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Episode 28 –
Using Retail Media Ads to Optimize the User Experience With Allysun Lundy of Publicis Commerce

RESOURCE CENTER   ❯   Identity Revolution Podcast 3-25-22

Episode Summary

Retail media networks are growing in popularity, and retail giants like Amazon and Walmart are leading the way in the newest retail media trends.

But how can brands leverage retail media advertising to tap into user data and optimize their campaigns?

In this episode of the Identity Revolution podcast, Infutor’s host Cory Davis welcomes Allysun Lundy, the VP of Retail Media Strategy at Publicis Commerce. They talk about the future of retail media, how to spend effectively on ads, and what makes retail media ads so impactful.


Allysun Lundy
  • Name: Allysun Lundy
  • What she does: She’s the VP, Retail Media Strategy at Publicis Commerce
  • Company: Publicis Commerce
  • Key Quote: “I definitely miss some of the old school agency things — like your Mad Men-day stuff. I think, with COVID, we’ve definitely lost even more of that. So I think, moving forward, we’re looking at how we can make sure that we still have this good agency culture while we’re also evolving with the times.”

Key Insights

  • How should you allocate your retail ad budget? Figuring out how to allocate your ad budget and how much to spend on retail ads is not a simple decision. But the decision is all yours. So what does Allysun advise her clients on this matter? Here’s what she says. “We’re really advising them to kind of step back. We use something called retailer prioritization, where we really look at the scope of the business at each retailer and find out how your products are performing now. What’s your current share of voice there? What’s the opportunity at each? And then really be able to say that here’s what you should be spending at each.”
  • Retail media networks are a unique chance for brands to reach their buyers in new ways. Retail media advertising is on the rise because it provides a chance to meet customers where they are and at every step of their shopping journey. More and more companies are joining the retail media wave, but we never know which brands will arise as future winners. Allysun says that there are a lot of opportunities for brands to shine out there. “I think people are back in stores already. Are there opportunities throughout their 4,000 plus locations to start monetizing screens in-store, which they’re already doing? So I think they’ll have those opportunities where they can catch up more. I don’t know what the numbers will be, but I think there is still a lot of opportunity for a lot of the networks to reach their shoppers in a different way.”
  • Retail media networks should deliver an easy and simple checkout experience. Allysun gives an example of what a user-friendly and effective checkout process should look like. “Instead of what used to be, ‘I can buy a display ad. I can buy a search on,’ I now have all these other partners. So if I’m on a recipe site and I am searching for the best lasagna recipe, and I can very quickly add every single ingredient to my cart — that’s really a benefit to buy media through Walmart because then I’m letting my shopper know, ‘You can very easily shop for all these items. I can tell you how much this recipe costs to feed your family.’ And it’s just a very simple and easy checkout process.”

Episode Highlights

Who are the future retail media winners?

“I think we forget that Nike might advertise on Nordstrom, or some of these more higher-end brands will be advertising on networks like that versus a P&G that’s going to be more kind of focused on Amazon and Walmart. But I feel like they’re all doing things to win. And while Amazon is very big, unlike Walmart, they don’t have all the locations where they can reach people in a physical sense.”

Understand your customers better through their shopping data.

“Our retailers are starting to give us access to these insight dashboards. So now, when I’m planning a campaign, I can understand basket data. I can understand the purchase cycle. I can see that if somebody buys Coke, are they also buying Doritos, or what else is in their basket? So, I can cross-promote or find new ways to get really creative about targeting people.”

As consumers change, so should the agencies.

“I think agencies were able to truly specialize in what they did. They were in a particular lane. You worked with an integrated agency team to really say, ‘Okay, now this is what I do. This is what you do. Let’s come together and make it work.’ And I don’t think that’s efficient anymore. I think consumers are shopping so differently; they can buy within moments when they’re on TikTok; they can buy in the store. There are just so many things to think about where you need to have this end-to-end strategy to make sure that they have this seamless experience throughout their shopping journey.”

Top quotes:

[10:57] “They’re obviously tapping into the data to buy the media, and there have been a lot of cleanroom solutions recently. I know our Epsilon team has been working with Walgreens lately on that offering. So not only can I use what Walgreens has, but now I can start taking our core ID and understand, ‘Okay, what are some other inputs if that person does shop at another retailer, and how can I now use that information to my benefit at a Walgreens, for instance?'”

[12:52] “At Publicis, we offer the power of one solution. So, there’s a client-centric approach where we pull kind of the best of the best from all of the agencies so that we can service you with no competition between outside agencies, but really bringing our best to make sure that we’re giving you the solution that’s going to actually drive your business.”

[14:43] “We used to talk about adding QR codes. Would anybody actually click on this QR code to go to our site to either get recipes or enter to win a sweepstake so we could collect that first-party data? And so when I saw that ad [during the 2022 Super Bowl], which I did run up to the TV to click, I just thought it was funny. It was effective; people did it. And so, I think you can’t argue. It worked, even though it didn’t have a lot of brand building, but it really sparked a conversation.”

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