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dunnhumby Introduces Customer-First Retail Media Platform

Tool enables greater collaboration among retailers, brands and agencies
Using consistent cross-channel customer profiles, dunnhumby Sphere tracks the long-term effect of retail media on the shopper experience.

Retail data science company dunnhumby has rolled out dunnhumby Sphere, an all-in-one customer-first retail media platform. The end-to-end retail media platform takes users from brand insights to campaign billing through a fully integrated set of modules, helping to unify audience targeting, media booking, forecasting and measurement across a range of retail media channels.

Designed for retailers looking to build and grow their retail media capability, Sphere enables them to scale and maximize revenues from retail media, while advertising partners can take advantage of enhanced collaboration and the ability to plan, book, measure and pay for campaigns across online and in-store channels.

Retailers can also use the platform to transform their media business, increasing the sophistication of their omnichannel media offerings without the usual complexity or cost. Further, as a modular solution that integrates with the broader ad ecosystem, Sphere will permit retailers to incorporate their existing retail media technologies.

U.K. grocer Tesco is already using the solution to power several of the retail media products included on the Tesco Media and Insight platform, which launched to help the grocer’s suppliers and agencies engage with customers and understand their changing needs.

“Retailers are finding out that building their own retail media business is complex,” noted Julie Jeancolas, head of media and customer engagement products at London-based dunnhumby. “The retail media ecosystem is highly fragmented, making platforms difficult and expensive to develop. This often means that the value of data gets trapped, with some third-party data platforms serving unusable data to brands and agencies, which undermines the point of a self-service platform. Brands need a single point of access for all their measurement reporting to compare the relative performance of each channel, while retailers need a way to validate the long-term impact of retail media on the customer experience and sales. [T]hat’s where dunnhumby Sphere will make a real difference. It allows retailers to efficiently manage a complex ecosystem, unlocking the value of their data by making on-demand AI-based audiences easily accessible to CPGs, whilst still allowing the retailer to measure the true impact of media on their core business.” 

Everything on the platform, from insights to billing, is controlled via one intuitive interface, covering all retail media channels. Sphere makes it easier for retailers to optimize the performance of their retail media activity by providing an overall representation of their customers across every channel and campaign. It can also give retailers access to larger brand budgets, and new revenue from agencies that would traditionally be excluded from such activity.

Sphere provides access to AI-powered audiences to predict the likelihood that customers would buy any given product, leading to as much as twice the return on ad spend when compared with standard descriptive segmentation models.

The platform also helps retailers and brands save time by making complex workflows simpler to manage across all media channels. Bringing together various data sets, Sphere provides retailers and their advertising partners with a single view of all audience activations, providing easy access to AI-powered audiences to enable brands to find the shoppers they need to target to reach their marketing goals and deliver high return on ad spend.

Using consistent cross-channel customer profiles, the platform tracks the long-term effect of retail media on the shopper experience. Retailers can monitor the impact on customer lifetime value, loyalty and basket size. At the same time, in-depth measurement helps to maintain campaign relevance as shopper needs evolve, while transparent closed-loop measurement gives advertisers proof of incremental performance.

According to Jeancolas: “dunnhumby Sphere enables retailers and brands to collaborate in a way that will really improve the customer experience. Retailers can set their own parameters around how advertisers can engage with their shoppers, while brands will have self-service access, making it easier to target the right shoppers with the right messages. It’s a true omnichannel approach to ensure a consistent experience for all customers.”

​Sphere will roll out in several stages, with such modules as digital, store media, digital on-site and sponsored products following throughout the year. 

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