Advertising in retail media is exploding globally, with spending even exceeding previous estimates. However, while the opportunity is immense, effectively managing and optimizing retail media remains a major challenge for brands. As highlighted in multiple reports, global ecommerce and retail media teams face considerable complexity harmonizing efforts across global and local retail media networks. From navigating differences in data privacy regulations to balancing global scale with local relevance, strategies are needed to consolidate insights and drive performance across markets. This article will explore the key obstacles global teams face in unlocking the full potential of retail media, and provide solutions to address these multifaceted challenges.
Challenge 1: Balancing global strategy with local execution
Global brands need to strike a balance between setting an overarching retail media strategy (especially on global networks such as Amazon advertising) and allowing flexibility in local execution, with a focus on local retailers.
Global teams should focus on governance, budgets, and partnerships while local teams drive in-market implementation. As always, communication between global and local is critical, with global providing guidelines and assets for local markets to adapt based on their consumers and retail dynamics. For example, global creative concepts can be localized through translation or by incorporating region-specific cultural elements.
Local input is key for optimizing global campaigns (more on this topic), as nuances in consumer behavior may require adjustments. Developing frameworks to balance global scale and local relevance is essential. Overall, collaboration between central and local teams allows brands to execute regional strategies aligned with global retail media goals.
Challenge 2: Consolidating global and local data
Managing data across global and local retail media networks poses significant complexity for brands. Major global retail media platforms provide almost unified data, while major local networks require adapting to market-specific data sources and metrics.
Potential solutions involve integrating data from global and local sources into a consolidated platform like mimbi, using common identifiers like SKUs to match performance across regions.
Global brands also need to develop reporting standards and KPIs that align with corporate goals while allowing local teams to optimize towards local objectives. Robust analytics are essential to pack more data behind existing retail media insights. Overall, balancing global data consistency with local flexibility is key for gaining a unified view of worldwide retail media performance.
1/ Implement automated data collection workflows to ensure data synchronization across markets.
2/ Develop dashboards that display key performance indicators (KPIs) at both the global and local level, allowing for quick comparison and decision-making.
3/ Use common identifiers like SKUs or campaign IDs to link data across platforms and regions, facilitating a unified analysis.
4/ Create standardized reports that align with global corporate goals while also highlighting local market performance and opportunities.
5/ Set up alerts for significant performance changes or trends, enabling local teams to respond rapidly while staying aligned with the global strategy.
6/ Regularly track product ranking and category performance to identify opportunities for improvement in visibility and search optimization.
7/ Use sentiment analysis to identify common customer concerns or preferences, informing product development and marketing strategies.
8/ Integrate inventory monitoring into your supply chain management to ensure optimal stock levels, especially during peak demand periods.
Challenge 3: achieving both global scale and local relevance
Global retail media partnerships enable brands to quickly achieve scale and reach large audiences across markets. However, local retail media partners often better serve the unique needs and nuances of individual markets. As such, global brands need to balance establishing high-level global frameworks while allowing flexibility in local execution (on a wide range of topics).
Local teams can adapt global creative concepts and assets to optimize performance and relevance for their consumers. For example, global multi-language assets can be tailored through translation and incorporating cultural elements locally. Overall, collaboration between global governance and local optimization allows brands to execute regional strategies aligned with global retail media goals and KPIs.
Challenge 4: managing data privacy regulations
Data privacy legislation and consumer expectations around data use vary significantly across different markets. This poses a major challenge for global brands leveraging retail media data worldwide.
Potential solutions involve consulting local legal advisors to ensure compliance and developing data governance policies tailored to the regulations in each region. For example, brands may need to implement differential privacy techniques for EU citizens under GDPR or provide transparency and consent mechanisms for California residents under CCPA. Adapting their global data stack and practices to regional laws is essential as brands expand retail media globally. Overall, proactive preparation and flexibility are key to managing regulations while extracting maximum value from retail media data worldwide.
Challenge 5: people
Brands need specialised talent such as media buyers and data scientists to execute their retail media strategy, but may lack experience in hiring for these digital roles.
Integrating this talent into existing brand organizations also brings cultural challenges, as brands' identities and ways of working can clash with the fast-paced digital world. There are additionally organizational challenges around where brand media teams should reside - options include marketing, digital, or a separate unit. However, unclear organizational homes lead to difficulty coordinating across groups touching brand media, information asymmetries, and fragmented efforts.
Determining the right level of centralization vs decentralization is also key. Finally, brands must evolve from channel-based organizational structures to omnichannel customer-centric models to succeed, but this transition is difficult.
In conclusion, the key is striking the right balance between global strategy and local execution. Global retail media teams enable scale, consistency, and consolidated reporting through partnerships, budgets, and frameworks. However, local teams play a critical role in adapting efforts based on market regulations, nuances, and consumer preferences. With increased collaboration across business units, brands can overcome complexities to drive incremental global growth. By leveraging global assets while optimizing locally, retail media can become a powerful engine for international ROI.