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The biggest names in the industry met in Chicago to make connections and discuss what the future holds for CPG brands and retailers. 

Path to Purchase Live recently wrapped in Chicago, where attendees experienced a surplus of information, educational sessions, and networking opportunities. The three-day event brought together some of the leading CPG brands, retailers, and suppliers to process recent trends and get a leg up for what’s coming in the future. 

P2P Live is truly becoming the premier event for commerce marketers focused on grocery. With so much action crammed into three days, we did our best to provide a quick recap of the most important topics that were covered: 

P2P Live Conference

1) Everyone is talking about Retail Media Networks.

Apple’s move to enact more stringent privacy regulations and Google’s announcement that it would be discontinuing third-party cookies in 2024 has made retail media networks an even more urgent topic. The changes are upending the ways brands have traditionally reached their audiences, making personalized and targeted ads more difficult to accomplish. Moving away from third-party data complicates a competitive landscape where giving personalized customer experiences is of the utmost importance. 

The shift in data collection has caused brands to work fast and solidify their ability to access first-party data as retailers have realized the value of the shopper data they collect. With so much on the line, the topic of RMNs dominated conversations at P2P Live. It seems like everyone is still trying to figure out how to solve the RMN puzzle and refine strategic approaches in a way that helps all parties remain competitive.

2) There is still no true omnichannel solution. 

The word “omnichannel” gets thrown around a lot, and with good reason. It really is the ideal way to diversify outreach in order to engage customers everywhere they are. Plenty of marketers promise an omnichannel approach, but seamless integration between physical and digital is difficult to accomplish.

Major chains with advanced advertising channels do a lot of things right, but there remains a gap in linking everything together. Omnichannel success depends on careful execution that integrates the complete user experience so that customers have as many opportunities for fulfillment as possible. As it stands now, most RMN approaches lack full integration, and channels are remaining siloed from one another, with most of the focus weighted toward eCommerce. 

3) New Retail Media opportunities, the same tension between major retailers and CPGs. 

In the current grocery landscape, major chains hold the majority of power in advertising relationships. Brands depend on them to get their products in front of consumers, and retailers are leveraging this for big money. This has created an even more competitive market, with CPGs outbidding each other for premium digital real estate. 

But big retailers aren’t just charging more, they’re also limiting what brands can do in their campaigns. With so much power, major chains are able to dictate exactly what ad campaigns will look like while also restricting CPGs access to critical sales data. This makes planning future campaigns and tweaking strategies even more difficult for brands. It’s hard to say what the future will look like in these partnerships, but in the meantime, they aren’t very collaborative. 

4) Vendors are flooding the digital space with big promises.  

As advertising teams continue to shift their budgets to the digital front and RMNs receive larger shares of those budgets, more vendors are moving into the space and assuring that they have everything brands need to achieve RMN success. There are countless options to work with and plenty of third-party vendors that are doing really interesting things. But it remains important to take these promises with a grain of salt. 

After all, how many vendors can brands actually work with? Most CPGs are constantly up against the clock, and managing this many additional voices requires valuable time and resources. Although it’s vital for brands to begin entering into this space, it has to be done in a way that is realistic along with their existing strategies. 

A time to test, a time to learn. 

P2P Live solidified that CPG advertising budgets are being increasingly aimed toward digital, with more than $30.8 billion dollars being spent on digital advertising annually.

Digital retail media ad spending is targeted to reach $61.15 billion dollars by the end of 2024, nearly triple the 2020 total of $20.81 billion. But despite all of the advancements that were showcased at the conference, it was abundantly clear that the retail media landscape is still in its infancy.

As brands scramble to try and carve out their place, it’s important to remember that nobody has it quite figured out yet. 

The space truly is a new frontier, and staying ahead of the competition requires a willingness to run campaigns oriented toward testing and learning. This means a commitment to trying different strategies, partnering with different creative providers, and being ready to pivot when certain strategies aren’t effective. 

Adsta helps simplify this process by giving CPGs the ability to craft and execute their own campaigns across an open network and manage multiple RMNs at once. Brands get their products in front of shoppers at the exact moments they are making purchasing decisions and receive valuable first-party data that they can use to craft their own campaigns. The landscape is new, and staying competitive in the space requires support from partners you can trust. Adsta makes this easier by offering brands flexibility and experience to cut through the static.