UK retail media has come a long way over the past 12 months. This time last year it was just beginning to emerge as a serious contender for ad spend, with Boots launching its full-service ad agency Boots Media Group and Tesco unveiling its self-serve Tesco Media & Insight platform.
This year the market has snowballed. Sainsbury’s media and insight agency Nectar360 launched its own digital trading platform in August, while Morrisons unveiled Morrisons Media Group the following month. Asda, meanwhile, has continued to develop its Asda Media Partnerships proposition.
Offering their supplier FMCG brands access to their wealth of loyalty card and customer data to execute highly targeted ad campaigns across their online and offline touchpoints, all within a closed-loop attribution system, it’s no wonder brands, media agencies and analysts have become increasingly excited about the opportunity retail media offers. According to the IAB, UK advertising spend on the channel grew by 26% in 2022 to more than £3.4bn, up from £2.7bn in 2021. In October, Tesco revealed it is now working with over 450 consumer goods brands.
And it’s not just supermarkets striving to build this new revenue stream. Food delivery firms Deliveroo and Uber both launched advertising services this year, allowing brands to reach their customers in-app and through additional touchpoints. Last month Sky became Deliveroo’s first non-grocery advertiser partner, a milestone for the business.
Now, British broadcasters are eyeing the opportunity to turn retail media into a full-funnel experience. ITV has partnered with Boots and Tesco on its Matchmaker service, allowing the retailers’ supplier brands to enhance their targeting on video-on-demand (VOD) service ITVX and measure precise sales uplift. Channel 4 has launched a similar proposition with Nectar360, with PepsiCo brands Walkers Baked and Pepsi Max on board as launch partners, as well as McCain and L’Oréal.
There’s no question that a lot of work remains to be done. But despite a looming recession, the IAB expects the UK retail media market to grow 17% next year to just under £4bn, before reaching £7.9bn by 2026. MJ
The Lionesses’ historic Euros victory this summer has proved the catalyst for a stellar year of women’s sport.
A record breaking 17.4 million people watched England defeat Germany live on the BBC to clinch the nation’s first Euros win – in either the men’s or women’s game – with a further 5.9 million streams of the game via BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website and app.
These TV viewers were in addition to the 87,192 fans at Wembley Stadium, breaking the Euros attendance record for both the men’s and women’s tournaments.
Since then, more than a quarter (27%) of the 15.8 million new viewers of women’s sport in 2022 have gone on to watch more female sporting content inspired by the Lionesses’ triumph.
The historic win has helped grow the UK audience for women’s sport beyond just football. Data from the Women’s Sport Trust (WST) reveals 46% of new viewers to women’s sport in 2022 have gone on to watch women’s cricket, with a further 46% continuing to watch women’s football. This cohort of new viewers skews 16% under 35 and 47% female.
Excluding major international women’s football tournaments, a record 27.4 million people watched women’s sport in the UK on TV between January and September, up from 19.4 million in 2021.
The WST data does not include the record-breaking audience for the October fight between boxers Claressa Shields and Savannah Marshall. Sky’s largest-ever audience for a live broadcast of women’s sport, more than 2 million people tuned into the bout – 38% of whom were female.
As engagement with women’s sport goes from strength to strength, the key will be keeping the momentum going into 2023, growing both live and TV audiences, and encouraging brands to treat women’s sport with the respect it deserves. CR
Value has never been more important to consumers, with rising energy prices and the worst inflation in 40 years meaning people are having to stretch cash further and often getting less in return.
But the current climate has made way for certain brands to thrive. With food prices rocketing, the discounters in particular have had a stellar year. Both Aldi and Lidl have seen dramatic sales increases in recent months, as they attract a growing number of customers through their doors.
In what is a fiercely competitive sector, Aldi is growing at a faster pace than any of its supermarket rivals, with sales up by 24.4% in the latest 12-week period, according to Kantar. An additional 1.5 million households shopped at Aldi last month compared to 2021, helping to push its market share up to 9.3%. It has grown at such a rapid rate this year that in September Aldi overtook Morrisons to claim a coveted spot as one of the UK’s ‘big four’ supermarkets.
