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    No data, No Dollars: Lessons from DCG’s Retail Media Benchmark Report, with Gregor Murray, VP of Strategy, Digital Commerce Global

    The three middle phases of Gartner’s Technology Hype Cycle are the Peak of Inflated Expectations, down into the Trough of Disillusionment, then up to the Slope of Enlightenment. When it comes to retail media, I think we are somewhere on our way down into the trough. But digital commerce advisory firm Digital Commerce Global, or DCG, has put out a retail media benchmark report that might just get us started towards the slope of enlightenment. Gregor Murray, VP of Strategy, Digital Commerce Global, joins the podcast to lay out some of the key takeaways that could impact how your organization thinks about your retail media investment strategy.


    Our transcripts are generated by AI. Please excuse any typos and if you have any specific questions please email

    Peter Crosby (00:00):

    Welcome to unpacking the Digital Shelf where we explore brand manufacturing in the digital age.


    Hey everyone. Peter Crosby here from the Digital Shelf Institute. The three middle phases of Gartner's technology hype cycle are the peak of inflated expectations, then down into the trough of disillusionment, then up to the slope of enlightenment. And when it comes to retail media, I think we are somewhere on our way down into the trough. But digital commerce advisory firm, digital Commerce Global, or DCG has put out a retail media benchmark report that might just get us started towards the slope of enlightenment. Gregor Murray, VP of strategy at DCG joins Lauren, Levi Gilbert, and me to lay out some of the key takeaways that could impact how your organization thinks about your retail media investment strategy. Gregor, welcome back to the DSI podcast. We're so delighted to have you back on.

    Gregor Murray (01:07):

    Great to be back with you again.

    Peter Crosby (01:09):

    Your firm recently published a retail media benchmark and it tackles the seven common challenges that manufacturers are facing with retail media. Are there really only seven?

    Gregor Murray (01:21):

    Yeah, I mean, we've consolidated them down into some general themes, but we had 75 global brands participate, 128 different participants across those brands. And yeah, it's delivered us a huge amount of insight, which we boiled down into these seven key themes. Now, appreciate we won't have enough time to talk through all of them today, but some of them are really interesting challenges that all manufacturers are facing right now when it comes to getting on top of what feels like a new thing in digital retail media, but actually something that's probably been around for another while.

    Peter Crosby (02:01):

    Well, yeah, let's dig. I wish we had time to cover it all, but let's definitely dig into the ones that sort of jumped out at us. And what's the first one that you want to,

    Gregor Murray (02:14):

    Probably the first one to talk about is data, right? So data is a really consistent theme of challenges for manufacturers access to data, particularly from the manufacturers, from the retailers in relation to digital retail media campaigns that have been executed, access to quality, consistent data. It's just not there at the moment. Now, I know that work has been done by a number of different bodies to try and standardize and make consistent some of that data feed, but manufacturers are being asked to invest a lot of money almost in the dark at the moment in terms of some of their digital retail and what they're getting back in timeframe. And so that was one of the challenges that came through in a really big way for us.

    Peter Crosby (03:07):

    And one of the things I think you said in the report was no data, no dollars, and because that's easier said than done when you're trying to push growth and this is the place to get incremental eyeballs and things like that. I'm just wondering, what do you mean by that sort of Les mis call to arms? What can brands do in 2024 to kind of hold defeat to the fire?

    Gregor Murray (03:39):

    So I know that that is a really bold statement. I was at grocery shop in Vegas and I was having conversations with a number of manufacturers, and this was becoming a common theme when it came to digital retail media we're being asked to invest a lot of money. We're not really getting anything back in return for it. It's almost a money disappearing into a black hole. Yeah, an interesting fact, 2020, Walmart made 20 billion in over half trillion turnover. Amazon made that same amount of profit just from digital retail media. Retailers want this money. It's really, really easy profit for them. Okay? Most retailers in the UK and Europe, I'm sure in America as well, they're sort of two to 4% margin businesses. When you can start adding in digital retail media at roughly 60 to 65% margin, those businesses become a lot more profitable very, very quickly. Retailers want this investment because it's easy money for them. I did sales training when I first started off my career, I was working for a big manufacturer and one of our sales trainers, he used to say to us, if you want to give stuff away for free, go work for a charity.


