Walmart’s CMO talks time, money and message
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the Spieckerman Retail blog.
Walmart’s “Save money. Live better” slogan has served as a multi-purpose mantra for the company, but delivering on the “save money” part is becoming more difficult as shoppers compare prices online and as free shipping and free returns for online purchases become table stakes. According to Walmart’s chief marketing officer, Tony Rogers, money is always top-of-mind for Walmart shoppers.
That doesn’t mean that its “live better” premise gets a pass, though. At a recent presentation, Mr. Rogers pointed out that time has caught up with money in terms of importance and the two are, in many ways, inextricably linked. Shoppers want to save money, but not at the expense of their time. According to Mr. Rogers, online grocery shopping and the ability to have items brought out to shoppers’ cars at a nearby Walmart store has time-starved customers saying, “You’ve brought me back.” Walmart currently offers this service in 50 markets, with plans to roll it out further along with its much-publicized mobile wallet service, Walmart Pay.
Convenient options like the ability to shop online and pick up in a store parking lot has proved “life-changing” for ”busy families,” the largest consumer group Walmart targets and the hardest to cater to.
The segment mainly includes large, multi-cultural, middle-income families with Millennial and Gen X parents who have college or post-graduate degrees. For busy families, saving money is a priority, but at the same time life is a juggling act and time is precious.
Retailers have been experiencing a bit of a convenience conundrum as different customers define convenience in different ways. Further a single customer will look for convenience in different ways depending on the usage occasion, time of day, category being shopped, and countless other variables. Walmart is making bold moves to close any gaps by addressing convenience on multiple fronts and leveraging its considerable physical scale in order to make it happen.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Should convenience become a larger part of Walmart’s marketing message? In what ways do you see savings and convenience becoming linked as drivers of the shopping experience?