Just a few weeks ago, Brad Rencher, Adobe’s general manager and executive VP declared that ‘marketing is no longer about brand awareness – it’s about brand purpose’. These pertinent words were said when launching Adobe’s new Advertising Cloud at its Las Vegas Summit in late March and resonated with Lidl, the discount supermarket chain disrupting the British retail sector through its high quality produce combined with heavily discounted prices. Lidl UK have signed up as the first Adobe Advertising Cloud partner in EMEA since launch.
As all eyes look towards Adobe’s EMEA Summit in London, I sats down with Sam Gaunt, Head of Media at Lidl UK to ask why those words resonated with him so much – and why Adobe Advertising Cloud became Lidl UK’s digital marketing solution of choice.
Sam, briefly tell us about Lidl’s digital marketing journey.
Sam: Lidl’s business philosophy is neatly encapsulated by our current campaign, “Big on Quality, Lidl on Price.” It centres around the provision of high-quality groceries at market leading prices which are kept low by a rigorous efficiency in everything we do, including our marketing. Every item of expenditure undergoes a cost benefit analysis, in which effective measurement is critical. At a total level this showed us in 2015 the opportunity from increasing marketing spend, which we deployed in every major media channel, but we have found that the return from digital display and video is lagging behind most offline media. Understanding why is a key area of focus for us.
Our partnership with Adobe Advertising Cloud is a key step in unpicking digital effectiveness so that we can more confidently align digital KPIs with sales ROI and ultimately be able to profitably grow our digital investment.
Why did you choose Adobe Advertising Cloud?
Sam: Through an RFP process we interrogated the technical and service offerings of the leading DSPs and concluded Adobe Advertising Cloud provided the best all round package that was right for Lidl. We like the fact that as an independent DSP, AAC doesn’t own any inventory and, therefore, are not beholden to helping publishers make money. AAC’s flexible, agnostic advertising tech stack allow Lidl UK to input our own data, inventory deals and ad serving, and we believe AAC offer market leading viewability and adfraud safeguards. Most importantly, AAC have fantastic people who will work with our equally brilliant team at Starcom to add genuine value to our planning and measurement. Their ‘metrics that matter’ mantra really resonated with us.
What has impressed you so far about the partnership with Adobe Advertising Cloud?
Sam: I’m really impressed with the dedicated team we can turn to in order to help us through our transition process. While Lidl UK owns the contract with Adobe Advertising Cloud, our media agency, Starcom MediaVest manage the service. The Adobe Advertising Cloud have been nothing but supportive to Lidl and Starcom since the partnership was created. Integration into Starcom’s digital media planning team has been seamless – already we are seeing the partnership grow into true collaboration.
The client service team at Adobe Advertising Cloud know the platform inside out and are constantly putting forth suggestions to help Lidl UK get the most from it. They’re creative and make complex concepts simple and easy to understand.
What are your objectives over the next 12–24 months?
Sam: Identifying the metrics that matter in collaboration with our econometric and media planning teams will give us a clear understanding of what we need to drive in digital to affect sales alongside our broader media mix. Digital for Lidl will become a level playing field with no artificial walls between different digital channels and placements. Every £1 of our investment, offline or online, will drive ROI for this business as hard as it can regardless of format or placement.
For me, the increasing turnover we drive through our media spend is more than commercial success – it’s a metric which shows increasing numbers of hardworking British families getting more for their money. That’s what made Brad Rencher’s comments about brand purpose so resonant.
Sam Gaunt will be discussing how to navigate the programmatic maze for business success at Adobe Summit EMEA, taking place on May 10th and 11th 2017.