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Walmart’s New Advertising Plans

Walmart Stores Inc. (WMT) will likely get a new take on advertising starting in 2018 as it makes a bigger commitment to online advertising and makes new hires. Its online effort is opening up a new revenue stream for the company. One of Walmart's greatest assets is how it collects and combines its in-store data and online shopping data. This is considered to be a veritable data goldmine for advertisers, which makes for an attractive proposition.

One of the main benefits of the data is it informs them on how to create general ads, using flash, video, text, images, that may encourage visitors to the site to make a particular purchase. This, in turn, boosts its e-commerce business. In addition to this, while Walmart's online ads have focused more on its own products, now more third-party sellers can showcase their banner ads on its website.

Strategies for Advertising

How might Walmart strategize its advertising program? The company Walmart uses banner ads, search, product listing and native ad formats on its site. Paid media, like native ads, or ads that blend into the form and function on the site that they appear, will be useful. A 2018 study conducted by Sharethrough says consumers look at native ads 53% more frequently than display ads. The study also said these types of ads "registered 18% higher lift in purchase intent." Native ads are said to be more visually engaging than traditional ads.

And programmatic marketing, when sellers want a specific ad to be directed to a particular audience, is already utilized by Walmart. This type of advertising provides the owner of the banner ad the opportunity to customize it in real time, which is good for all parties.

New Hires Within its Advertising Mix

The company hired Barbara Messing as chief marketing officer in 2018, replacing Tony Rogers who has taken on a new role, as chief member officer, at sibling Sam's Club. Messing is now charged with continuing on with innovative advertising for the company. She leads marketing for Walmart stores and its San Bruno, Calif.-based e-commerce operations. She is Walmart's first female CMO and the first to be recruited outside the organization.

Walmart also created a new position: chief customer officer. Janey Whiteside, who is based in Hoboken, N.J., began in the position, also in 2018. Whiteside is charged with looking after the brand and examining the customer journey. Her remit is to think about how to acquire new customers, what their shopping experience is and resolving issues that they voice.


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