    Manufacturers are effectively being asked to give money away for free or to give money away based on trust us that this will grow your sales. Trust us that this will drive awareness. Trust us that if you put a sponsored ad or a display ad or build a brand page that's going to drive sales, that's going to drive conversion. It's almost being done on trust, and that just isn't good enough. It really, really isn't. And so I'm hearing a number of manufacturers saying that expression, or some words to that effect, no data, no dollars, and it comes from, I know one manufacturer in the UK who at a very senior level went to all of their retail customers and said to them, if you can't give us the data, we're going take the of money that you're asking, invest into your digital media, and we're going to spend it with Amazon because we can get the data from them. We don't care how bad the data is. We don't care how low the conversion numbers are. We don't really mind how low the traffic numbers are because it'll give us a benchmark to work from. It'll give us a starting point. They also said to the retailers, whatever we do, in order to positively influence these numbers, you can share it with all of your other supplier bases. And I know from speaking to that manufacturer that every single one of the retailers that gives,

    Lauren Livak Gilbert (06:33):

    Wow. Wow, that's huge.

    Gregor Murray (06:35):

    Yeah. Now, granted, they had to do it at a very senior level, so this wasn't a account manager to buy a conversation. This was a really, really senior level conversation, which was give us the data. We're not going to hold your feet to the fire. We're not going to try and retrospectively take investment back from you, give us the data and then work with us to improve the metrics and then improve it for everybody. And there's a lot to be gained from that, but it is a really brave thing to do. It is a really, really brave step. And in order to do it, you have to have a really engaged senior leadership team. They need to understand digital commerce, they need to understand the marketplace, and they need to understand digital retail media. And unfortunately, one of the things that our benchmark has shown us is that level of senior leadership knowledge just isn't there. And there's some staggering differences between the manufacturers whose senior leadership team do get digital retail media and the ones that don't.

    Lauren Livak Gilbert (07:42):

    And that's the next one you wanted to dive into, Gregor, around educating leadership, educating the broader organization on digital. So do you have any numbers or insight around which or how many manufacturers are doing that well or not doing that well and what the consequences are?

    Gregor Murray (07:56):

    Yeah, so in preparation for this, I've dug into the data and I've found some statistics and some numbers that we've never shared with anybody before. So they are exclusive to this podcast.

    Lauren Livak Gilbert (08:07):

    Thank you.

    Gregor Murray (08:10):

    Of the 28 participants, we have 30% of them, broadly speaking. So 38 said that their senior leadership team genuinely understand the opportunities and the challenges of digital. So 30% do 70% don't. When you start digging into some of the questions that we have asked and the differences between those that do and those that don't, the numbers become quite staggering. So for example, in the group where the 30%, the leaders do understand in that group, they're typically growing in the market 13.8%. For the 70% that don't, it's 8.1%. Wow. So there is a significant difference just in growth levels alone between an engaged leadership team to understand the challenges and a leadership team that doesn't. When you start looking at some of the really important things around digital retail media, like are you able to negotiate discounts with the retailers in return for media discounts from rate card of the group where the leaders do get it, 50% are negotiating sizable discounts off of rate card and the group that don't, it's 29%. When you look at, we asked, one of the questions was around, are you investing the right amount of money into digital retail media? And that 30% where the senior leaders do understand digital retail media, 42% believe that they're investing the right amount into digital retail media in the group that don't. And the 70% of others that numbers just 4%, 4% believe that they're investing the right amount into digital retail media. The other 96% say they're not investing anywhere near enough to be able to deliver their expectations.

    Peter Crosby (10:05):

    First of all, those numbers are stunning, and we are honored by the exclusive or at least the first to release. But do you have a sense of what characteristics, what digitally retail, media savvy senior leadership means? Do you have a sense of what that looks like at these companies? What level are we talking about? Is it that, yeah, anyway, I'll just stop the question there.

