Aaron Richman

Aaron Richman is a Toronto-based shopper marketing consultant passionate about motivating shoppers to buy your brand!

Shopper Digitial Media ad spend in Canada is on the rise

Growth in Shopper Digital Media: Exploring the Dynamics of RMN vs. RAMP

Shopper Digitial Media ad spend in Canada is on the rise
Shopper Digitial Media ad spend in Canada is on the rise

The digital advertising landscape in Canada is witnessing remarkable growth within Retail Media Networks (RMN). According to IAB Canada, RMNs in Canada continue to grow with projections for 2024 indicating ad spend will reach $3.15B in Canada representing 25.9% YOY growth. By 2026, it is anticipated that RMNs will command 25% of all digital ad dollars!

The surge is being led by CPG clients who capitalize on RMNs to leverage a retailer’s first-party data, enabling them to deliver targeted ads with relevant messaging to specific shoppers, thereby helping to drive higher sales conversion rates. (Of course, a handful of omnichannel marketing friends tell me they have no choice but to invest😊) In Canada, Amazon Media, Walmart Connect and Advance Powered by Loblaws lead the RMN industry.

RMN Benefits
Shopper Digital Media: Benefits of retail media networks or RMN

On the flip side, Retailer Agnostic Media Platforms (RAMP) carve out their own niche in the digital ad landscape. RAMPs empower brands to connect with a broader, more varied shopper audience, free from the constraints of a singular retail ecosystem. Plus, many RAMPs, including companies like Flipp, ShopLiftr, AdAdapted and GenesisX, provide innovative ad formats offering fresh and engaging advertising experiences.

RAMP Benefits
Shopper Digital Media: Benefits of Retailer Agnostic Media Platforms

In my view, striking a balance between RMN and RAMP ad solutions is key. A dual-strategy approach offers:

1. A harmonious blend of targeted and broad reach.

2. Increased flexibility to switch between RMN and RAMP based on their performance metrics.

3. The ability to engage shoppers throughout their purchasing journey.
I’m curious about how others approach a digital media strategy for shoppers. How do you navigate the RMN and RAMP landscape? Share your insights in the comments section below!

IAB article here: https://shorturl.at/PIWUN
Flipp info here: https://corp.flipp.com/platforms/
ShopliftR info here: www.shopliftr.com
AdAdapted info here: https://www.adadapted.com/
GenesisX info here: www.genesisx.com

loblaws boycott pic

Shoppers Angry at Food Prices Consider Boycott of Loblaw Banner Stores Starting May 1

loblaws boycott pic
Shoppers consider boycotting Loblaws stores as food prices rise

NEWSFLASH: Canadians are mad as hell (about high food prices) and a group of Ontarians are not going to take it anymore– at least from Loblaws! According to a story on CTV News last night, over 60,000 people have signed a petition on Reddit, Inc. to boycott all Loblaw Companies Limited banner stores in May as a way of voicing their displeasure with rising prices.

Will the boycott have any impact?
Is Loblaws being unfairly targeted as prices and profits are just as high at other grocery retailers including Sobeys, Metro and Walmart Canada
As Dr. Sylvain Charlebois eloquently explains the group is aiming its frustration at the wrong problem stating, “it is not about the consumer at the store, it’s about the supply chain bullying happening between Loblaw, Walmart and suppliers…and it needs to be fixed.”
But whether it is corporate greed or supply chain causing food prices to go up, Canadians are struggling and looking for help to save on weekly grocery shopping trips. According to a recent research study by Caddle:
· 60% ALWAYS seek out discounts and promotions when grocery shopping.
· 62% have switched stores to get a discount.
· 61% find out about discounts and promotions via flyers.

A majority of shoppers always seek out discounts and promotions when shopping for groceries

No matter the outcome of the boycott, the issue of high food prices persists as a significant challenge in need of a resolution.

REDDIT BOYCOTT PAGE HERE: https://tinyurl.com/4a2bjsx7

CTV STORY HERE: https://tinyurl.com/yc23d4rw

CADDLE RESEARCH STUDY HERE: https://tinyurl.com/2pxxkvs3


Omnichannel Marketing Trends for CPG in 2024

omnichannel marketing trends for 2024
Omnichannel marketing trends 2024

As 2023 comes to a close, I want to share with you my top three trends that will shape omnichannel marketing in 2024:

1. Prioritize Value Offers: In the current economic landscape, for the foreseeable future, consumers are going to be budget-conscious in order to stretch their grocery budgets. As a result, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies must put together an omnichannel marketing plan to reach shoppers pre-shop and in-store with aggressive value-based offers such as price promotions, coupons (digital or IRCs), bonus loyalty points offers, contests and more to drive sales conversion.

