Five Lessons Learned from Launching and Scaling Retail Media

7 min read ·

Jul 20

Arjen Heida

Recently we partnered with Retail Gazette to deliver a webinar on launching and scaling retail media. The focus of this session was to explore the highs and lows across our careers when it comes to retail media, allowing participants to pick our brains on navigating the landscape. From that webinar, we’ve compiled five lessons learned from launching and scaling retail media, presented below to provide insights as you continue along your journey.

1. Determine the achievable size of the prize

Before diving into the retail media business, it’s essential to assess the potential revenue and determine the price points that allow for breaking even on setup costs. Conduct a thorough analysis of market demand, competition, and the value your retail media offerings can bring.

By understanding the achievable size of the prize, you can ensure a sustainable business model that covers your expenses while remaining attractive to advertisers. The right number for your business and organisation is crucial to rally the troops and get the much-needed support from your board and other key stakeholders.

2. Build a retail media-centric organisation

To succeed in retail media, it’s crucial to align your organisation’s structure, processes, and goals with the industry’s unique requirements. There are two specific examples that we’d like to highlight.

First, from a ‘supply’ perspective: To ensure growth, it is vital to align objectives and closely collaborate with your marketing and UX departments. This collaboration will ensure that you have an ample supply of high-quality inventory (i.e., display, banner, video ads) available to meet your business’s demands.

Second, from the ‘demand’ perspective: It is likely that some friction may arise between the newly formed retail media teams and the existing purchasing/buying teams. Allocate time and effort to establish an optimal working approach and incentivisation strategy that’s tailored to your specific situation. Doing so can maximise value creation while minimising any potential conflicts or challenges.

3. Think deep but execute fast on tech

Embracing technology as a core component of your retail media strategy is critical. While a thorough analysis and understanding of the available technological solutions are essential, executing quickly to stay ahead of the competition is equally important.

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing”, is a quote that resonates with us. Try to minimise the cost of delay by executing on 80% certainty, and recognise that you may need external expertise to navigate the rapidly evolving retail media landscape. Leverage their insights to optimise your technology infrastructure and capabilities.

Data analytics is a critical component of a successful retail media business. By owning and effectively leveraging your data, you can offer valuable insights to both your organisation and your advertisers.

4. Always keep the shopper front of mind

The shopper experience should remain the focal point of your retail media business.

We recommend enhancing the shopper journey by providing value through personalised and relevant advertising experiences. Avoid compromising the shopper experience with intrusive or irrelevant ads.

In doing so, you should continuously monitor and adapt your retail media strategies based on shopper feedback and evolving consumer preferences. This will secure long-term success.

5. Invest heavily in data analytics and own your data

Data analytics is a critical component of a successful retail media business. Ensure you invest in robust analytics capabilities to gather, analyse, and derive actionable insights from data related to shopper behaviour, preferences, and advertising performance. By owning and effectively leveraging your data, you can offer valuable insights to both your organisation and your advertisers, improve targeting, optimise campaigns, and drive better results.

Establish strong data governance practices to ensure data privacy and security while maximising the value derived from your data assets. And finally, ensure that you have full ownership of your data when collaborating with external tech vendors. This guarantees that the data remains under your control, making it easier to change tech vendors in the future and ensuring that all the data history and insights can be used by you going forward.


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