    Gregor Murray (10:34):

    So I mean, that's a really interesting question. I don't think anybody including us has defined what level of understanding a senior leader needs to have of digital commerce. What we know is that the vast majority of manufacturers really senior, the top teams, the C-suite and others, they haven't come up through digital commerce. They've come up through traditional commercial or marketing or supply chain or finance backgrounds, big box retail, wholesale, that type of thing. They've not come up through their career in digital commerce. I always like to say people invest in what they understand. Okay, so I don't understand NFTs. I've never got why a digital cartoon of a gorilla can be worth millions of pounds, and yet a picture that my daughter draws for me isn't worth millions of pounds. Just don't get it. I do understand art though, and my house is full of pictures. If you could see all of the rooms in my house, I have this saying, walls don't want to be naked. It drives my wife mental because I'm constantly buying pictures to put up on our walls, and we just bought a new house basically, so I can

    Peter Crosby (11:46):

    Expand, so my husband and I and you and your wife need to go on a double date and I will talk to your wife because my husband covers every inch of our walls and storage spaces with our, it brings great joy to my life. But yes, it's a, I'll see you sometime. We will have a dinner.

    Gregor Murray (12:08):

    My point in making that, giving that example around art is we can't expect the senior leadership team in any organization to step into debates, to step into arguments with retailers, to have the confidence to go to those top to tops and say the types of things like, you don't give us data. We're not going to invest money unless they have the knowledge, unless they have the skills, the experience, the institutional knowledge and the background to be able to say, this is what we need. And if the manufacturer isn't sitting down and saying, this is what we need in return for our investment, we need access to data, we need visibility, we need to know that actually there's a degree of potentially incrementality to this. We need to know that it's going to be executed. We need to know how your algorithm works so that we can optimize our media for it.


    If manufacturers don't have that shopping list of what it's that they want in return for their investment, they're effectively giving money free. I'll give you another one of the statistics. We straight away and supply of adequate, correct for that 30% where the senior leadership team, say, the respondents say their leadership team understand digital commerce, 56% believe that they have access to adequate data from retailers in the 70% that don't. That figure is just 13%. So there is a direct correlation there that says if your senior team understand what it's that they're asking for, you can get it. If they don't understand what they're asking for or if they're not engaged in asking for it, you're not going to get that data from the retail at the moment.

    Lauren Livak Gilbert (14:00):

    Did you see any characteristics of the organizations that said they felt like they had a leadership team who understand digital around whether it's a formal education program, whether it's shared goals, whether it's bringing in external speakers, were there any things that stood out in the conversations or the questions that you think could be helpful for a brand that's maybe in the 70% to move over to the 30%?

    Gregor Murray (14:28):

    I mean, that's another really interesting question. So it's a difficult one to answer because again, nobody has defined what a senior leader needs to know about digital comments. We know that in that group where the senior leaders are engaged, they tend to be more likely to run regular review sessions of things like test and learn. They're running regular reviews of the activations that they have done. They're taking learnings from them and they're implementing, they're the organizations that are more likely to celebrate learning than success. Now, I've worked for a number of manufacturers. Everybody likes to get together at their quarterly or half yearly meeting and talk about the successes that they've had. And everybody talks about, I did this and I this much, but you read any of Jeff Bezos's books or any of the writings that he does, he wants Amazon to be the best organization in the world to fail.


    He wants them to experiment. They wants them to learn and understand and fail and then try again and try again in order to build success. And yet, Amazon Marketplace, which now represents over 60% of their global sales, is the third or fourth iteration of a failure in their business. But they kept going and they made it work. I mean, he admits himself Amazon Auctions, which they launched as a competitor. eBay had seven customers and two of them were his parents. But Amazon Auctions became Amazon Marketplace, which is now 60% of their sales with zero inventory costs with next to no people actually needed to work in it. They're taking a commission, they're not having to do marketing, they're not having to do advertising. They just take a commission from other people's platform. You've got to experiment. You've got to test and learn. And in that grouping, that 30%, they're more inclined to do that learning piece and create institutional knowledge. And institutional knowledge is what is so important because it means that if somebody gets hit by a bus tomorrow, your entire business doesn't just fall apart.

    Peter Crosby (16:46):

    Yeah. So much of that is why the DSI exists in this market. It's because of the curiosity, the responsibility that our audience, the digital and e-commerce audience feels for constantly learning. And I think I, Gregory, you've been there, and Lauren, you too, you can tell me, but there's something different when your business is relying on decisions that are made, I dunno, once every six months when you do changes in the store where the risk tolerance is much lower because you have to get it right those two times that year versus when you are competing with an algorithm, you have all sorts of opportunities to test and learn and optimize. And I think that raises your tolerance for risk because your opportunity to recover from it are much more rapid. And because it's where a lot of the growth is still coming from, the company's willing to tolerate that more because that's where the opportunity is. Does any of that make sense to you?

