I sit down with Nicole Kivel, Managing Director of Northern Europe at Criteo, to dissect the burgeoning field of retail media. Nicole, an early evangelist of retail media who successfully launched HookLogic Sponsored Products to the European market, brings a wealth of experience and insights to the table. The episode is a deep dive into the complexities, challenges, and opportunities that retail media presents in today’s advertising landscape.
The conversation kicks off with Nicole and Neil discussing the pivotal role of in-store data for retailers. Nicole argues that this data can serve as a unique selling proposition, especially when competing with online behemoths like Amazon. She emphasizes that leveraging in-store behavior can make retailers stand out in a crowded media market, citing the UK as a strong player in this area with companies like Boots, Tesco, and Sainsbury’s all having robust loyalty programs.
As the dialogue progresses, the focus shifts to the need for standardization, transparency, and self-service capabilities in retail media. Nicole believes that these elements are crucial for attracting agency budgets and for the seamless integration of retail media within the broader advertising ecosystem. She and Neil delve into the importance of being easy to buy and enabling access to data while also protecting it. They highlight the need for retailers to move away from a ‘walled garden’ mentality to unlock greater value for both advertisers and retailers online.
The conversation then turns to the issue of fragmentation in the retail media landscape. Nicole points out that while the space is fiercely competitive with new entrants appearing all the time, it’s crucial for retailers to present a unified front. She stresses the importance of common currencies, common ways of doing business, and a common language to ensure success. Failing to address this fragmentation, she warns, could cut 20% from the $42 billion on the table for retail media.
Towards the end of the episode, Nicole and Neil explore the balance between technological investment and human expertise in managing complex retail relationships. They discuss the importance of understanding customer data and loyalty schemes, and Nicole shares her belief that to capitalize on the golden opportunity that retail media presents, retailers need to embrace more standardized practices.
This episode is a must-listen for anyone interested in the evolving world of retail media. It offers a nuanced perspective on the challenges and opportunities in the field, making it a valuable resource for advertisers, retailers, and agencies alike.
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