Air Miles Receipts and Walmart Coupon Centre are two new options available to omnichannel marketers to reach shoppers with an added-value offer

2. Retailer Media: The seismic shift of advertising dollars towards retail media will undoubtedly continue in 2024.  The draw of first party sales data allowing CPG brands to reach key target audiences with relevant offers while in the shopping mode is challenging to resist. Plus, with the huge financial investments being made by the likes of Walmart and Loblaws, the shopper experience is only going to improve next year.

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Retail media is becoming a key component of the omnichannel marketing playbook.

3. Generative AI: The advancements in generative AI technology will allow CPGs to become more efficient when it comes to omnichannel marketing. AI will help marketers to do such things as map out new shopper journeys, introduce new product innovation, identify the most profitable target audiences and personalize offers leading an increase in ROI.

I am interested in what you see as the key trends next year in omnichannel marketing, so leave a message in the comments section. 

Until next time, I wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season.

Marketing consultants help agencies grow

Top 10 Benefits of Hiring a Marketing Consultant

Marketing agencies operate in a dynamic and highly competitive environment where staying ahead of the curve is essential for success. In this landscape, marketing consultants serve as invaluable assets, offering expertise, fresh perspectives, and specialized skills. This blog delves into some of the myriad benefits that marketing consultants bring to agencies, spanning from augmenting the agency’s capabilities to enhancing client satisfaction and growth.

Top 10 Benefits of Hiring a Marketing Consultant

Marketing Consultants Can Help Agencies in 10 Ways

1. Diverse Skill Sets for Holistic Solutions: Marketing consultants often possess a wide range of skills and experiences in various marketing domains. These professionals can complement an agency’s internal team by bringing specialized expertise in areas such as strategic planning, digital media, content marketing, sales promotion, branding and more. The diversification of skills allows agencies to offer holistic and integrated marketing solutions to their clients, ensuring that all facets of a marketing campaign are executed with excellence.

2. Fresh Perspectives Ignite Creativity: Marketing consultants bring a valuable outsider’s perspective that can breathe new life into an agency’s creative processes. They are not constrained by the agency’s historical methods or biases, allowing them to see opportunities that might have been overlooked. Consultants can challenge the status quo, encouraging teams to think outside the box and devise innovative strategies. This fresh perspective fosters creativity and can lead to breakthrough ideas that set the agency apart from competitors.

3. Specialized Knowledge Elevates Expertise: Some marketing consultants specialize in niche industries or specific marketing tactics. Marketing agencies can harness this specialized knowledge to better serve clients in particular sectors or target demographics. This specialized knowledge is particularly valuable when agencies seek to expand their client base into new verticals. It enables them to demonstrate a deep understanding of the client’s industry, instilling trust and confidence.

4. Scalability in Response to Client Demands: Client workloads often fluctuate in marketing agencies, with projects of varying sizes and complexities. Marketing consultants provide agencies with a scalable resource pool. Agencies can engage consultants on a project-by-project basis, ensuring that they can meet client demands without the commitment and overhead of hiring full-time employees.

5. Client Satisfaction and Retention: By integrating the expertise of marketing consultants into their services, agencies can significantly enhance the quality and effectiveness of their client relationships. Consultants can contribute fresh ideas and refined strategies that lead to better results, ultimately boosting client satisfaction. Satisfied clients are more likely to continue their partnerships with agencies, leading to increased client retention rates.

6. Cost Efficiency: Hiring full-time employees with specialized skills can be expensive for agencies, especially when those skills are not needed continuously. Marketing consultants offer a cost-effective alternative. Agencies can access specialized expertise without incurring the overhead expenses associated with permanent staff. This cost efficiency extends beyond salary considerations. It also includes savings related to benefits, training, and equipment allowing agencies to reallocate their budgets more strategically and maximize ROI.

7. Training and Development of Internal Teams: Marketing consultants can play a role in training and developing the agency’s internal team. They can share their knowledge, provide mentorship, and facilitate workshops or training sessions to enhance the skills of in-house staff. This knowledge transfer ensures that agency teams stay updated on the latest marketing trends, technologies, and best practices. It promotes a culture of continuous learning and improvement within the agency, enabling it to remain competitive and adaptive.

8. Adaptability to Market Changes: The marketing landscape is characterized by rapid changes, driven by evolving consumer preferences, technological advancements, and shifting market dynamics. Marketing consultants are often at the forefront of industry developments, and they are skilled at helping agencies adapt to changes and emerging trends swiftly. Whether it’s adopting new digital tools, pivoting strategies in response to market shifts, or capitalizing on emerging opportunities, marketing consultants provide agencies with the knowledge and guidance needed to stay current and competitive.

