Braintrust Query: What’s the content opportunity for brands on Walmart.com and other store websites?
By Carol Spieckerman, president, newmarketbuilders
In terms of advertising
and content opportunities for brands, Walmart.com’s brand
showcases offer “always on” presence and even allows links to corporately-branded websites.
Sherry Smith, VP and general manager at Triad Digital Media, which buys
ads for Walmart.com, said engagement is critical when Walmart has
tracked a 68 percent increase in time spent on pages when interactivity
Ms. Smith spoke last
week along with Walmart’s senior marketing director,
PK Van Deloo as part of the Bentonville Chamber’s
Ms. Smith encouraged
brands to bring their national banner ads to Walmart.com and she cited
Ziploc’s use of embedded video, Kellogg’s breakfast calculator and Zyrtec’s pollen calculator (which gives pollen counts by
zip code) as innovative engagement tools. Brands such as 3M have sponsored
entire categories (the gifts and celebrations center).
However, Ms. Smith was
quick to point out that fractional commitments are welcome as well. Sampling
campaigns have been quite successful for Walmart.com (with a five percent
click-through rate and opt-in gold to boot) and you can see sampling offers
peppered throughout the site. Current sampling opportunities on the website
include offers from Prilosec OTC heartburn medicine, Cottonelle Ultra
Toilet Paper, Hawaiian Tropic After Sun Body Butter and Sun
Crystals All-Natural Sweetener with Stevia.
every product lends itself to sampling and not every vendor is able to
provide samples, Walmart.com is encouraging brands to co-create compelling
campaigns that leverage a variety of tools and tactics, sampling being
Continuing in the hair-splitting
world of click-through rates, Ms. Smith categorized click-through success
into three imperatives:
the right creative;
the right process, including working within their 8-week lead times; and
the right media placements (ones that are “contextually relevant”).
If all three are mastered,
brands can enjoy a return rate that is 3-5 times the industry average,
One of the overriding
themes that stayed with me throughout the presentation is how downright
measurable all of this has become. I know that many vendors still think
of internet spends as risky, airy fairy dart throws; however, both Mr.
Van Deloo and Ms. Smith made compelling, data-filled
arguments for ROI and performance measurement. They know, for example,
that the industry average banner ad click through is 0.14 percent; for
Walmart.com, it’s 0.42 percent. Fractional stuff but do the math and Walmart.com
is tracking at three times the average.
Speaking of tracking…The
standard measurements of click through rates and time-on-page reports are
still relevant, and Walmart provides these to
brands; however, Ms. Smith pointed out that Walmart.com is happy to provide
more sophisticated and customized data to its brand sponsors. They now
can correlate and track online impressions and in-store sales lift and
integrate Retail Link data into their measurements. Bottom line: Walmart and
its participating brands can more closely track the impact that brands’
online presence is having to in-store sales.
What’s the content opportunity for brands on retail websites? What do
you think of the progress Wal-Mart is making incorporating brands online
and developing online metrics? How should brands be
experimenting with retailers to engage consumers on retail websites?