Tesco ramps up ‘retail media’ offer with more ad space and analytics for brands

New analytics service will let advertisers use supermarket's 20m Clubcard customer loyalty database for ad targeting and insights.

Tesco: its new analytics platform offers insight on customer behaviours
Tesco: its new analytics platform offers insight on customer behaviours

Tesco has ramped up its ambitions as a media owner, by expanding the amount of advertising inventory on its own platforms and making more of its customer loyalty data available for brands to target consumers.

Britain’s biggest supermarket chain used a presentation in London to announce its new platform, called “Tesco Media and Insight, powered by Dunnhumby”, and explain its media offer, which now covers five different advertising solutions.

Tesco said it was “excited” to work with its suppliers and their agencies to help them to drive “engagement” and “add value” with its combined media and analytics offer.

The retailer has worked in partnership with its data science company, Dunnhumby, as it wants to help brands and agencies to buy ads and target them better by using data from its 20 million-plus households who are signed up to its Clubcard loyalty scheme and app.

“This closed loop platform will provide brands and their agencies with the right insight to drive more interactive, two-way relationships with customers, helping brands build stronger connections with their customer base and build loyalty for both suppliers and Tesco,” the supermarket said.

Ad professionals will also be able to make use of Google, Facebook and Sky datasets – the latter of which the supermarket chain is working in partnership with – to build audience profiles and predict their behaviours.

Selling online advertising has been a huge growth area for Amazon and other US retailers such as Walmart and Walgreens Boots Alliance, which have been moving into the so-called “retail media” space.

Advertisers are keen to find new ways to reach consumers as shopping has moved online and the rise of ad-free streaming TV services means it is harder to reach audiences at scale.

Tesco’s expanded advertising offer covers five areas:

On-site: Targeted display and sponsored product advertising solutions on Tesco’s digital platforms.

Connected Store: Creating a “connected store experience for brands” across their journey through the Tesco store network – for example, the use of Tesco Radio.

Partners: Enables advertisers to use “first party data to target key audiences away from a retailer’s digital store” on other plaforms

Experience: “customer led propositions that allow greater brand creativity and positioning” – for example, in experiential or brand integration with Food Love Stories.

CRM: Offering rewards that suit “a shopper’s specific circumstances” by using “our data science”.

Tesco is also offering data insights in three main areas:

Category development: A self-serve platform that lets brands “understand your products, customers and sales through existing and new insight solutions”.

Precision innovation: Support brands to create, launch and measure new product development at every stage of the development cycle.

Media measurement: The ability to conduct comprehensive evaluation of third party media campaigns through data matching with other platforms.

The measurement tools provided as part of the service will allow brands to see the return on their adpsend, which Tesco claims is on average around £6.60 when using its media channels.

In a sign of Tesco’s intent, Ken Murphy, the chief executive, spoke at the presentation alongside a number of top executives, including Alessandra Bellini, the chief customer officer, and Nick Ashley, head of media and campaign planning.

Bellini said: “As the UK grocery sector evolves, we want to ensure we provide a more relevant and personalised offer to meet our customers’ changing needs. 

“Our new platform will bring together the wealth of customer knowledge we have, with the insights from Dunnhumby, and use it in a way that helps our brands to be more efficient and targeted and ultimately to serve our customers better. 

“We’re excited to work with our suppliers and agencies to drive better engagement with customers and add value to their businesses.”

Tesco made no mention of the potential revenues that it could generate from its expanded advertising and analytics offer.

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