9. Deliver Faster Results: Marketing consultants possess a wealth of hands-on experience and streamlined decision-making processes allowing them to swiftly identify effective strategies, mitigate common pitfalls, and optimize campaigns, ultimately accelerating results.

10. Flexible Resource Allocation: Marketing consultants offer clients flexibility of being hired on a project basis or to provide on-going support allowing agencies to access specialized expertise when needed, optimizing costs while tailoring the consultant’s role to align with evolving agency goals.

Bottomline, marketing consultants are indispensable assets for marketing agencies seeking to excel in a fiercely competitive and ever-evolving industry. Their diverse skill sets, fresh perspectives, specialized knowledge, and adaptability provide agencies with a multifaceted toolkit to thrive in a dynamic market. Whether agencies require support in specific projects, seek to enhance client satisfaction, or aim to expand their services into niche industries, marketing consultants offer a wealth of benefits that contribute to agency growth and success.

To check out my service offering visit my profile here.

Digital shopping list app

Shopping Lists help drive sales conversion!

One of the questions I get asked most often by my CPG clients is “how can we improve our sales conversion rates?” via Ecommerce sites or in-store.

Typically, I advise clients that driving higher conversion rates starts in the pre-shop phase of the shopper journey by driving consideration utilizing shopper digital media with a goal of literally getting their brand on a consumer’s shopping list. Why is this so important? Well, according to a new research study from my friends at AdAdapted from their whitepaper titled “The CPG Pre-Planning Report”, shopping lists are an important part of the path to purchase.

Here are a few top-line insights:

  • 82.1% of shoppers use a shopping list “often” or always.
  • 80.1% of consumers use both pen-and-paper and digital grocery shopping lists.
  • 54.3% of survey respondents use pen-and-paper while 49.6% note using a digital grocery list “often” or “always.”
  • Individuals across all age demographics utilize both types of lists, but Gen Z and Millennials tend to use digital shopping lists more often.
  • Consumers have a range of digital options available for managing their grocery lists including basic note-keeping apps (58.8%), digital grocery list apps (41.8%) and retail eCommerce apps (40.4%).
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Shopping list apps are increasing in popularity with grocery shoppers

For more insights you can download a copy of AdAdapted’s full report by clicking here.

AdAdapted ads solution helps brands get on shopping lists and into shopping carts

And if you want help getting your brand onto shopping lists and into shopping carts consider AdAdapted’s media advertising solution which focuses on a new advertising genre: shopping list marketing. It is a solution many of my clients have used to drive consideration and sales lift.

A top line overview:

  • AdAdapted is a mobile only ad platform using patented technology.
  • AdAdapted’s solution allows brands to reach an exclusive shopper audience by serving ads via digital shopping list apps across North America.  In the USA, there are 130 million Americans who have a grocery shopping list app on their mobile device with 46 million active users every week.  In Canada, there 6.2 million Canadians who have an app with around 750,000 active weekly users.
  • The solution also allows brands to also serve ads on any other app on a shopper’s phone using mobile device IDs.  For example, if a shopper has a digital shopping list and The Weather Channel on their mobile device, AdAdapted can serve ads to both apps.
  • Using patented Add-It™ technology allows shoppers to add the featured product to their shopping list app or directly to a retailer shopping cart without leaving the app.
  • Utilizing first-party data AdAdapted can hyper-target ads, for example, to category users, competitive brand buyersand within proximity of key retail stores.

If you want to know more about AdAdapted’s shopping list ad solution feel free to contact me at aaron@jamzmarketing.com or check out their website by clicking here.

Until next time, thanks for visiting.


Shelfgram Sobeys Medicine Hat Canada 2023 07 30T144205 4

Loyalty Rewards Programs Help Retailers Retain Customers

Canadian grocery shoppers love loyalty rewards programs! This according to a recent research study from Caddle that shows practically all Canadians use at least one type of loyalty reward program led by the PC Optimum card with 91% penetration. And with the cost of groceries continuing to rise, rewards programs will maintain their popularity with consumers who are seeking out value-based offers in order to stretch their weekly shopping budget.

Shelfgram Sobeys Medicine Hat Canada 2023 07 30T144205 5
Sobeys Scene card loyalty rewards program POS in-store.

For grocery retailers, the benefits of loyalty rewards programs are plentiful and include:

* Customer acquisition – According to the Caddle research study, loyalty programs rank second behind price on things Canadians consider when deciding where to shop.  Moreover, 51% of shoppers state loyalty programs play a key role in choosing where to shop.

