Many advertisers see retail media solely as a performance marketing channel. But 7-Eleven’s retail media network, Gulp Media, is aiming higher up the funnel.
“Most retail media [networks] are focused on performance marketing on their first-party websites,” Mario Mijares, vice president of insights, loyalty, marketing, and monetization platforms at 7-Eleven, said at Advertising Week New York 2023. “We’re not doing that. Our focus is connecting our database to third-party platforms and in-store for top-of-funnel and mid-funnel marketing.”
Powering this full-funnel experience is 7-Eleven’s “immediate consumption ecosystem,” which includes Gulp Media, 7-Eleven’s database of customer loyalty and point-of-sale data, and its Brain Freeze Collective, a group of 250,000 customers that can be tapped for qualitative or quantitative research.
With these tools, 7-Eleven helps brands achieve lower-funnel goals like conversion as well as upper-funnel objectives like brand awareness and lift.
7-Eleven will soon add another layer to its ecosystem: lab stores. These are fully functional 7-Eleven locations that use hidden cameras to see which products are resonating with consumers and which aren’t, giving brands access to customer insights before they even officially launch a product.
“Do a small run [in the lab store],” said Mijares. “Once you’re ready to launch, then we do a launch campaign for the loyalty program [across all stores], then [do a] shopper marketing [campaign], and then outside our four walls with Gulp Media. All of that [data] goes back into our analytics platform and then you can do your attribution.”
Gulp Media also plans to lean heavily into in-store media in the coming years, specifically with in-store radio.
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