US grocery giant Kroger recently celebrated the sixth anniversary of the launch of its retail media brand, Kroger Precision Marketing (KPM). Michael Schuh, VP, media strategy and product at KPM spoke to Daniel Dwyer Torres, host of The FMCG Guys podcast, about the changes he’s seen in the market in those six years, helping to drive industry standards, and what brands can do to get the best out of Kroger’s retail media offering.
Q: What is Kroger Precision Marketing?
Michael Schuh: Kroger has about 2,800 stores across the continental United States. I work for 84.51º, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kroger. We’re a retail data insights and media activation engine for the Kroger company. And Kroger Precision Marketing is our retail media brand.
Kroger always had a big insights business helping CPG companies in the US understand their consumers and who’s buying what at Kroger. We kept hearing that there was this opportunity to turn those insights into action. Even more than six years ago, we did some early tests and proved out some of the results, and that led us to launch the brand and the capability, and to grow from there.
Q: How have you seen the retail media space evolve?
MS: At the beginning we were just getting the capabilities live to do the basics. That has now evolved into asking how we standardise, how we make it easier for advertisers to buy and integrate their retail media plans into their broader digital media investment strategy.
Q: What brings you to London?
MS: I’m co-chair of the IAB’s Measurement Standards Committee in the US, and we published a first version of the standards about a month ago. So I’m excited to talk to people here about what’s going on in the UK and in Europe from a measurement standardisation standpoint. We had a lot of conversation amongst retailers in the US, and for me, the important part is that brands need to be part of the conversation, but they can’t solve it on their own. The retailers have to come together to do that. And doing that internationally is an important part of it too.
Q: What advice do you have for FMCG/CPG brands to better leverage Kroger as a retail media network?
MS: My advice to brands is always to challenge us more. Brands are learning a lot. Some of the old traditional silos – around trade and commerce and brand – are really breaking down. And what’s going to help us work together is brands organising themselves, educating themselves, and being able to have that transparent dialogue with their retail partners. It shouldn’t be a carrot and stick type relationship. It should be how do we build brands together? How do we build categories together? How do we solve customer needs? Too often brands and agencies are hesitant to challenge their retail partners, but at Kroger we welcome that.
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