*Customer retention: Loyalty programs are highly beneficial to grocery retailers, bringing them repeat customers, larger basket sizes and higher customer lifetime value. In fact, if a retailer stopped their loyalty rewards program, 74% of shoppers would change their shopping habits by shopping at the store less frequently.

*Zero-party Data: Loyalty programs allow grocery retailers to capture historical purchase data that can be utilized to improve marketing strategy, to develop seamless online and in-store shopping experiences and to personalize messaging and offers to individual shoppers.

Finally, despite high consumer usage and satisfaction, retailers face two key challenges moving forward to ensure their loyalty rewards programs. First, shoppers want more personalized offers with 44% of Canadians stating more relevant offers would motivate them to use their loyalty rewards program. And second, shoppers want the ability to redeem loyalty points in more places than just the retailer stores.

It will be interesting to see how loyalty rewards programs evolve over the next 12-18 months.  If you have a comment, please leave one.  Until next time, thanks for reading.

Check out the full Caddle report on The Shifting Landscape of Consumer Loyalty by clicking here.

Retail media growing to $85B By 2026

Retail Media to Reach $85B in Sales By Moving In-Store

Retail media networks expanding by moving in-store to reach shoppers

With predictions that sales will reach $85 Billion by 2026 (source: Forrester), retail media networks are rapidly assuming a pivotal role in the grocery industry, with an increasing number of food retailers either entering the space or adding to existing digital offerings via E-commerce sites or mobile loyalty apps with a goal of driving pre-shop consideration and online sales.

With the growth of retail media being driven by fast-growing interest by CPGs in reaching shoppers through the channel, retailers are turning their attention to expanding digital advertising solutions in-store. The key reason, as per a recent article by Insider Intelligence is “in-store retail media offers massive audiences that are an average of 70% larger than digital audiences for leading brick-and-mortar retailers”.

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Retail media: In-store vs. digital US Monthly reach (Source: eMarketer)

In-Store Retail Media Options Are Exploding

Kroger is testing smart screens in its cooler section which can display advertisements and promotions.

* Walmart USA announced its testing in-store audio ads something already available in multiple banners in North America through a partnership with companies such as Stingray Advertising.

* Many retailers are adding video screens in aisles, endcaps, and self-checkout lines.

* Tokinomo has partnered with retailers globally to bring its robotic POSM shelf advertising solution to interact with shoppers in-aisle in real time.

* Smart carts, from companies such as Veeve Inc., originally introduced as a checkout solution are evolving into retail media hubs pushing information and offers to shoppers depending on where they are in the store. 

In the digitally enabled grocery store, retailers will be able to improve shopper experiences while pushing valuable, personalized product offers to shoppers as they move up and down aisles driving impulse purchases and shopping cart size.

Bottomline – retail media networks are fast becoming an integral part of the digital media mix, especially, as more CPGs are demanding a ROI (eg. sales conversion) for digital advertising spends from their media and shopper marketing agencies. For me there are two things to watch:

1. Will CPGs increase overall digital media spend or start shifting above-the-line advertising budgets to retail media networks?

2. A key challenge for retailers will need to ensure they do not bombard grocery shoppers with too many ads to the point where they start to detract from the shopping experience.

Until next time, thanks for reading.

To learn more about JAMZ Marketing visit the author bio here.

Omnichannel marketing to older generations

Omnichannel Marketing and Targeting Older Generations in 2023

Omnichannel marketing to older generations
Omnichannel marketing to older audiences rare

FACT: 95% of the consumer package goods (CPG) omnichannel marketing briefs I read have brands wanting to target Gen Z and/or Millennial audiences. But, isn’t it time for CPG brands to start shifting some advertising dollars to reach older Gen X and Baby Boomer audiences?

Consider this. By 2028, the older 60+ age group will account for more than 1/3 of overall growth in grocery spending!


According to a recent article by Mercatus Technologies, demographic shifts and the expansion of households in the USA are contributing factors.

For example, in the USA, over the next 5 years: No age demographic will expand faster in terms of population than age 60+. Also, household composition is changing with birthrates in decline leading to a significant increase in single person households. Plus, today the majority of wealth in the USA is held by age 55+ today (70% of the $111.04 trillion of U.S. net worth!).

So older/richer and smaller = sales growth in the age 60+ group.

Yet CPGs continue to spend omnichannel marketing budgets to target, for the most part, younger generations.


Is there a bias against targeting older demographics with advertising (besides life insurance, pharmaceuticals and adult diapers)?

