“I think Walmart believes that many of their suppliers are still very early in their digital marketing evolutions, [and that supplier partners could] benefit from Walmart’s scale,” Goldberg said. “One of Walmart’s unique advantages is they can help their partners attribute digital marketing to in-store sales.”
For media buyers, using data to reduce campaign waste is an especially enticing proposition. WMX, according to Krista Lang, SVP and executive media director at independent agency 22squared, should help suppliers gain more insight into performance in order to better optimize against their targets.
“This definitely emulates Amazon’s efforts with the Amazon Advertising Platform, and both retailers have similar goods and large scale, with Walmart online sales growing rapidly,” she said. How rapidly? Walmart’s sales growth online surpassed Amazon’s for the first time last quarter, increasing 30% to $10 billion (Amazon’s grew 20% to $67.8 billion) according to the Wall Street Journal.
But some of the details around Walmart’s media targeting and optimization platform are still unclear. What third-party data sources will Walmart use? Has Walmart built or partnered with a data management platform? Either way, diversifying datasets will be key.
“WMX will need to partner with additional data sources like Rentrak and Nielsen, as well as other data sources in market to ensure they can bring a holistic approach to their offering,” Lang added, particularly if Walmart measures in-store uplift against supplier television buys.