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The Growth of Owned Media in The Retail Landscape

newsNovember 4, 2022

Authored by Andrew Barrett, Strategy Director, iProspect.

The Retail / Owned Media landscape is becoming busier than a shopping centre on Saturday morning. But – beyond the headlines – can Retail Media emerge as the “canary in the marketing coalmine” that appropriately balances performance with brand outcomes?

There’s no doubt that Retail / Owned Media is a format filled with opportunity and enthusiasm. In the last 6 months alone, the sector has seen:

  • the launch of an emerging entrant in Coles 360
  • significant launches or M&A activity from established players, and
  • successful case studies from premier overseas brands - such as Walmart

This combination of local capabilities with global gravitas has increased excitement in the possibilities of this format for brands. And - it’s hard not to be excited!

Retail / Owned Media’s Forecasted Value

Earlier this year, PwC Australia forecast that the Australian retail media sector is set to become a $2.1 billion industry. For context, OLV was roughly valued to be $2.7B, placing Retail Media as the little media cousin that’s about to have a huge growth spurt.

But it’s scale could be much grander. According to a recent report by media analysts Sonder, the true opportunity is much broader. Sonder’s analysis identified that any brand with a media ecosystem in place can be defined as “owned” media. In theory, this opens up the number of possible businesses that have a commercial retail / owned media offering - shifting the narrative from ‘Retail’ media to ‘Owned’ media.

What’s clear is that the Retail / Owned / Whatever media market is yet to commercially mature and materialise. But nevertheless, it’s ripe with opportunity for business and brands.

Why Marketers should prioritise owned media

From a marketer’s perspective, the timing of the format could not be better. Not incumbered by legacy perceptions, Retail / Owned Media can position itself as a fresh format that has credibility in the holy trinity of reach, technology and data. In other words, the key avenues that drive marketing success for both brand and performance metrics.

Measuring brand and performance is possibly the biggest marketing conversation occurring now, and brands with varying marketing objectives and investment levels are vying to gain their unfair share of sales through differentiation and distinction. One way of achieving this is seeing media as a growth vehicle and allocating investment into media that weighs up the benefits and limitations of channels against campaign objectives.

As acclaimed management guru Peter Drucker said; “what gets measured, gets managed” and in Retail / Owned Media we may have a format that is fresh in its approach to measuring the metrics that matter to today’s brands and marketers needs.

So, what is it that we can take away from the above?

I believe that Retail Media has great potential to be an integral element of successful campaigns. It will be interesting to see how the growth of the format is driven by the various levers of marketing influence they can pull - regardless of brand. 


First published in AdNews.