Retail Media Agency Models Mindshare

For Mindshare’s new American boss, retail media is opportunity she won’t let slip by

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By Sam Bradley, Journalist

May 23, 2023 | 6 min read

Incoming Mindshare North America boss says agencies need to build bridges to fully exploit retail media opportunity.

A supermarket aisle

Retail media networks, such as those owned by Walmart and Target, represent opportunity for media agencies / Unsplash

Nancy Hall is yet to get her teeth sunk into her new role at Mindshare. She was announced as the agency’s North American CEO, joining from IPG-owned Matterkind, just last week. She’s slated to officially join in mid-June, but already she has a firm idea of where her priorities will lie: retail media.

Speaking to The Drum, the incoming boss said media agencies desperately need to forge more partnerships with retail media network owners like Walmart and Target if they’re to take advantage of the investment flooding into that segment.

Retail media is one of the fastest-growing areas in advertising. A GroupM report estimated global spending topped $110.7bn last year; $33bn of that came from the US alone, with another $2.6bn coming from Canada.

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”When we look at how retail media will evolve in the future, one particular area of focus will be around how we partner with those networks and platforms to drive the industry forward,” Hall explained.

“Mindshare and GroupM are already doing this — working with retail media networks to improve their measurement solutions, their verification and brand safety guidelines and more."

GroupM, Mindshare’s parent company and WPP’s media arm, accounts for much of the group’s revenue. North America – particularly the US – is the engine of much of that income.

So, given the media spending flowing into retail media networks, the opportunity is one Mindshare can’t afford to miss. Hall says that “there is still a lot of room and opportunities for industry advancement” available to agencies able to make pacts with retail peers, as well as in pursuing “standardization, frequency management, and the usage of data clean rooms.”

Hall’s appointment follows the departure of her processor, Amanda Richman, in March.

When she officially begins her role, she’ll be leading a staff of over 1,700. She says that while she’s “very excited though by the fantastic opportunities to use AI to make marketing smarter and more efficient,” the agency’s value proposition lies in creating bespoke solutions for clients.

“At the end of the day, if you can help your client prepare for the future and transform their business, then the agency has opportunities to grow alongside that client,” she says.

Key to enabling that approach, Hall says, will be investment in the agency’s workforce. She says: “What this comes down to is talent, technology, and collaboration. There are very talented people and teams across Mindshare and GroupM, with diverse skill sets and experiences. We’ll continue to build those out in order to drive curated solutions for our clients.”

Though Hall hasn’t yet begun her role, she highlighted existing recruitment and development schemes within Mindshare that could bear expansion.

“Attracting talent is a critical component for any agency to stay competitive in this industry. GroupM actually has a good program called Launchpad, done in partnership with Mindshare and other agencies, that helps bring people from different backgrounds into the media industry. That diversity of skill sets has become more important than ever in today’s competitive landscape.

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“In addition to attracting new talent, you also want to make sure you’re investing in your employees’ career development and giving them the opportunities to flex. For example, last year Mindshare launched its Commerce Media Bootcamp, open to all employees, recognizing that expertise in retail media shouldn’t just be limited to certain teams,” she says.

“Programs like this one will be a focus for the future so that we may grow the careers of our people.”

Retail Media Agency Models Mindshare

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