Fuseworks Media

The Mars Agency brings its ground-breaking Retail Media Report Card to NZ

To help brands efficiently evaluate their spending options across retail media networks in New Zealand (and Australia), The Mars Agency developed a scorecard that assesses the capabilities of leading platforms across key criteria required to optimally plan, execute, and measure effective retail media programs.

With spending on retail media advertising in New Zealand increasing exponentially each year, this unique scorecard comes on the heels of The Mars Agency’s expansion into the New Zealand market when the company acquired The In Group, New Zealand’s top brand activation agency, earlier this year.

The Mars Agency is sharing a public version of the more detailed Report Card it shares with clients, to catalogue the progress being made across local networks. This is to encourage transparency and the development of industry standards for effective evaluation that can improve the collaborative process between retailers and brands.

This, the region’s only Retail Media Report Card, is available now. The Report Card evaluates the capabilities of eight leading networks across New Zealand and Australia in the grocery, pharmacy, liquor, and ecommerce sectors. It examines 62 key capabilities across five performance areas – targeting, measurement, media opportunities, innovation, and partnership – and identifies the “table stakes” that all effective networks should offer.

“The state of retail media networks in New Zealand and Australia reflects a dynamic and rapidly evolving landscape, characterised by innovation, competition, and the quest for consumer engagement and loyalty,” says Sally Tobin, Managing Director ANZ at The Mars Agency.

“We’ve been helping our brand clients make sense of these increasing market complexities and identify the best investments for their media dollars. This Report Card is a tool we use to arm them with the intelligence they need to do just that.”

Marketers already view retail media as an unprecedented opportunity to reach consumers throughout the purchase funnel and down to the point-of-purchase, which makes these retailer-owned channels an attractive option for their digital marketing dollars.

In-store media opportunities are already a key piece of the retail media offering in ANZ, in contrast to other global regions where networks focus almost exclusively on digital opportunities. Major retailers are building up sizable operations: Woolworths’ Cartology already has a substantial offering in both New Zealand and Australia.

Since late 2022, The Mars Agency’s US team has released a quarterly Report Card that has become a valuable assessment tool for both brands and the retail media networks themselves. The agency’s European team also recently released their second edition.

“The Mars Agency is influencing and managing more than one billion dollars US in retail media globally, and this expansion of our Report Card is our commitment to another region experiencing immense growth,” says Ethan Goodman, EVP of Commerce Media at The Mars Agency.

“We took learnings from our US team and worked closely with retailers here to develop this Report Card as a tool to help both brands and retailers,” explains Dani Carlo, ANZ Commerce Media & Measurement Director at The Mars Agency.

The Report Card will be updated quarterly to reflect the ongoing efforts of these networks to improve their capabilities and build stronger, more effective partnerships with brands.

New Zealand’s top brand activation agency, The In Group, was acquired by The Mars Agency earlier this year. This acquisition established The Mars Agency as one of ANZ’s foremost brand activation partners for brands and retailers. It united The In Group with XPO Brands, Australia’s leading shopper and retail experience agency. The Mars Agency acquired XPO Brands in early 2022 to gain their first entry into the ANZ market.