Solution Provider Spotlight: CATALINA

Company Name: Catalina
Author of the post: Wes Bean, Chief Revenue Officer
Tenure With Current Company: 6 years
Years of Industry Experience: 20+ years

Give us a brief history of your company, when and how did you get started and what is your high-level mission statement?

In 1983, five marketing visionaries took a boating trip off the coast of California’s Catalina Island. They collectively developed a groundbreaking idea – to create the world’s first in-lane personalized marketing channel using innovative digital technology to offer shoppers highly personalized offers and incentives at the point of purchase. For 40 years, Catalina has been a trusted partner helping CPG retailers and brands maximize consumer relationships, personalize shopping experiences & drive precision-powered performance. Catalina’s mission is to understand and influence shopping behavior – turning shoppers into buyers, and buyers into fans.

What would you like CMA and SIMA members to know about your brand/company?

As a trusted partner to some of the world’s leading CPG brands, retailers and agencies, Catalina’s data scientists leverage the most advanced predictive modeling techniques and ethical AI to fuel our partners’ growth. Catalina’s BuyerScience synthesizes a rich, real-time blend of granular, purchase-based data and shopper insights into nearly all U.S. households to understand what motivates buyers, both offline and on. Catalina can then find the right audience for marketers using our customizable segments that further utilize our AI driven audience building technology and then engage and activate shoppers anywhere through precisely orchestrated, highly personalized, omni-channel messages and offers in-store as well as across digital, TV and OOH media. Our ability to measure the success of our efforts is invaluable; we can track the responsiveness and sales impact across channels in real time to enable in-flight adjustments and optimize media spend for our customers.

Our flexible omni media solutions, powered by our BuyerScience ID Graph, accelerate your growth nationally and at key accounts to provide:
· AI-powered Audiences & Personalization
· Unified Cross-Channel Reach
· Optimized Message Frequency
· Inflight & Post Campaign Sales Measurement
To learn more about Catalina’s points of differentiation, visit Why Catalina, and to see some of the results our omnichannel solutions have achieved for CPG brands & agencies, check out Success Stories.

What is the most important thing that needs to be addressed in the category management and shopper insights disciplines going forward?

CPG Retailers and Brands continue to have their P&Ls disrupted by sticky inflation, which is also affecting consumer behavior across retail formats. Compounding the bottom-line impacts for retailers are the reductions in SNAP benefits. This is all happening as shoppers are looking for meaningful value whether they’re shopping in-store or online, so it’s increasingly important to provide offers and incentives when and where they need it – in a privacy-compliant manner – to build loyalty and grow baskets. We deliver precision marketing at scale which is critical to making every dollar of your advertising spend as effective and efficient as possible.

While our data scientists have been leveraging AI for years, over the last 24 months Catalina has accelerated the performance of our solutions and predictive models with AI to build highly efficient audiences (whether you’re targeting lapsed shoppers, acquiring new shoppers, or enhancing relationships with loyal shoppers), activate personalized media across unified channels, optimize campaigns inflight based on real-time insights, and measure sales return. We’re committed to using purchase-based insights in an accountable way, always respecting an individual’s privacy, while measuring and optimizing a campaign to deliver stronger return on ad spend (ROAS).

Catalina provides our CPG customers with a clear picture of what, where and why shoppers buy, and we provide real-time omnichannel activation at every point across the purchase funnel that seamlessly engages shoppers both inside and outside the store. We help retailer clients maximize their marketing dollars to deliver total incremental sales and growth in key categories and shopper segments most relevant to their strategy. In fact, Catalina’s redemption rate is much higher than the competition at an average of 5.3%!

What is the most common question you hear from current and potential customers, and how do you answer it?

Our clients are asking us how we can help them regain lost shoppers, how to increase the size of baskets, and how to find buyers for new products in new markets of operation. Regardless of the marketing channel, solution or marketing tactic, the differentiation we provide is rooted in Catalina’s BuyerScience, our deep understanding of customer behavior overlayed with our advanced data science capabilities to find the right consumer for the right piece of media that helps influence each purchase decision.

Our clients are also increasingly interested in learning how their media campaigns are performing in real-time and, because we see point-of-sale data from our retail partners in real time, we can optimize campaigns inflight based on how consumers are responding, thus creating better consumer response and a higher ROI for the ad spend invested with us. Additionally, brands rightfully expect a clear understanding of whether their campaigns are driving sales. Our closed loop measurement enables marketers to understand their return on ad spend (ROAS) and which combination of audience, media channels, and creative drives the best performance.

Any white space in the industry or areas you are looking to expand into?

To fuel our retail, brand, and agency partners’ growth, we’ll continue to advance our predictive modeling techniques and use of ethical AI to improve the performance of our solutions to fuel our partners’ growth. With an industry wide focus on ROI, we’ll further advance our Responsive Marketing Solutions, using real-time insights to deliver personalized marketing experiences that help brands and retailers acquire new
consumers, maximize purchases with loyal clients, and retain shoppers who show signs of churn – by blending digital and non-digital channels into seamlessly integrated campaigns that respond inflight to shopper behavior what that is through: sequential marketing, retargeting and audience suppression. Learn more about our Responsive Marketing offerings here.

We’ll continue working strategically in partnership with our brand and retail partners – and their agencies to drive ROI. On the Shopper Marketing side, we’ll continue advancing our technology, insights, and customer knowledge to reach that unique shopper – at a regional, local, and even store level to drive engagement opportunities. We’ll continue working with brands and their agencies to unlock the power of our AI-driven custom audiences, precision targeting and inflight campaign optimization to deliver the best possible return across channels. From a channel perspective, our investments in CTV will help our clients drive awareness, reach and sales – and make advanced TV truly measurable.

How are you thinking about the next 3-5 years in retail?

We’ll continue to invest in machine learning and AI enhancements to our personalization technology to continuously improve campaign performance for our clients. We will continue to weave our 1:1 deterministic data with the richest real-time data sets to give our customers a deep reservoir of insights into today’s shoppers – and help measurably impact shopping behavior both in-store and online.

Protecting an individual shopper’s right to privacy will continue to be a top priority, as our in-store network taps into anonymized shopper IDs to provide real-time insights and predictive models to develop effective in-store shopper programs.

Also, it will be essential for retailers to design and implement a “digital divide” strategy to give all shoppers equal access to offers and incentives by combining digital coupons with 1:1, in-store, in-lane media solutions. Delivering ads, offers and incentives through digital-only solutions misses a significant share of shoppers across all demographics due either to their preference for printed coupons or lack of access, including more than 100 million consumers 18 and over who are not engaged with digital platforms for shopping or savings. By working together to address the digital divide, grocery retailers can help these shoppers stretch their dollars further and earn their loyalty by meeting the customer truly with where they are at and their desire to receive value how they want to be engaged.