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Q&A: Circuit by Cashrewards

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By Published On: March 8, 20240 Comments

Late last year, Cashrewards launched Circuit by Cashrewards, their retail media offering. We spoke to General Manager of Retail Media, Lachlan Brahe to find out more.

We know retail media is one of – if not the highest-growing media sectors at the moment. With external commercialisation and technological development this sector is absolutely booming. Cashrewards has clearly tapped into that with the launch of Circuit, but tell me what you are doing differently with that.

It certainly is fast growing, and forecasts from analysts suggest this will continue at a rate of 23% a year (Morgan Stanley). The technological development you mention has come with a realisation and an awakening amongst retailers that their assets have far greater value than just retail sales, or what previous incarnations of shopper marketing have delivered. The application of technology to traditional retail assets means that retailers can create targeted campaigns that enable brands to reach relevant consumers whilst also providing a closed loop of advertising effectiveness to measure the media investment against actual sales results.

At Cashrewards we’ve recognised that with over 2 million members and over 2,000 cross-category  brand partners, we have a unique opportunity across the retail media landscape and have created a platform that creates a win for both our brand partners and our members.

“Traditional” retail media connects brands to customers via a single retailer. We’re able to take a more networked approach in which brands can reach an audience that is engaged in their category across multiple retailers, and retailers can prospect for more in-category shoppers based on Cashrewards’ first party data and our understanding of the shopping behaviours of our members. Key to any retail media offering, we also measure the media investment against actual sales results.

You have a wealth of experience in the retail media sector and bringing that perspective into Circuit is really valuable not just for the business but for your clients. Why do you think retail media has become such a vital tool in recent years?

I’ve had the good fortune to have worked in and around retail media for over 7 years – planning and buying retail media ads for some leading consumer brands, consulting and deploying retail media technology for retailers and eCommerce marketplaces around APAC. I’ve built out the retail media business units for retailers in Australia, and now, I’m helping to scale up Circuit by Cashrewards.

I think that retail media is becoming a vital tool across the advertising and marketing spectrum for four main reasons:

  1. Retail media is a new, high-margin way for retailers to innovate and evolve their business models, enabling them to monetise their existing assets through the incorporation of advertising placements both in-store and online that will capture the attention of customers right across the sales path.
  2. Customers don’t always want to shop on autopilot. A well placed ad can introduce a new brand, a new product variant, or a new bargain. Done well, retail media accompanies the customer journey, it doesn’t detract from it.
  3. Challenging economic conditions require advertisers to be more conscious of what return on investment or return on ad spend their investment generates. Retail media’s capacity to track and report sales relative to media spend solves for this.
  4. Advertisers and Media Agencies are always seeking competitive advantage and new ways to engage potential customers with attention-grabbing messaging. The customer base for retailers can be as large and effective as a media audience, so this represents a new and highly accountable addition to a media plan.

Obviously having so much experience in the retail media sector, you must deal with the same kind of questions from clients a lot. What is the main thing holding people back from pulling the trigger and really knuckling down on a solid strategy and how do you address this?

The questions I’ve most frequently encountered are around how to plan and target retail media. It’s a matter of education to help those planning their media investments to understand that retail media opens up some additional, powerful ways of targeting the right customers at the right time.

By way of example, consider breakfast cereal. Historically, a typical target audience for breakfast cereal advertising could have been a “Main Grocery Buyer with Kids”. That group might, somewhat stereotypically, be based on women, aged 30-45. Because retail media incorporates transactional data from the retailer through which it’s running, such a proxy target audience is no longer necessary – the target becomes “people whose transactions include breakfast cereal”. More sophisticated retailers are developing their own transactionally based segments in this manner that might include breakfast cereal frequent purchasers, breakfast cereal occasional purchasers etc, all of which gives advertisers more power to find the sweet spot for their messaging and product.

At Cashrewards, we’re able to consider both deep and broad audience segmentation and targeting because we can observe the transactional behaviour of our members across multiple retailers and multiple categories. As we evolve, this will enable predictive targeting in which a customer’s purchase history will be an accurate indicator of future purchases.

And what can retailers gain from investing in retail media? Do you have any success stories to share?

For calendar year 2022, Walmart generated $2.7Bn in retail media advertising revenue (Marketing Dive, Feb 2023). That’s more than 10% of the total forecasted advertising market in Australia for 2024. Keep in mind that Walmart does have an online audience of 125m people (Comscore, June 2022) and an in-store audience of 212m (Placer.ai June 2022). Nonetheless, that’s $2.7Bn in new revenue, incremental to Walmart’s traditional retail sales.

What retailers can gain from a strategic investment in retail media is an incremental, high-margin revenue stream, deepening relationships with suppliers and brands as they become part of the marketing funnel as well as part of the supply chain. For example, with Circuit, advertisers can receive greater customer appeal when their advertising is delivered in a manner that is respectful of the customer journey and surfaces products of interest for the right customers at the right moments.

Find out more about Circuit by Cashrewards here. 

About the Author: Rosalea Catterson

Rosalea is the Editor of Power Retail. With a keen interest in consumer behaviour and tech, she covers everything ecommerce and hosts the Power Retail Power Talks Podcast.

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