    Gregor Murray (17:57):

    Well, yeah, it absolutely does. And I'll tell you one other thing that more engaged leadership group is more likely to tolerate as well, is we hear a lot about digital commerce's margin diluted. So a lot of products don't get launched digitally because they don't make as much profit as they would do in store. There's a lot of challenges to launching online exclusives or doing online exclusive activations because it's not as profitable as doing it in a standard retail base. That group, that 30% group, they're more tolerant of doing activations at a lower margin point. And that's a really difficult thing for a lot of manufacturers to get their head er around. Well, actually we're set up to try and create 40% margin, 30%, 50%, whatever it might be. We don't launch MPDs unless it's going to hit that target or we don't do activations unless it's going to hit that margin threshold.


    But in digital comm, sometimes you've got to do stuff just to see whether it works. You've got to do stuff just to find out what the p and l might be so that you can then work on making it profitable once it has scaled. And the interesting thing about most manufacturers is that find me a manufacturer, one of the big ones like a Mars or a Nest layer or any of that that started out a hundred years ago with that, we're not going to do anything unless we make 50% margin on it. It wasn't like that. They created products and they started selling them and they got bigger and they got more scale, and they found ways to make more profit. Same with retailers. Walmart, target cost code didn't start out saying, we're going to make 8% margin if we don't, we're just not going to bother.


    They started selling products. They the things that sold, they made their money, they scaled. And in digital hummus, we need to do the same. The reason why Walmart, bricks and mortar or Tescos and bricks and mortar is more profitable than digital commerce. It's been around for a hundred years. The supply chain is established, the marketing is established customer. You don't need to advertise Walmart as a retailer, your advertising the products that they're sell, because everybody knows where Walmart is. Digital commerce is getting there, but it's going to take time, but it's going to be accelerating quickly, continuously as well for the future. So it's an important thing to have a tolerance of is actually sometimes digital commerce isn't going to make the margins that get the rest of your business, and you've just got to push on through because you won't get to those margins unless you try.

    Lauren Livak Gilbert (20:42):

    I so well said, Gregor, because I think back to my time in the brand world, and you're talking about companies who, to your point, have been doing the same thing for 150 plus years. There is a cookie cutter framework that is followed, and it is successful, and it has been successful for so long that I think sometimes we forget how hard it is to shift a massive barge in a different direction since it's been going in the same direction for so long. Peter, the point about risk is so heavily tied to context. If I think back into a conversation I had to have with my legal team around SEO and how we had to write our content differently for commerce, there was just a massive gap in context where they thought about it as a written document that would never change, and we couldn't update, and it wasn't live. And it was, once we shared that context, it was so much easier to make that change happen. But in order to be comfortable with risk, you really have to understand the atmosphere. You have to understand why it's happening. And that's a really big factor in moving these organizations forward. But e-commerce has only been around for about 30 years, right? We're figuring it out still, the time to test and learn

    Gregor Murray (22:04):

    At the same time, it's been around for 30 years. It's not new. It's been around for three quarters of my life. It's not new, but it's still treated as if it's this weird box that's over in the corner. And a lot of people don't understand it. One of the other things that came out of the digital retail media benchmark, and some of the other benchmarks that we've done as well, is manufacturers in this traditional approach, they're very top down. They like to plan, they like to invest, they like to build capabilities and resources and everything top down. But digital commerce is a bottom up discipline. It's led by the customers. They choose where they're, and all, we want to talk about incrementality in a few minutes for sure. You're going to ask me a question about incrementality, but the simple truth is this is where customers are, and it's your job to figure out how to make satisfying their needs, their missions, their journeys profitable for your business. Bottom up is difficult for manufacturers is why a lot of these common challenges exist in digital media and other parts of digitalcommerce, but it's a bottom up discipline, and that's taking a long time to adapt to.

    Peter Crosby (23:24):

    So in the meantime, they're investing a ton of money in this effort of retail media. And I'd love to know what your benchmarks are telling you about what's going on with that cash, where's it coming from? Who's making the decisions, all of that. What are you

    Gregor Murray (23:44):

    Seeing? So as part of the benchmark, we asked manufacturers where their budget was coming from. So is it new budget? Is it coming from sales? Is it coming from, is it coming from marketing budgets? In which case, what part of the marketing budget is it coming from? Is it coming from a trade or shopper marketing? And the simple answer is right now, there is no consistency at all, even between the high mature manufacturers and the low mature ones, between the ones within that 30% group of really aware leaders versus the 70%, there is no, there's no consistency whatsoever. The one interesting thing that has come out of it though is that around about 17, 18% of the digital retail media budget is coming from new budget. And that is both really exciting for manufacturers, but it's also a massive challenge for manufacturers because new budget isn't sustainable at all.


