and innovation and the ability to iterate. Especially for supplemental budget negotiations, retailers need to try harder to provide customized capabilities to brands that aren't locked into top partners.

What the Future Requires

As the retail media landscape continues to evolve, the tactics that prove successful today may look entirely different in a year. Retailers and brands that embrace these seven retail media lessons those that prioritize continual learning, demonstrate agility and swiftly iterate their strategies based on new insights will be able to connect with consumers in meaningful ways and navigate retail’s shifting terrain with confidence and creativity. They will have what it takes to make the bold moves required to propel the marketing industry forward in this exciting new era.

About the Author: Angela Myers is senior vice president of retail media at Goodway Group. She brings more than a decade of extensive industry experience in data and digital media with Datalogix and Oracle, where she most recently led as vice president, retail strategy and global brand direct sales. A dozen years of progressive growth in grocery retail from director of consumer insights to vice president of sales and marketing at A&P further solidified her expertise. With her retail knowledge, deep background in data architecture, analytics and unwavering customer-first approach, Myers is equipped to skillfully lead brand marketers and retailers through the dynamic changes in the retail media industry. All the while, she provides actionable insights clients need to grow and achieve meaningful results.

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