Minds over media: Insights from top marketers on navigating the advertising-commerce landscape

4 minute read

No need to rub your eyes – the lines between advertising and commerce really are fuzzy! That means marketers need all the advice they can get to sharpen their focus and connect with Canadians. Below, read excerpts from three of our insightful experts published in the latest issue of INCITE magazine exploring today’s fast-paced and ever-changing landscape.

There are plenty more insights available for you – sign up for INCITE and never miss an issue.

Sign up for INCITE

Surfing the third wave

Dana Toering, Managing Director of Commerce Media for Nectar First, on creating a unified retail media funding and team structure:

Funding from retail media tends to come from multiple sources across the organization. It’s time to break down the silos and embrace a unified approach to funding your holistic media plan.

In this third wave, retail media has moved beyond shopper and trade dollars and should consider all media across the full marketing funnel. Moving away from siloed budgets helps ensure you are not underinvesting but rather taking full advantage of your sales opportunities. Embracing a holistic approach to planning allows you to access key levers across national retail and other customer connections.

As challenging as it sounds, one plan and one budget across media, trade, shopper and ecommerce will set your organization up for long-term success. Your new model will require your teams to be structured to meet the needs of this new paradigm. More touchpoints will result in more complexity, and your teams need to be connected, cross-functional and collaborative. Duplicating efforts will drive investment waste, large missed revenue opportunities and potentially bad customer experiences. There are many structural models to consider, but your organization will need to find the right stake-holder mapping model that works for the future.
Dana Toering, Managing Director of Commerce Media for Nectar First.
Read Dana’s full article, “Surfing the third wave”, in the latest issue of INCITE.

More or less

Lina Kim, executive media consultant and strategist, on assessing media sustainability:

With the plethora of options to consider, brands also need to create a framework to assess the media suitability of new and untested opportunities. The fundamental goal of media planning serves to answer a simple question: Can it reach the right person, at the right moment, in the right place, with the right message?

What is “right” is relative to each brand. Filtering opportunities against clearly outlined minimum activation requirements will better determine if a new channel or tactic is worth the time and investment. Those filters include the following:


  • Can they accurately reach your target audience?
  • What is their targeting strategy, and what types of data do they use to inform targeting?
  • What is the total reach against your target audience? Is this reach sufficient?
  • What is the projected future audience growth?


  • Does the content align with the target’s interests and affinities? What is the breadth of targeting available?
  • How do users interact with the media? What are current user engagement levels? How much time is spent, and how are they spending it?
  • Is the environment brand safe? What brand safety protocols are in place to protect users and advertisers?


  • What creative formats are offered? Do they go beyond standard units?
  • What are the current platform benchmarks by creative?
  • What are the creative best practices for the platform?

Competitive presence

  • Are direct competitors present and active?
  • Can they provide competitor share of media or any data on levels of activity and investment?

Cost implications

  • How does the cost compare to similar media?
  • Is the opportunity affordable compared to available marketing budgets?

Lina Kim, executive media consultant and strategist.
Read Lina’s full article, “More or less”, in the latest issue of INCITE.

The marketer’s dilemma

Nick Moretta, Other founding partner, on how creative can be a driver of performance:

We are entering a creative renaissance, a moment in time when marketers begin to value creative highly. The past 5 to 10 years have pulled many marketers’ attention away from creative and toward media as a business performance driver.

Google and Meta now account 59.6% of digital ad spend in Canada. Keep in mind that 7 out of every 10 media dollars is spent on digital. These two platforms even reached a peak of 70% in 2020, which drove much of this focus away from strong creative and toward the power of platform targeting.

This all happened rather quickly because these platforms drove exceptional, measurable results. Marketers flocked to them for the ability to make an impact quickly, and the rest is history – or maybe not.

With the influx of aggressive marketers, major privacy changes and new AI-driven algorithms, the approach to generating results from these platforms has now changed. The ability for an agency or marketer to target on a granular basis has been significantly reduced.

And guess what has become exceptionally important? Creative.

Many marketers understand the value of strong tactical creative, but I’m willing to bet that, in most minds, creative is the realm of brand. The key here is to understand that sometimes we focus far too much attention on the endless metrics of media and not enough on creative. Even within creative, we spend much of our time focused on its impact on the brand, but we sometimes forget how a simple call to action on a powerful spot can make a difference.

The most successful leaders value creative highly and treat their creative campaigns, much like their media investments, in a balanced and complementary way. Every piece of creative work can perform, and everything performing can generate a positive impact on brand building.
Nick Moretta, Other founding partner.
Read Nick’s full article, “The marketer’s dilemma”, in the latest issue of INCITE.

For marketers, by marketers

You won’t believe what we see when it comes to opportunities for your marketing.

Let’s chat