Working together has perhaps never felt as important than right now, whilst we have all adjusted to the ‘new normal’ as a result of Covid-19; having a dedicated team could not be more important for retailers when establishing themselves as brilliant media owners.
Traditionally we’ve found that many retailers begin their journey into becoming media owners through their buying teams. Set with the task of unlocking incremental funding from brands as well as doing their actual day-to-day job has proved not only tricky to achieve – because they’ve already discussed investment when negotiating terms for example – it can also be harmful to the relationship between brand and buyer. Quite simply, I am yet to meet a buyer who benefits from ‘spare time’ to launch and manage campaigns on behalf of their supplier brands. Quite rightly, supplier brands both expect and require transparency with any investment made and frankly, buying teams don’t always have the time they would need to provide their brands with the information and service they need.
It’s a full time-time job turning retailers into media owners. And it’s a full-time job growing and managing the media estate once they’ve been established.
It takes a whole host of people to make any campaign happen at the point of purchase with a retailer – everyone from customer planners, through to creative, buying, commercial, affiliate agencies and the supplier brands themselves to name just a few. All of which are required at some point within every individual supplier brand campaign. Campaigns need to be planned, creative developed and media secured, implemented and evaluated – before starting the process all over again.
For retailers who don’t have a dedicated team in place full-time, the profitability potential for retailers is significantly reduced. And, if retailers have been leveraging their buying teams to activate, it can affect the amount of time they have to do their actual job effectively.
In many cases, having a third party to manage brands can reduce the conflict of interest between marketing conversations and trading conversations – as well as co-ordinate all internal and external teams involved. In our experience, having one point of contact who can implement all of this on behalf of the retailer, allows retailers to access brand budgets that they otherwise would not have had access to – as well as giving their internal teams, be it buying, trading, commercial etc., the valuable time back that they need and want.
While the incremental funding generated from dedicated teams managing supplier activity can be transformational for a business, crucially, the opportunity to develop closer and strategic supplier relationships is the biggest benefit for retailers who might question a team’s value. As soon as there is someone in the middle, working on behalf of the retailer and supplier brand’s objectives, customer communications become more considered and relevant.
A dedicated team in place presents an opportunity for better brand campaigns and better product campaigns that resonate more with shoppers at a time when they are in the mindset to buy. All in all, an independent team is an opportunity that leads to retailers and their supplier brands selling more product, a win-win.
A dedicated team managing retailers’ media campaigns is really, a no brainer.