Data leaders dunnhumby launch retail media platform

Company told Store Brands it can identify audiences that buy a lot of own brands and measure campaigns targeting them.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Data science organization dunnhumby has introduced a retail media platform that enables retailers to scale and maximize revenues from retail media, while advertising partners will benefit from enhanced collaboration and the ability to plan, book, measure and pay for campaigns across online and in-store channels.

The company calls the platform dunnhumby Sphere, and dunnhumby said it can be a source for leveraging retailer private brands, too.

“With dunnhumby Sphere, retailers and private label brand managers can target customers with highly relevant content across media channels thereby driving private brand awareness and conversion,” said Emily Turner, SVP customer engagement and media, Americas, dunnhumby, in an interview with Store Brands. “It enables them to identify specific audiences, such as customers with a high propensity to buy private label products, forecast results and measure the uplift for their campaigns. This retail media platform leverages customer data science across the planning process and uses actual purchase behavior, both online and offline, to ultimately increase sales and grow brand engagement.”

London-based dunnhumby said Tesco in the United Kingdom utilizes the platform to power several of the retail media products offered as part of the Tesco Media and Insight platform, which was recently launched to help Tesco suppliers and agencies engage with customers and understand their evolving needs.

"With dunnhumby Sphere, retailers and private label brand managers can target customers with highly relevant content across media channels thereby driving private brand awareness and conversion.”
Emily Turner , SVP customer engagement and media, Americas, dunnhumby

Being called a customer first retail media platform, dunnhumby Sphere is described as an end-to-end retail media platform that takes users from brand insights to campaign billing through its fully integrated set of modules. Retailers can leverage the platform to transform their media business, increasing the sophistication of their omnichannel media offerings without any of the complexity or cost that this change usually involves, per dunnhumby. And as a modular solution that integrates with the broader ad ecosystem, dunnhumby Sphere will also allow retailers to incorporate their existing retail media technologies.

“Retailers are finding out that building their own retail media business is complex,” said Julie Jeancolas, head of media and customer engagement products, dunnhumby. “The retail media ecosystem is highly fragmented, making platforms difficult and expensive to develop. This often means that the value of data gets trapped, with some third-party data platforms serving unusable data to brands and agencies, which undermines the point of a self-service platform.”

Jeancolas added that it provides retailers a way to validate the long-term impact of retail media on the customer experience and sales. 

The platform also aims to help retailers and brands save time by making complex workflows easier to manage across all media channels. Bringing together multiple sets of data, Sphere provides retailers and their advertising partners with a single view of all audience activations, providing easy access to AI-powered audiences to help brands find the shoppers they need to target in order to hit their marketing goals and deliver high return on ad spend.

With consistent, cross-channel customer profiles, dunnhumby Sphere tracks the long-term impact of retail media on the shopper experience. Retailers can monitor the impact on customer lifetime value, loyalty, and basket size. At the same time, in-depth measurement helps to maintain campaign relevance as shopper needs change, while transparent closed-loop measurement provides gives advertisers the proof of incremental performance.

Jeancolas continues: “dunnhumby Sphere enables retailers and brands to collaborate in a way that will really improve the customer experience. Retailers can set their own parameters around how advertisers can engage with their shoppers, while brands will have self-service access, making it easier to target the right shoppers with the right messages. It’s a true omnichannel approach to ensure a consistent experience for all customers.”

The platforum dunnhumby Sphere will launch in several stages, with modules including digital, store media, digital onsite and sponsored products to follow throughout 2022.