In a recent article written for The Message, advertising consultant @Eric Blais surmised: “ageism can also be reflected in the advertisements themselves, with many campaigns featuring only young and attractive models or actors. This can send a negative message to older individuals, making them feel invisible or irrelevant”.


Is it because the younger audiences offer brands an opportunity to build long term loyalty with a group of consumers whose buying power will increase. Plus, with Ecommerce booming, Gen Z and Millennials are digital natives making them easier to reach through online advertising, social media, and mobile apps.

Both are plausible explanations.

If you have an opinion, I would love to hear it.

Older marketing agency workers can help train future leaders

Ageism Running Rampant in Marketing Agencies

Older marketing agency workers can help train future leaders
Ageism does not allow old and young marketing agency employees to benefit from working together.

As reported in a Globe & Mail newspaper story in  the Institute of Canadian Agencies (ICA) Talent Census Report showed only 11% of the marketing agency workforce was older than age 51!  Crazy when you compare the broader labour market in Canada where persons age 51+ account for 35.42% of the workforce. In fact, 70% of the agency workforce is under age 40!

Now that I am of a certain vintage, I have started to explore this topic.  Admittedly, I am one of the lucky ones whose clients appreciate the knowledge and experienceI bring to them every day.  However, all too frequently of late I am hearing from industry friends, who I consider in the prime of their careers, being phased out of roles for a variety of reasons all disguised as one thing – ageism!

So why are there so few elder states-people in the industry? The two most common theories are first, are older workers are less creative and, second, older workers more expensive. Well let me be the “old guy” to dispel these myths.

CREATIVITY: The perception older workers are less creative than younger counterparts tend to be based on the belief younger people are more in touch with current trends and pop culture, making them better suited for marketing work. However, I will argue older workers are just as creative as younger ones as they often bring diverse perspectives and life experiences to the table, which can be invaluable in creating effective campaigns.

EXPENSE: The perception older workers are more expensive than younger ones is based on the belief that we have more experience and, thus, are more likely to demand higher salaries. While we may command higher salaries, the reality is older workers are more cost-effective than younger workers as we are more productive, less likely to require extensive training and more likely to stay in jobs longer, reducing the costs associated with employee turnover.

The consequences of ageism in marketing agencies in Canada are significant. For example, discrimination against older employees can lead to a loss of experienced and skilled professionals, perpetuate negative stereotypes about aging, and negatively impact the mental and physical health of older employees. To combat ageism, marketing agencies must create a culture of inclusion and diversity, value the perspectives and experiences of older employees, and provide opportunities for growth and development for employees of all ages. By doing so, agencies can create a more diverse and innovative workforce, better serve their clients, and ultimately succeed in a competitive marketplace.

If you are age 50+ and working for a marketing agency I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject of ageism.

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2023 Omnichannel Marketing Trends

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Top 5 omnichannel marketing trends for 2023

Omnichannel marketing is evolving so here are my predictions on what the top 5 trends for 2023 will be within CPG that will dominate the grocery landscape.

1. Brands will increase focus on online grocery shopping

While in-store will remain the #1 channel for grocery shopping, many brands are starting to invest more dollars to build an online ecosystem to ensure they reach shoppers to drive pre-shop consideration and online sales conversion.

2. CPGs will expand emphasis on personalization to improve conversion rates

A recent research study from McKinsey & Company shows 71% of consumers expect personalization and 76% will switch brands if they don’t like their shopping experience. As a result, many brands are using customer data and insights to create targeted and personalized experiences and offers direct to consumer or in partnership with key grocery retailers.

3. Retailer Media Networks will continue to grow in popularity

In my recent blog “Omnichannel Marketing & the Growth of Retail Media Networks”, I wrote about how retailer media networks are gaining in popularity.  How popular?  According to a trends report from the Path to Purchase Institute (P2PI) a survey of 166 marketing executives, shows retailer media networks as the number one most important omnichannel tactic in 2022. This trend is only going top continue this year.

4. Shoppers will increasingly demand brands be more sustainable.

Sustainability is becoming a key factor in consumer purchasing decisions. Brands that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability are more likely to attract and retain loyal customers. This will include promoting sustainable production practices, reducing packaging waste, and offering eco-friendly products.

5. High grocery prices will continue driving more shoppers to buy private label products.

As Brian Ettkin at Numerator Canada stated in an article in Canadian Grocer Magazine in October 2022:Canadian shoppers have become more reliant on private label in today’s high inflation environment and there is no sign that sales will slow”. I agree.  Especially given that grocery prices will continue to rise in 2023 and the consumer perception of the quality of private label products is improving all the time.

What are your top 5 shopper marketing trends for 2023? I want to hear from other omnichannel marketers what is on your trends list.