Walking Towards Retailers Cross-functionally on Retail Media is the Way to Win

Sainsbury’s Retail Media and Data charges have featured strongly in The Grocer in the last fortnight. There is a big opportunity that needs thinking about here and the party that walks towards it will win out.

Are retailers not running towards the CMOs to discuss retail media (instead keeping it within the domain of Customer Development) because they want to keep it out of direct comparison with other “above the line” media? Or are they holding back, waiting to combine the power of their data with additional test and learns, to justify and re-enforce the rate cards that are charged? As a Brand owner, I would want to be on the front foot, engaging in cross-functional dialogue between Sainsbury’s, Nectar360, my Customer Development and Brand Teams to unearth the right opportunities sooner rather than later. Focusing my efforts on specific stores where my brands needed the greatest support beyond promotional activity.

Huge amounts of money are being spent on low-redemption on-pack offers across a plethora of brands this summer, capitalizing on the Summer of Sport – the return on investment has always been negligible for all but the top 5% who do it brilliantly (like Walkers). But, when there are very few calendar events to anchor to later in the year, where will the money be spent? Price establishment rules mean promotions are maxed-out, many promotional mechanics are often better than half price. So, with retail media a key strategic imperative, get on the front foot and make it work for you. Don’t wait to be invited in for the “big ask”.

It is unclear why Nectar360 has publicised its desire to train agencies in the use of retail media (“Sainsbury’s Nectar360 to train agencies in use of retail media”, The Grocer 8 June 2024) with no open invitation to cross-functional teams within the brands owners, but I would suggest going closer to the decision makers would be a great additional step. So, let’s break down the barriers and get marketeer talking to marketeer and create greater connectivity between retailer and brand owner. It will speed up the process of getting to truly mutually beneficial retail media strategies.

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