Shopper Marketing - August 2018 - 40
Walmart Media Group (WMG)
SHOPPER MARKETING AUGUST 2018
Assets and Capabilities
Walmart rebranded its WMX ad platform as Walmart Media Group in June,
having introduced a redesigned Walmart.com earlier in the year. Two major
platforms now fall under the WMG umbrella: the WPA Sponsored Search platform, which allows suppliers to contextually target, promote and measure their
product listings across the site; and the WMX Audience Targeting and Measurement platform, which uses past shopper behavior to predict, target and
measure digital campaigns both in-store and online.
WMG is the conduit for all brand advertising on Walmart-owned sites (e.g.,
Walmart.com, Jet.com, Bonobos, Hayneedle) and external sites (e.g., Facebook, Google, Pinterest), as well as brand placement during live streaming
through Walmart Live.
Keys to Success
Commit to the investment. Any manufacturer that is
unwilling to fully invest with Walmart or that expects
WMG media dollars to be rewarded with incremental
merchandising or distribution is going to be disappointed under the new regime.
In the past, most brand managers have been less
willing to invest in shopper marketing with Walmart,
based on the assumption that the retailer's sheer size
and reach will drive their business. But that is starting to
change, says Lisa Johnston, vice president of client services and Walmart & Sam's Club team leader at Epsilon
Catapult. "National advertising is not the best way to
drive sales at Walmart," she says. "Success depends on
investing in the retailer's technology platforms in smart
ways that engage with the Walmart shopper at every
stage along the purchase journey."
Mars Food's "Ben's Beginners"
campaign for its Uncle Ben's brand
included advertising on various
digital properties within Walmart
A refreshed Walmart.com with ad units featured
on bolder "takeover" home pages, dynamic
search pages and image-driven brand stories/
Offsite targeting of Walmart shoppers via
Google, Facebook and Pinterest.
Real-time reporting, including mid-campaign
Self-management of WPAs (retailer paid search)
and WMX audiences in offsite media.
Actual sales results tied to Facebook and
Walmart overall: Over 140 million shoppers per
The goal is to grow from 130 million omnichannel
households currently to 150 million by 2023.
ers an expansive and integrated new platform through
which to speak to the Walmart shopper.
"We view our commitment to WMG as an investment
in the future," says Drew Mathias, omnichannel marketing team leader for Walmart at Georgia-Pacific. "It
gives us a tremendous platform to meet the needs of
ever-changing shopper behavior, such as the substantial increase in online grocery shopping that we expect
in the next couple years."
Look to develop creative partnerships. Experts say
that marketers should not be deterred by the required investment levels from seeking creative partnerships as part
of their commitment to WMG. "It is important to have an
open dialogue with your WMG partners. There are many
ways to creatively solve for both Walmart's and your own
brand's objectives," says Shaina Fox, customer marketing
manager at Mars Food, a business unit of Mars Inc.
Mars recently worked with WMG on a program that
started out as separate awareness-building initiatives
but ultimately combined brands pages on Walmart.
com for its Uncle Ben's rice brand and Seeds of Change
organic brand. "Through several rounds of conversations with WMG, we were able to come up with a great
solution to leverage both brands within the Walmart
network and maximize our investment," says Fox.
For Mars, having physical proximity to WMG teams
at the Walmart headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas,
is critical to building trust and confidence in the relationship. "Day-to-day contact is necessary to get the
partnership to a point where they fully understand your
brand and your category," says Fox. "When it is time
to develop and execute campaigns, it becomes more
seamless than an in-and-out approach."
Use insights and inspiration to personalize ads.
As Walmart has consolidated its ad platforms under
the WMG banner, the imperatives for marketers have become even clearer: Walmart
and merchandising to exist
independently. It expects
brands to bring their best
prices and to support its
strategy. At the same time,
it wants to continue to grow
its advertising business. In
WMG, it is offering market-
Marketers who work with Walmart on digital advertising say there's one thing that hasn't changed under the
new WMG platform: The path to personalization goes
through data and insights.
Marketers must come armed with those critical data
sets in their respective categories when building a media
strategy to speak to the Walmart shopper, says Mathias.
"The effectiveness of digital advertising execution comes
down to the quality of insights, virtual merchandising and
storytelling with the right tools, timing and message."
For a pantry brand that might not be at the highest
priority on the shopping list, there are different ways
to personalize the digital ad experience, says Fox. "It's
our job to provide WMG with insights to build the right
call to action. The weeknight dinner dilemma might be
a quick trip in and out of the store, which is very different than spending leisure time on a Sunday afternoon
preparing a family dinner."
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Shopper Marketing - August 2018
Shopper Marketing - August 2018 - Intro
Shopper Marketing - August 2018 - 1
Shopper Marketing - August 2018 - 2
Shopper Marketing - August 2018 - Contents
Shopper Marketing - August 2018 - 4
Shopper Marketing - August 2018 - 5
Shopper Marketing - August 2018 - 6
Shopper Marketing - August 2018 - 7
Shopper Marketing - August 2018 - 8
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