    And when you've got a large number of manufacturers who say, we're not spending enough on digital retail a year in order to compete with our competitive set in order to keep up with our category, and 20% of it's coming from new budget, and you're saying you want more, it's only going to get more margin diluted. So one of the other things that we asked as part of the media benchmark was how do you think digital retail media stacks up against traditional media channels? And we asked about TV and radio and newspapers and billboard advertising and a whole host of other traditional media channels that most manufacturers will use as part of their marketing. And while we're seeing that TV is still number one, very leaps and bounds ahead of digital retail media in terms of its belief and effectiveness, digital retail media is already believed to be more effective than radio.


    It's already believed by our respondents to be more effective than traditional print media. And that is an opportunity for manufacturers to look at those budgets and readjust them and say, do you know what? Actually, we're going to take some money away from the airwaves. We're going to take some money away from traditional print. We're going to put it into digital media rather than trying to create new budget. The other really interesting thing that comes out of it is this ownership piece, because we didn't just ask where the budget was coming from, we asked who owns different parts of the budget and different parts of the process. And again, there was no real consistency coming out except for when you look at the fastest growing and the most mature manufacturers within the dataset, where in this case, the budget is typically owned by marketing, it's owned as part of the marketing mix model.


    The execution is done in partnership between digital commerce teams and commercial teams. So digital commerce teams are typically the ones who are suggesting which media challenge should be used based on customer journey mapping, media receptivity, and other impacts from digital commerce. And the commercial teams are the ones that are then going away negotiating the packages with the retailers, trying to get the most for the money, trying to get the most discount, et cetera, et cetera. And then you've got the insights function who are owning, doing reviews of every single one of these. And for that fastest growing data dataset and for the most mature within our dataset, that seems to be where the ownership sits.

    Lauren Livak Gilbert (27:30):

    Now, I'm hearing that a lot of the organizations that I've been talking to are saying that their budget is remaining flat. Now, you said there's a lot of new budget now. Are you seeing that they're looking to project higher budgets for the next X number of years and they're incorporating that into the broader core budget? Or is it just, Hey, this is a one-time thing to experiment. I'm bringing the new budget to see if it works. I'm just curious the differences between,

    Gregor Murray (27:55):

    So actually our data shows that in most cases, manufacturer's budgets have increased year on year. It was something like 65, 60 6% of

    Peter Crosby (28:05):

    Manufac for retail media, specifically

    Gregor Murray (28:08):

    For retail media specifically. What they weren't saying was, well, actually, our overall marketing budget has stayed the same. We've just put more into, so we dunno whether the overall marketing, the overall pot has increased or whether it's just the digital retail media piece. Personally, if it was me, if I was still working closely in a manufacturer and looking after this, I'd want to be looking at my marketing mix modeling and exactly where digital retail media should be fitting into it. Within that 30% group where the leaders are engaged, we're seeing that they're spending typically between eight and 16% of their media budget. The marketing budget on digital retail media for all of the other manufacturers is very inconsistent, and a lot of that is driven by some digital brands and some very traditional low penetration categories. But within that educated leadership set is typically somewhere between eight and 16% of their investing into digital utility of their overall marketing budget. And for me about now, that feels about right, depending on your category, depending on your penetration, that banding feels about, right. The retailers want more. They want a bigger choice always. They want easy. It is very easy profit for them. And that's why so many more are doing digital retail media now.

    Peter Crosby (29:36):

    No data. No dollars.

    Gregor Murray (29:38):

    Exactly. Exactly. No data, no dollars. If not getting something back in return, you shouldn't be investing.

    Lauren Livak Gilbert (29:45):

    So the million dollar question, you've already said the word incrementality. I'm just going to leave that there and let you take it. What did you find out?