Aldi’s consistency and commitment to low prices has bolstered the brand’s value at a time when many consumers are struggling to make ends meet. Indeed, Aldi’s brand value shot up by 20% to $21bn (£18bn) last year, according to Kantar, making way for its return to the BrandZ Top 100 most valuable brands list. It was also named Brand of the Year at the 2022 Marketing Week Awards.
Fellow discounter Lidl has also seen rapid growth this year, helping it achieve its best ever market share in the UK in November. Lidl’s year on year sales increased by 22% over the latest 12-week period, pushing its market share to a record 7.4%.
The supermarket also claims to have attracted more than 770,000 new customers over the past year, and says shoppers have moved £58m away from the traditional supermarkets to its stores in the month to mid-November.
Buoyed by this growth, both retailers have continued to expand their store estates over the past year, each taking their totals up to nearly 1,000. Both have promised further investment in the coming years, with Aldi outlining its plans to inject £1.3bn into expanding its UK proposition, all sure-fire signs the one-time challengers are not done growing yet. LT
Innovation as a means to support price rises
Inflation has hit record levels in 2022. Given the rise in raw material and energy costs, many brands have been forced to increase prices. But with consumers in the midst of a cost of living crisis, brands have had a big job to do to persuade consumers that their products are worth the extra money and still offer value.
Marketing has a crucial role to play in this environment. In August this year, Johnnie Walker’s global marketing director, Chris Goddard, told Marketing Week the brand had no plans to pull back on its marketing spend in the current environment. “I think brands that win in times of volatility and challenge are those that really play on the offensive,” he said.
One way brands have been playing “on the offensive” is through investing in innovation to ensure value is delivered to consumers. FMCG giant Procter & Gamble said in August it was “close coupling” price increases with product innovation “whenever possible”.
Meanwhile, in an interview with Marketing Week in September, Mars Petcare’s European marketing director, Chris Rodi, echoed P&G’s approach and advised: “Marketers everywhere need to ensure they are focused on pushing innovation”.
Consumers want to see innovation in product lines, he said, even as money is tighter amid the cost of living crisis.
Another FMCG business backing innovation amid inflation is Britvic. Commercial growth director Bruce Dallas described the company as “running at the fire” in the current economic environment. It is innovating in price pack architecture to provide options to consumers, and also venturing into new categories.
“Yes, it’s tough, but our job as marketers is to make sure that we’re seeing through all the depressing headlines and building our brands and businesses,” he said. NC
It’s been a difficult year for consumers with inflation skyrocketing and the cost of living crisis chipping away. As brands look to help ease the impact on their customers, and draw them in at a time when they’re shopping for the best deals more than ever, loyalty schemes have stepped into the spotlight.
In August, Asda became the last of the classic ‘big four’ supermarkets to launch a loyalty scheme nationwide with its Asda Rewards initiative. Meanwhile, in July McDonald’s rolled out its first loyalty scheme MyMcdonald’s Rewards in the UK. Fellow fast food chain KFC entered the UK loyalty market itself in September too, with the ambition of moving away from “stamps and points collection”, with a gaming themed effort.
Elsewhere, Tesco’s Clubcard, which is often credited with revolutionising loyalty schemes, has continued to expand its proposition, and in October the supermarket said it is now used in approximately 75% of all Tesco sales.
Meanwhile, Boots upgraded its Advantage Card, which celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The retailer invested £3m in a marketing campaign in the spring encouraging customers to shop its Price Advantage, not dissimilar to Tesco’s Clubcard Prices.
As brands look to keep hold of loyal customers – all the more important given the cost crisis, with consumers more likely to trade down and trial alternatives – loyalty schemes and incentives are becoming increasingly important. And while different sectors and brands will take different approaches, it is clear that loyalty schemes won’t be disappearing any time soon, even while brands argue the loyalty versus acquisition debate. MI