Tech Transformation Podcast: Albertsons’ Claire Wyatt On Retail Media Tech Team Lessons

Retail media is one of the biggest trends in consumer goods sales and marketing, but the conversations get a little fuzzy for tech teams when it comes to measuring success and the expectations a brand should have. In this episode of Tech Transformation, we’re talking with Claire Wyatt, VP, business strategy and marketing science at Albertsons Media Collective, about some of the challenges brands are facing, what they should consider when they’re building partnerships, and some common misconceptions. 

Listen to learn: 

  • A lightning-round explanation of retail media 
  • How far along the maturity curve most consumer goods companies find themselves at this point
  • How much cross-integration with legacy platforms is impeding progress 
  • The role and value of data clean rooms
  • What a strong RMN partnership looks like — and what doesn’t 
  • The role of AI and the future potential of generative AI within retail media 


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Where brands find themselves on the retail media maturity curve: “There are some CPGs that have really been with retail media networks and been investing in those networks since the beginning. And those CPG brands tend to be more sophisticated in terms of how they are looking across different retail media networks, how they're measuring the performance of different retail media networks, and then also understanding that retail media impact impacts both online and in store. 

“One of the things that we see for maybe less sophisticated retail media investors is that they tend to think that retail media only drives e-commerce sales. And so especially in the case of Albertsons, where 97% of our sales still happen in store, that it just is absolutely not the case. When we think about our own consumer journeys, when I'm at the grocery store, I often have my grocery list on my phone, or I'm looking at Pinterest looking at recipes. So the more sophisticated CPGs, I think, understand that the customer journey is really digitally connected, even if you're in a physical location.” 

Where data clean rooms are playing a role: “We are seeing usage of clean rooms in a couple of different ways. As a retail media network, we are using clean rooms as a way to continue to do closed-loop measurement in a really privacy-focused way. We have currently a partnership with Pinterest, where we are able to provide a closed-loop measurement for those campaigns. But it's different than that measurement has been done in the past. Pinterest is sending their data to a clean room. Our data has also been sent to that clean room, and then it's aggregated together, but then the both of us can only see that aggregated data to showcase performance. 

“The other way that we are seeing brands sort of slowly kind of come into using clean rooms is taking their first-party audience data, and then using the clean room to commingle that with our first-party audience data. And really, it depends on the brand and how much first-party data they actually have to see if it's really useful or not. Especially for us and CPGs is the availability of first party data is really low, because they don't really have a direct-to-consumer channel to sell their products. And so there can be issues with match rates, there can be issues with the performance of actually running that media. 

“One of the things that we also see is that if a CPG has first-party data combined with our first party data, that tends to be a very loyal customer set. And so it doesn't necessarily work for driving new-to-brand customers as an example. So in some good use cases, yes, it will work. But I think almost like any technology, clean rooms got really, really hot. And sort of we're at the top of the hype curve, and everyone's like, ‘Oh, my God, we have to have a clean room.’ And I think now we're starting to all as an industry be a little bit more realistic [about] sometimes that makes sense, sometimes it doesn't make sense.”

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