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Can we pay it forward in retail media?
Welcome to an end of week update from Unmade. Today we reflect on this week’s REmade conference; is retail media shaping up to be a more collaborative community than adland’s cult of the individual? And further down, the Unmade Index takes its rally into a fourth day.
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Why the cult of the individual is a welcome absence from the emerging retail media community
On Wednesday we ran REmade - Retail Media Unmade for a second time. Here REmade curator Cat McGinn, offers a wrap-up on the event and shares the shortlisted finalists for The REmade Awards.
For a sector snowballing in a time of economic uncertainty, and one in which a projected two billion dollars of ad revenue will be hotly fought over in the years to come, it seems somewhat paradoxical to observe that the overarching theme of REmade was trust and collaboration.
What struck me this week was that even arch-rivals and competitors hold each other in high regard.
I’m not suggesting that egos weren’t rampant at REmade, but I felt an atmosphere of genuine mutual respect. There was a willingness for the veterans to hear the experience of the up-and-comers, for the audience to challenge the experts on stage; of the recognition that retail media is a team sport, rather than the obsession with the cult of the individual which permeates adland.
Retail media networks are complex, requiring partnerships between many specialists: there are no simple solutions or templated processes. Maybe it’s the acknowledgement of that complexity, maybe it’s the humbling effect of our post-Covid understanding of how much we need one another, maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part, but we just might just be witnessing the moment the industry grows up.
Two speakers - on separate panels - describing the importance of frank and robust discussion with their partners in navigating the challenges of retail media transformation said hastily, “We’re not always sitting around singing Kumbaya," as though forging relationships built on mutual respect is inimical to growth and success.
From the formation of David Jone’s Amplify to the omnichannel ecosystem comprising The Warehouse Group, Zitcha, Reooh and Meta, the common thread was the need to build a culture of transparency and openness, and step outside of hierarchy and silos within organisations. If not kumbaya, a certain esprit de corps was in the air.
On a more personal note, in a week when we saw an event from a political thinktank in the UK go viral after fielding a panel with more people with the first name of Matthew (three) than women (zero) to discuss the future of journalism, it was more satisfying than I can say to not only host talented and gender diverse panels, but to also hear from male speakers during our curation process that they were prepared to pass the mic rather than sit on a single gender panel.
It’s an issue we’ve championed since Unmade began, and it feels as though - in this market at least - we’re reaching a tipping point.
I predicted last week that the attendees at the event would include the architects of the next great APAC retail media network launch, and rumour has it that, happily, I was right. Happy because it’s always nice to be right, and also because it would be a wonderful new tradition if each year we saw a pay-it-forward moment where knowledge and learnings from the newest RMN were shared with the community; a rolling system of Pareto improvements.
I’d love to hear your ideas about how we could continue to help elevate the sector, and what you’d like to see next year. Do drop me a note.
REmade Awards shortlist:
We announced shortlists for the inaugural REmade Retail Media Awards:
Retail Media Collaboration:
Great Australian Made Bites: Pepsico, Cartology and Woolworths
Fat Bastard: Joval Wines, Zitcha, Hatched, Coles Liquor Group
A Vision of Premium Shopper Engagement: Centreva, David Jones Amplify
Retail Media Innovation:
Retail Media Leader:
Nancy Veart, General Manager - Client Partnerships and Sales, Cartology
Troy Townsend, CEO and Co-Founder, Zitcha
Teresa Aprile - Co-Founder and CEO - Brandcrush
Roger Dunn, SVP Business Development APJ, CitrusAd
Perhaps understandably in such a new sector, our jury wasn’t able to put together a shortlist for the rising star category this time round. We’ll try again next year.
The winners will be announced on November 14 at an event in Sydney. More on that shortly.
Unmade Index adds another 0.64% to its recovery
Seja Al Zaidi writes:
The Unmade Index continued its growth spurt on Thursday, rising by 0.64% yesterday to land at 630.3 points.
Since Monday, when the index started the week languishing below the 600-point floor, our basket of ASX-listed media and marketing stocks has gained more than 5%. That represents a recovery in the sector’s capitalisation worth around $500m.
ARN Media saw the biggest rise yesterday, growing by 2.89%, while rival Southern Cross Austereo lifted 2%.
Ooh Media jumped 2.88%, IVE Group 2.79%, Enero 2.53% and Pureprofile 3.70%.
Out of home advertising minnow Motio lost 18.75% while Sports Entertainment Group dropped 11.36%.
Time to leave you to your Friday. I’ll be back tomorrow with Best of the Week, looking back on a week where brands including Carsales and Val Morgan found new ways to tell their stories.
Have a great day.
Publisher - Unmade