Food & Drink Open Mic Retail Media

How digital retail media is transforming the relationship between brands and consumers



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February 23, 2024 | 8 min read

For The Drum's Food & Drink Focus, IAB UK interviews some members from its Retail Media Group to reveal the key to a successful strategy for the channel.

A retail shopping trolley amid a yellow background

As the retailer-customer relationship continues to evolve, more and more brands are looking to tap into the potential of retail media.

Brands are seeking more innovative ways to target their audience and cultivate brand loyalty, but what is the key to harnessing this channel? Here, members of the IAB’s Retail Media Group share their insights.

How is digital retail media transforming the relationship you have with your consumers?

The fluid journey of modern shoppers

Jessica Chapplow (managing partner, head of commerce, UKI, IPG Mediabrands Commerce): “We’ve been saying it for a while now, but today's shoppers orchestrate their experiences, moving fluidly between the digital and physical stages.

"Savvy brands are those that already understand how retail media is no longer encompassing different touchpoints in a shopper's journey; it's the compass that navigates, the spark that ignites curiosity and the bond that cements lasting relationships.

"Precisely targeted ads can help customers discover new products, learn about promotions, and stay informed about relevant news and trends, which can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, as well as drive repeat purchases.”

Crafting deeper customer connections

Lee Roberts (head of media sales, Tesco Media & Insights Platform): “As the way people shop continues to evolve, retail media powers the continual conversations brands need to have to build deeper customer connections. At its most powerful, it is delivering an omnichannel experience: telling a cohesive story beyond price, reaching customers throughout their purchase journey, in-store or online.

"In an increasingly competitive environment, innovative brands leverage the rich creative canvas retail media offers, applying data science to generate powerful insights that deliver personalization to the most relevant audiences. This combination of multiple touchpoints and unrivaled customer data enables brands to create exciting experiences and build more meaningful relationships with customers.”

Simplifying the consumer journey

Neil Robins (head of digital & media, Kenvue): “Consumers expect better experiences more than ever. As advertisers, we used to see ‘experience’ as the relevance of what they see, but that has now transcended into the convenience of what they want and how they get it. This is where retail media is unique. Beyond just showing suitable products and hoping consumers respond, we now simplify the journey to purchase, while having a better understanding of the drivers.”

Cultivating brand affinity

Paul Wright (head of Uber Advertising, UKI, Uber): “Retail media bridges the gap between intent and purchase like never before, connecting brands with consumers at the peak of buying intent. This fosters deeper brand-consumer connections, driving not just sales, but genuine brand affinity. But it's more than instant buys. By analyzing purchase data, retailers gain invaluable insights into consumer preferences and behaviors, and brands can tailor offerings, creating a personalized shopping experience that fosters trust and loyalty in a competitive landscape.”

Elevating brand-consumer bonds

Eric Brackmann (VP, commerce media, Koddi): “Using retail media, food & drink brands have new opportunities to reach consumers at the point of purchase and educate them about the value they deliver. Consumers increasingly expect and make decisions on the information they receive from retail media, making it important that food & drink brands consider carefully how they position themselves throughout the path to purchase in this important media channel.”

Can you share your key to a successful retail media strategy?

Tailored touchpoints

Kim Ludlow (head of international retail media sales, Microsoft Advertising): “A successful retail media strategy uses unique customer data and omnichannel tactics to personalize interactions with the retailer, meeting shoppers where they are and showcasing brand value. Whether in discovery offsite, decision onsite, or as consumers shop at brick-and-mortar stores, the most successful campaigns optimize across each interaction to engage shoppers throughout their journey.”

Maximizing impact

Katie Streeter Hurle (chief strategy officer, SMG): "Retail media can play several different roles in the total marketing mix - it can be a mass awareness channel (think of the reach potential of the average UK supermarket) and it can also offer highly-targeted, sophisticated activation.

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"Retailer first party data can be incredibly valuable, but also expensive, so be clear on the use cases within your business for it to play a role and work in partnership with the retail media networks to develop your plan as they're the experts in making these campaigns work.”

Seamless shopper journeys

Ceiley Paterson (associate director, OMG Transact): “A holistic approach is crucial in creating a successful retail media strategy, maximizing influence at critical touchpoints. Food and drink purchases often occur impulsively, and this more spontaneous decision-making can be facilitated by the integral relationship between retail and traditional media.

"A successful retail media strategy ensures seamless integration across channels and utilizes retailer data to position the most relevant advertisements throughout the consumer journey. Retail media simplifies the process, removing any digital dead ends and ensuring that purchasing is just a click away.”

Strong partnerships are key

Babs Kehinde (senior director, commerce, EMEA, PubMatic): “A successful retail media strategy relies on internal alignment to deliver a clear, easy-to-implement value proposition that meets business goals and advertiser needs. Strong partnerships with brands and agencies aid in understanding buy-side needs and achieving measurable objectives, especially in the early stages of implementation or test campaigns.

"Retailers can accelerate their growth in retail media by partnering with third-party technology providers that have a history and expertise rooted in media. Data monetization is important as they can be relied upon to merge data and technology, to drive efficient growth and overcome challenges in this emerging space.”

Food & Drink Open Mic Retail Media

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