Wal-Mart has high hopes for the holidays, in part because lower gas prices and unemployment rates are putting more money in the hands of its shoppers this year, said U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Stephen Quinn in an interview after his appearance at the Association of National Advertisers Masters of Marketing conference in Orlando last week. To keep up with the demand for thousands of pieces of content, largely video, the retailer has established a single "holiday hub" for producing all of its holiday work, led by Senior Vice President, Creative, Andy Murray, Quinn said.
Now that digital and social media are reaching what Wal-Mart U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Stephen Quinn calls "critical mass," the retail giant is reshaping its marketing team and changing how it works with suppliers — including buying media for them. Wal-Mart met recently with around 200 supplier marketing executives in part to discuss the Walmart Exchange, or WMX, which its executives bill as a digital targeting, buying and optimization platform that will bring everything from sales to social media data to bear on spending plans for Wal-Mart and its suppliers.
Wal-Mart has reorganized reporting relationships, putting its U.S. marketing team under the leadership of the chief merchandising officer. Marketing currently operates as a separate group and the move, said Wal-Mart, is designed to improve shopper communication.
Wal-Mart is launching a Facebook app that customizes marketing for each of its nearly 3,600 U.S. stores, allowing tailored communications about local deals, events or limited-distribution products. Eventually, Wal-Mart also hopes to use the My Local Walmart app to grow its site-to-store e-commerce program and evolve it into an individualized marketing program.
In response to its 9 million Facebook fans asking for a more local focus, Walmart launched the My Local Walmart Facebook application, which will include more than 3,500 store-specific Facebook pages. The app will provide locally relevant information for U.S. Walmart stores, including new products, rollbacks and in-store events. Walmart and Facebook will continue to test, improve and add additional features to the app as users provide feedback. From the checkout line to our Facebook wall, Walmart continues to engage with and listen to its customers, says Stephen Quinn, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Walmart U.S.