I wish I had known then what I know now

Over the past 12 months since joining Nectar360, I’ve embarked on a rollercoaster ride. From navigating my first Black Friday to grasping the immense opportunities of working for a leading Retail Media Network, it’s been quite a journey. An ex-colleague from when I worked in brand marketing asked me about the transition from poacher to gamekeeper, I thought about it and then said.
“Wow, I wish I had known back then what I know now!”

Marketers consistently face an age-old challenge: understanding the impact of marketing spend on the bottom line. Quantifying this impact can be tricky, often relying on claimed purchase and behaviour shifts extrapolated to sales correlations over extended periods. Complex media mix models attempt to explain how media investments affect share growth in the medium to long term. While these models inform overall investment decisions, they don’t precisely define the relative benefits at a tactical and channel investment level.

Unravelling individual channel performance can be challenging

In the past, our media choices were straightforward: Do we have enough investment to go above the line on TV or for out-of-home advertising, or should we spend more on the physical experience, closer to the shopper? However, today we are confronted by a multitude of channels (over 80 within the Nectar360 ecosystem alone), each growing in sophistication and interconnectedness. Unravelling individual channel performance can be challenging, getting it wrong risks wasting precious investment.

The scale and richness of the data gleaned from billions of retail and loyalty interactions now allow marketers to gain a much clearer understanding of the tangible impact their communications have on actual behaviour. This understanding ultimately helps in planning marketing campaigns with more than a degree of certainty. Gone are the days when we could rely solely on claimed purchases—we all know how flawed or nuanced that can be.

Fast forward to today: Over the last year, I’ve witnessed the value that Nectar360 teams bring to brand owners, media planners, and creative agencies. They support marketers in answering the million-dollar question: “What will this investment actually deliver?” I’ve observed this not only at an individual channel level, assessing placements, creativity, and calls to action, but more excitingly, I’ve seen how using retailer data targeting as a core long-term strategy can lead to more efficient brand media planning across the full communications and marketing investment mix.

Blinkered to the sheer seismic impact

So, why do I wish that I had known then what I know now? Simply put, I was blinkered to the sheer seismic impact that could be delivered by harnessing the depth and breadth of retail transaction, browsing, and loyalty data available today. The abundance of Nectar360 consumer insight allows us to work closely with brands across the wider marketing functions, it is not just the shopper and sales teams that now see the benefit of engaging with retailer media networks: Brand Managers, media buyers, planners and agencies all are waking up to the opportunity, and that’s what makes Retail Marketing an exciting industry to operate within.

We help nudge consumers along the full path to purchase with compelling messages served at the right time, in the right places to relevant audiences. Our goal is to build awareness, consideration, and ultimately support conversion. With a retail media network, the entire journey—from connected TV and out of home audiences, targeted digital and social advertising campaigns through to contextual in-store and online placements—can all be quantified and qualified based on real behaviour.

That’s why I wish I had known then what I know now! So, here’s to learning, adapting, and leveraging data to create more effective marketing strategies.

Graeme Mckenzie

– Client Director Argos Insights & GM Media

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