    Gregor Murray (29:54):

    So there's a few things that I'll say about incrementality, and a lot of this comes from talking to manufacturers and just listening to what they've got to say. So the first is that in my view, manufacturers have been unduly focused on incre when it comes to digital retail media. They want to believe that it's going to be truly incremental. The truth is, it doesn't matter because customers don't care. Customers just want to buy the products that are going to satisfy their needs, their missions, and their journeys. There has never been a case in retail history ever where a customer has gone, you know what? I think I'll buy this product from Walmart rather than Target, because I believe the manufacturer makes more margin.


    It doesn't happen. So I think this incrementality thing is a bit of a fallacy. I really, really do. There's a few things that we need to talk about here. So firstly, retailers lose money on digital commerce at the moment. The vast majority of them still lose money. It's actually, when you think about it, it's in the retailer's best interest that the manufacturer invests in digital retail media, but get no sales off the back that whatsoever, because that way they're not likely to be losing money on the order. And it sounds really quite, it sounds a bit insultive and a bit counterintuitive, but it's actually true. If they're losing money on delivering groceries to your door rather than having you go to the shop, they don't really want you to be clicking and buying as a result. They just want you to be becoming more aware and then going into store and buying there instead.


    The second thing to say is that there is a lot of diminishing returns when it comes to digital return. The number of customers shopping, digital commerce is not increasing exponentially. It has done for a while, but it's not, it's starting to plateau. Customer penetration, market penetration is leveling off because of cost of living and a lot of other things, but the number of manufacturers advertising using digital retail media is increasing significantly because the retailers want the money. So as a result, you're getting customers who are more bombarded with messages, which makes each message less effective. There is a law of diminishing returns when it comes to digital retail media at the moment, and we're already seeing a lot of pushback from manufacturers. I was talking to one quite recently who was saying to me that they'd had a situation a few weeks before where the cost per click of a digital retail media ad was more than their sales value of their product.


    That doesn't seem right. That doesn't sound, I'm just going to, that sink's the thing. The cost to effectively buy the digital sale was more than they would've got back from selling the product. Wow. And that is astounding. I've heard a couple of manufacturers say to me that the cost per clicker than AD is more than their net sales value as well. This is because increased competition for media space is driving up the price of media, but their customer numbers aren't increasing exponentially. The other thing I'm going to say about incrementality is that you cannot think of digital retail media the same way that you think of Instore Media. In-store media is traditionally big lumps of cardboard with product on them that is designed to disrupt you and drive impulsive set. But digital commerce is not an impulsive media. It's an intent-based platform, it's intent-based purchase. People don't go onto Amazon and just sit at their laptop and browse for a bit. You go on, you use the search to determine what your intent is. You search for something very specific, and then you either choose to buy it or you don't. So it's not the same as walking past an FSDU or a prefilled chipper and going, Ooh, Bailey's is on discount. Other cream-based materials are available, but it's Christmas, right?


    It's not the same as walking past a piece of cardboard in a store and seeing a product and don't gel. What I think, I'll add that into my cart. So you get to this point where you say, well, actually, is it about incrementality at, and actually, I don't think it's actually, it comes down to, do you want the sale or not? Now, my view is if your cost per click is higher than your net sales value or even your retail sales value, the answer is categorically no, you don't. If you are likely to be spending in order to get a sale that you would've got anyway, then again, I would suggest, no, you don't. If you are doing digital retail media on top of a promotion, price discount, et cetera, et cetera, then there's probably a question mark as to whether you want to do or not as a result of the benchmark.


    I've done a lot of thinking and been trying to think of all of the reasons why you might want to do digital as a business. Most people say, I want to do it to gross. But we know that this question around income ality, so in my view, there are six reasons why you would do the media, and I call them the grades model, G-R-A-D-E-S, okay? Because it stands for grow your existing basket size, retain your existing customers, acquire new customers, drive trial, engage, lapse customers, and satisfy new mistakes. Those, for me, are the reasons why you would want to do digital retail media for your brands. And at that point, you start thinking differently about the way that you want to invest. So it shouldn't just be we're investing hundred grand, 200 grand, 50 grand, whatever it might be, because the retailer has asked us to invest into digital retail media. So let's do some search and some sponsored products, and we'll do some display ads. And there we go.


    When you start thinking about why you would want to do it, what your objective is, what the fundamental purpose is behind your campaign, then you start thinking very, very differently about what you want from the retailer and where you want to put your investment. Because it might not be right to put your investment into Walmart if what you want to do is drive. There are other retail platforms that you might want to use instead, if you want to retain existing customers, you would do very different media executions than if you want to attract new customers, or if you want to engage customers, or if you want to demonstrate your customers, you can satisfy different. So you then start becoming very, very strategic about how you want to use your digital media, how you use your executions, where you place your money, where you invest, what media channels you want to invest into.


