29 July 2020
Our penultimate post in this series looks at the core elements of a Retail Media blueprint – one of the final steps along the way to turning your ideas into reality.
From rate cards to production timescales, creative specifications to measurement and metrics, a Retail Media blueprint goes one step beyond a business plan by providing a concrete view of the proposition(s) you intend to launch to the market.
There’s much more to a great design blueprint than just outlining your offering, however; it can also help you negotiate some of the final stumbling blocks that can stand between you and the successful launch of a Retail Media operation.
Mapping a course through uncharted territory
The primary role of a blueprint is to cement the costs, logistical requirements, and potential value of your offering. A well-designed blueprint can help you with everything from anticipating the market response and generating demand, to how to price, promote and differentiate your proposition.
While understanding these factors holds value in and of itself, building them out in this way can also help you navigate some of risks that any innovation project presents. From delays and unanticipated costs, to a proposition that fails to meet the market, a detailed blueprint can help you sidestep your biggest hurdles before they appear.
When we’re helping our Retail partners design their own blueprints, we do so by approaching it at both macro and micro levels. That’s because answering some of the smaller questions can provide the data you need to answer the bigger ones, too – questions like:
Let’s look at what we need to know in order to provide those answers.
At the macro level, a Retail Media blueprint tends to be divided into three areas.
We looked at some of the factors involved in developing a Retail Media business plan in our previous post in this series. The key difference here, however, is that conclusions based on broad assumptions will no longer suffice. At the blueprinting stage, you’ll need a comprehensive and detailed breakdown of the expected costs, revenues and profitability of your Retail Media operation.
Something else that will likely have been explored to some degree in the development of a business case, your go-to-market strategy helps to define how you intend to launch your Retail Media proposition to potential advertisers. This is where we help our Customers answer questions such as how they can best involve their CPG partners, and how they’ll price some of the packages they offer.
It’s difficult to overstate the importance of keeping key stakeholders informed about the successes and setbacks of your Retail Media activity; as we noted in our first post in this series, senior decision makers all the way up to the CEO are likely to have a vested interest. A solid governance stream can help to ensure clear visibility, fewer surprises, and faster sign-off on elements like pricing and the creative principles behind your programme.
If some of the elements above still feel amorphous – pricing, costs, and creative principles, for instance – micro planning can be a huge help in firming up the finer details. Planning at the micro level is heavily focused on the logistics and processes that underpin your Retail Media programme.
This side of the blueprint is best explored on a channel-by-channel basis, covering all seven of the elements below in as much detail as possible.
Whether digital or physical, defining and documenting exactly what assets are for sale will play a major role in helping you scope out things like logistics, costs, and potential revenues.
Commonly calculated by cross-referencing your inventory with the relative importance of each asset, the rate card dictates what advertisers need to pay to promote their products in that specific space.
Having a pre-defined creative template serves to give advertisers clear guidance on whether they have complete creative freedom or must adhere to an existing, often co-branded, framework.
Inextricably linked to inventory, end-to-end delivery revolves around the logistics of having advertising materials produced, shipped and displayed in-store – or, for digital assets, delivered in real-time to the right Customers.
Targeting and measurement frameworks
From Customer perceptions to end purchases, CPG advertisers will increasingly demand provable ROI and detailed insight on campaign performance alongside the inventory itself.
From new hires to the redeployment of existing staff into new or evolved roles, your blueprint should provide a map of key roles and responsibilities.
Additional data requirements
Where any data gaps in your coverage or capabilities exist, your blueprint should set out your plans for addressing and augmenting those areas.
While there’s no magic formula for a perfect Retail Media blueprint, addressing the issues above is likely to help you answer any final questions that might linger. Information and insight are key, especially when combined with the experience of an external partner than can help benchmark your own capabilities against that of the wider industry.
With that in mind, in our next and final post, we’ll look at the issue of outsourcing, and how it can help Retailers reduce the risk of getting their own media business up and running.