Walmart's CMO Outlines 3 Key 2024 Initiatives
In a keynote presentation at the ICR Conference in Orlando, FL earlier this week, William White, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Walmart U.S., detailed three key marketing strategies for the retailer in the new year. Each of the three initiatives support the marketing team's goal of making Walmart a place where people want to shop, not just have to shop.
1. Creating Demand and Driving Traffic
White noted that Walmart wants to be in the places where consumers are spending their time online, including younger shoppers. He cited Walmart's recent project on Roblox, Walmart Discovered, as an example of the retailer showing up where people are spending their time. Walmart Discovered was a first-of-its-kind activation that created a new way for users to “find their thing” by discovering the best games, indie experiences and virtual items as voted on by the community. Walmart drove 14.77 million visits to its Walmart Discovered platform.
Asked specifically about Walmart's presence on TikTok, White responded that "we want to be where our customers are. But we need to make it natural and additive to that experience. We're helping younger consumers see Walmart differently than their parents, grandparents."
2. Foster Customer Engagement and Loyalty.
With customer acquisition costs (CACs) rising, marketers across the retail industry are investigating ways to get customers to come back to their brand again and again. Walmart is no exception. White talked about Walmart Creator, a Beta platform that empowers users to share product recommendations and earn money while doing so. Whether a first-time content creator or an established influencer, Walmart Creator users have access to the tools they need to create and share content, and ultimately earn and live better.
3. Build Brand Equity.
Walmart is making a concerted effort to put the brand in pop culture to make it cool, according to White. There are two examples he cited, both that embedded commerce features into creative marketing campaigns. The first was the Walmart-produced holiday rom-com "Add to Heart," a shoppable series that featured more than 330 products that viewers could purchase while watching on TikTok, Roku, YouTube or the retailer's owned social channels.
The second was an ad that reunited the cast from the 2004 teen film "Mean Girls" to promote Walmart's Black Friday deals. The ad series promoted Walmart's deals that dropped each Wednesday beginning Nov. 1 through Cyber Monday on Nov. 27. As White noted, "on Wednesday's we shop" a nod to a famous line in the film, "on Wednesdays we wear pink."
Wrapping up the Q&A portion of his session, White noted that adjustments to the product catalog, including reducing the amount of product in some stores to allow merchandise a better opportunity to shine; store remodels to create a more modern, connected shopping experience; and a shift in how the retailer shows up in the external world have all contributed to Walmart's recent success and are positioning the company for a strong 2024.