    And if there's one thing that listeners take from this podcast from me, it's that retailers want more investment, but that doesn't mean you've got to give it. It's your money. And actually what retail media has done is it's almost changed some of the dynamic of negotiation between retailer and manufacturing power. The last 20 years or so, the power has mostly been with the retailers, but digital retail media because of the profitability impact that it gives to the retail, it's become a buyer'ss market. And so for the manufacturer, the opportunities there to be very, very clear in terms of what it is that we're trying to achieve, what you want to get out of your executions, where you want to place your investment, what you want to get back from it, and then to set your retailers some targets and review them with them after the end of the activation and say, well, this worked, this level of awareness or this level of conversion, it ain't good enough. And by the way, if you're not going to give us the data, you ain't going to get the dose.

    Peter Crosby (38:45):

    Well, Gregor, it certainly feels like one, that framework that you just described, and as you deepen your thinking, sounds like it might be another podcast or maybe even a report or both. But I look forward to the next level because we have so many folks come on here and talk about retail media, talk about what is the metric that's workable in this time where a lot of the traditional measurement, BRI is going away. And so I think there's something to dig into in your framework of, well, can you actually measure all of those things enough to, yeah, you can go try to do that, but will whether or not it worked? And each one of them has its own set of complexities, of course. And so it seems like a rich conversation for a future podcast, but I love your takeaway. And I would also say if I could share my takeaway, which is one that I've, and I know Lauren, you believe this as well, the data that you brought us about the senior leadership representation of digital commerce, once again, to me points out that our community, our listeners, are the folks that we are lucky enough to engage with every day must in fact be the future leaders of manufacturers and frankly, retailers or this whole thing's just not going to work.


    They need a seat at the table. And what I would love to do is if you can provide us with those points that you've brought out about that senior leadership cohort, and we'd love to share them with our audience. In addition, they can go and I'm sure see it in the report as well, to give ammunition for, Hey, we need to change the way we're thinking about this and start putting that message out. I think this is the moment, and you're providing some of the ammunition to push that narrative. What do you think?

    Gregor Murray (40:47):

    Yeah, I'd be happy to. I'll get them sent over so that you can share them through your social media and along with the report.

    Peter Crosby (40:54):


    Gregor Murray (40:55):

    Would be wonderful. I'm more than happy to. And we do a number of benchmarks throughout the course of the year, and we've always got a lot of insight and a lot of ammunition that we can provide to your listeners and to your members that they can then use in their conversations with the senior leadership team in order to build that engagement and give the leaders confidence to make the investment on Edge. Benchmark, which will go live at the end of January, 2024, is around digital shelf optimization. So second year that we've run it, it looks at data accessibility for digital shelf and critical capabilities that come with it and KPIs. It looks at understanding of those metrics within manufacturers and whether they believe that they have the tools and the ammunition to pull the levers and influence the KPIs. It looks at partner effectiveness, which is a really interesting one because a lot of digital shelf isn't delivered by the manufacturer itself. It's delivered through partners, and it looks at how manufacturers build competitive advantage as well. And once again, all of our benchmarks in this case, it's free to participate. You'll get the free report as a result of participating from it. The digital retail media one, I think had over a hundred different insights and actions that manufacturers can take from it. The digital shelf one will have broadly the same number as well. And it's all good inspiration of things that you can go and put to work in your organization straight away.

    Peter Crosby (42:27):

    Well, congratulations on the report and your ability to be able to engage that number of brands in these conversations. It's really valuable data, and again, if our listeners want that ammunition, go to to get this retail media report and future reports that come out. Gregor, thank you so much for sharing all these insights with me. We really appreciate it.

    Gregor Murray (42:56):

    Thank you for having me again, and I look forward to being back on the podcast again at some point in the future.

    Peter Crosby (43:01):

    Absolutely. Thanks so

    Lauren Livak Gilbert (43:02):


    Gregor Murray (43:04):

    Thank you.

    Peter Crosby (43:05):

    Thanks again to Gregor for all the data. Get all the latest research by becoming a Thanks for being part of our community.