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KEY PLAYER PROFILE Tesco Media and Insight

Image © Tesco

During yesterday’s Retail MediaX conference, Paul Skeldon introduced the brand new Retail Media 2024 report. This 64-page report looks at how this ‘new’ market has come into being, and what it means for the stakeholders across retail, brands, suppliers, agencies, media companies and tech vendors.

There are nine real-world examples in the report, covering some of the worlds most recognisable retailers. One of which is the UK’s oldest and largest RMNs – Tesco Media and Insight. It leverages vast consumer data and canny media partnerships to offer brands extraordinary reach.

Launched in 2017, Tesco Media and Insight (TMI) is one of the UK’s ‘oldest’ retail media networks. Co-created by Tesco, the UK’s largest grocery retailer, and dunnhumby, a global leader in customer data science, this partnership combines Tesco’s vast customer data with dunnhumby’s expertise in data analysis. The end result offers a powerful brand advertising proposition, something Tesco has been keenly exploiting since long before the rest of us got excited about retail media. 

Its strength lies, however, in reach rather than longevity. Tesco brings its vast customer base along with 20mn Clubcard users to the platform and has attracted more than 450 of the UK’s leading brands. 

Dunnhumby brings the data analysis and handling chops that can leverage this database to target a massive audience with highly relevant brand ads at the point of choice. It also uses dunnhumby’s Sphere platform, allowing brands and agencies to book premium placements directly, as well as understanding real-time campaign performance at the touch of a button with in-flight sales reporting. 

It works, too. While Tesco doesn’t publicly disclose specific revenue figures for TMI, considering Tesco’s overall revenue of £60bn in 2023 – and the growing importance of retail media – analysts estimate TMI’s advertising revenue to be in the hundreds of millions of pounds. This would make it one of the UK’s largest domestic retail media networks. It is also believed to deliver a ROAS of £6.60 on digital ad spend compared with £3.80 for other channels. 

In 2022, phase two of the network’s roll-out saw Tesco make some still innovative additions to TMI by partnering with a range of other media channel owners, including ITVX, Pinterest and The Trade Desk. This allows brands to reach Tesco customers via new channels, with precision and at scale. These are supported by partnerships with InfoSum and LiveRamp, enabling customers to be confident their data is securely offering more relevant advertising. 

The company has expanded on-site opportunities for brands, with new sponsored placements on, updated app inventory, revitalised special offers pages and improved brand zones, giving CPG brands more options to stand out earlier in the customer journey and reduce friction. 

The instore options have also been updated to be among the most sophisticated in the UK. This included, in 2023, a market-first in Scan As You Shop media placements and the return of online sampling. This comes alongside an ever-growing SmartScreen network and the continued roll-out of Tesco instore Connected Displays.

What it offers
Tesco Media and Insight uses Tesco’s vast pool of data and data science to offer:

Targeted display advertising – Placement of banner ads across Tesco’s website and app, across all categories.

Sponsored products – Prominent placement of specific products within search results and category pages.

Data-driven targeting – Leverages Tesco’s Clubcard loyalty data to create highly targeted advertising campaigns.

Omnichannel marketing – Integrates online and in-store advertising for a seamless customer experience. Partnerships with ITVX, Pinterest and The Trade Desk allow brands to reach consumers through even more channels.

Self-service – TMI offers brands and agencies self-service capabilities to run campaigns and to measure and analyse campaign data.

The full report explores how retail media taps into not only how these players want to operate, but also chimes with changing consumer search, discovery and shopping habits.

Drawing on ConsumerX research, third party data and value-chain testimonials, the report will explain the concept of retail media networks, their evolution, how to leverage them from any point within the value-chain and where they go next.

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