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Navigating the complexities of retail media: Perspectives from Medela

Marc Aufzug
Marc Aufzug
5 min read
26 June 2024

Retail media is rapidly becoming a non-negotiable, necessary component of brands’ advertising strategies—soon to surpass TV advertising in its ability to build awareness, drive conversions, and acquire new-to-brand customers.

With the growing number of retail media networks, both global and local, brands have more opportunities than ever before to effectively reach their target audiences via this digital advertising medium.

Retail media with Medela

The DEPT® retail media team recently asked decision-makers from global brands what their questions and challenges are when it comes to this channel, and we weighed in with our own retail media insights.

We also sat down with DEPT® client Medela to learn more about the brand’s perspective on retail media today and in the future. 

Medela is a Switzerland-based medical device company that is a global leader in research-based breast milk feeding and baby products, alongside healthcare solutions for hospitals in maternity, NICU, wound, and surgical care, as well as clinical education. DEPT® has partnered with Medela on digital marketing, including retail media, since 2021. 

Read on to hear from Karen Gutermann, Head of Digital & E-Commerce Marketing, Europe at Medela.

*Answers have been edited for clarity*

DEPT®: At your company, where are retail media decisions made: the commercial/sales side or the media/ advertising side?

Medela: Our retail media lead is on the commercial side, which identifies growth potential per channel, per market, as well as local needs. Budget decisions are taken per retail account, so between local management and local sales. Local marketing teams prepare strategic direction for local retailers, and the EU Digital department determines the digital marketing strategy for EU retailers.

DEPT®: How relevant is retail media within your brands’ media mix? 

Medela: Crucial, however, relationships with retailers are owned by sales/key accounts, so marketing plays a supportive function for the key accounts.

DEPT®: How do you deal with the organizational challenge of having transparency across the full funnel, from awareness to sales?

Medela: Data-driven campaigns, as well as sharing best practices or retail media successes through regular exchanges between sales and marketing senior management and leaders. 

DEPT®: Do you see retail media as purely a sales channel or as an avenue for mid- and upper-funnel activities as well?

Medela: Our current focus for retail media is driving conversion
to drive budget optimization. We’re also raising targeted awareness, for example, about local sales promotions taking place on a specific platform.  

DEPT®: Do you understand retail media as an addition to or a substitute for classic media (e.g. TV)?  

Medela: Retail media and traditional media serve different purposes. Retail media is primarily focused on driving conversions, while traditional media aims to create awareness.

“Retail media is often a more cost-effective option compared to traditional media, and an important channel for targeted customer engagement.”

— Medela

DEPT®: Do you believe there will be a shift and redistribution from other digital channels, such as social or search, towards retail media?

Medela: No, we will still be covering social and search in addition to retail media. However, the advertising budget of social and search is owned by marketing, and retail media by sales. We combine forces to win along the whole marketing/consumer funnel and holistically shift budget allocation if need be.  

DEPT®: Which retail media networks and solutions are most important for you?  

Medela: Amazon Advertising is the most important, followed by and local accounts like Boots in the UK or Galaxus in Switzerland. DM and baby shops in the EU also have an online presence, which we value and need to tackle.

DEPT®: What criteria do you consider when deciding on a certain retail media platform or solution?  

Medela: We look at the relevance of the retailer in the local market, the platform’s advertising possibilities, and the trackability and reporting options for our activities.

DEPT®: What are your top retail media KPIs?  

Spend, Ad Sales, ROAS/ACOS, CPC, CTR, Impressions, and Clicks.

DEPT®: What are the main challenges you are experiencing within the retail media industry?  

Medela: Small retailers do offer retail media opportunities, but the KPIs they share are very limited, which makes it hard to measure success. The setup of retail media is different on every platform, so many resources are needed. And the attribution model of every retail media platform is different, making it hard to compare performance and make budget decisions. 

DEPT®: What obstacles keep retail media from becoming a more important channel in your company? 

Medela: The main obstacles are the lack of reporting/data and transparency coming from retailers. There is an intensive collaboration required—two-way between retail and Medela—in sharing insights and reliable KPIs. Investment in retail media is strongly connected to revenues generated, so being able to rely on clear ROI measurement is crucial.

Elevate your retail media practice

Crafting and executing a successful retail media strategy can be complex, but it is crucial for brands to stay competitive in today’s digital landscape. DEPT®’s retail media practice offers expertise and solutions to help brands navigate this advertising format effectively. Download our retail media Q&A for answers and insights into the top 50 questions we hear from marketing teams today. 

Looking for more retail media insights? Download The ultimate retail media guide – 50 of your top questions answered.



Marc Aufzug