One of Walmart’s most extensive marketing campaigns in recent years is “A different kind of membership.” This campaign is aimed at promoting the membership of the Walmart + system, which offers customers the opportunity to save on in-store delivery, use scan & go, and get discounts on fuel (Walmart introduces Walmart+, 2020). The campaign consists of a series of commercials that show the daily life of 22 families with different ethnic and social backgrounds (White, 2020, para. 2). The goal of this campaign is to show how much time people can save by using Walmart + for other important life activities. This message is in line with the company’s mission of “saving people money so they can live better” (Our history, n.d, para. 24). This campaign emphasizes that Walmart strives to make people’s lives better, not only by saving them money but also by saving time.
This message for an advertising campaign is extremely successful, as it allows the company to emotionally engage customers. Commercials show aspects of life that are close to every person, allowing viewers to associate themselves with them. Moreover, William White, Chief Marketing Officer, notes that families of different ethnic groups participated in the campaign, “single parents, multigenerational households and families with members with disabilities” (White, 2020, para. 2). This approach emphasizes the importance of the interests of families from different backgrounds and Walmart’s concern for their differences. Moreover, it is noted that the campaign was created with the participation of the spousal filmmaking duo, which also indicates the direct involvement of the creators in the agenda (White, 2020). Combined with the NBC Sports promotion, Walmart’s campaign is highly successful and focuses on customer values.
The main social media platform for the company is Twitter due to its popularity in the United States. Walmart currently has 19 different accounts that specialize in various territories (A deep dive, n.d). The main company account publishes, on average, 1-2 posts per day, each of which contains both text and image/video (Walmart Inc., n.d). On Walmart’s Twitter account, one can see a lot of posts related to the environmental agenda, as well as information about collaborations with other companies. This account strategy is also extremely successful because it emphasizes Walmart’s involvement in both global and local activities. In general, the company focuses on a social agenda, which underlines its desire to participate actively in public life. Monllos (2020) notes that Walmart is currently not only increasing its social media presence but also collaborating with many other brands. This strategy certainly allows the company to quickly respond to online trends, as well as promote its new online features, such as delivery or mobile application among customers.
In order to analyze how a given campaign attracts customers, it is necessary to consider the target group of the company. Hanbury (2020, para. 4) indicates that the average Walmart customer is “46 years old and white and has an annual household income of just over $76,000.” Additionally, most of Walmart’s customers, like other major grocery retailers, are women (Hanbury, 2020). It is also important that, among other large retailers, the company’s clients have the lowest average income (Hanbury, 2020). More than 60% of Walmart’s buyers are also white, Hispanic are around 18%, and Blacks are about 10% (Hanbury, 2020). Thus, the company’s intention to expand both its online presence and activity in social media is justified.
Walmart’s advertising campaign aims to attract customers from various ethnic and racial backgrounds. Since, at the moment, most of the company’s buyers are white, this desire is justified for expanding the target market. The company also provides permanent discounts and therefore focuses on lower-income populations looking to save. Thus, Walmart is aimed at the daily consumer who may be experiencing various difficulties in life, as shown in the advertising campaign. However, the company strives to demonstrate that it is able to facilitate one aspect of customers’ lives. Although the average age of buyers is 46 years old, the company seeks to attract younger customers. Walmart does it by expanding its social media presence, actively discussing the environmental agenda, as well as promoting the application and online options. Younger customers have yet to develop brand loyalty, which allows the company to win them over. Thus, integrating social media into a marketing campaign is a promising approach.
The main recommendation for Walmart’s social media campaign is to diversify the focus of the discussion. In particular, the company’s Twitter account contains a wealth of information on the environmental agenda, highlighting the company’s global concern. Pasquier and Wood (2018, p. 2) note that “social media can greatly benefit organising activities by increasing participation, empowerment and organisational ownership.” Thus, Walmart should pay attention to the coverage of the life of the community and its members, as well as the integration of workers into the media life of the company. Shawky and Kubacki (2019) mention that social media is particularly effective in fostering interpersonal and group discussions, which also fosters a sense of belonging and community. This strategy can be extremely beneficial for the company so that customers can feel more contribution to their daily life.
Another important aspect is the increase in the number of customers and partners’ activity on the company’s social media page. It is noteworthy that Walmart’s Twitter posts receive very few likes, comments, and responses (Walmart Inc., n.d). However, a company’s social media page can be an important platform for providing customer feedback and communication with the company (Vithayathil & Dadgar, 2020). In particular, it can help Walmart respond more quickly to customer needs and market trends. Thus, Walmart should engage the audience more in communication by creating various posts aimed at exchanging opinions or responding to customers. Moreover, this approach will also allow one to analyze patterns of audience behavior and determine which marketing strategies are more effective (Ayodeji & Kumar, 2019). Currently, the company’s account does not appear to be extremely customer-friendly and limits its ability to communicate with the company.
Another important recommendation for a company’s marketing strategy is to focus on promoting free online products and options. Shawky and Kubacki (2019) note that social media is extremely effective not only for building relationships with customers but also for long-term behavioral change. In this case, Walmart should pay more attention to the promotion of online services in its account, in particular, Walmart + and the mobile application. Given the other benefits of social media platforms, a company can receive timely and comprehensive feedback on its products on its social media page. Thus, these recommendations will allow the company to attract a younger audience that actively uses social media for communication and online services.
Ayodeji, O. G. and Kumar, V. (2019) ‘Social media analytics: a tool for the success of online retail industry’, International Journal of Services Operations and Informatics, 10(1), pp. 79-95.
Hanbury, M. (2020) This is what the average Walmart shopper looks like.
Monllos, K. (2020) Walmart’s new social media strategy has boosted app downloads 50%.
Our history (n.d).
Pasquier, V. and Wood, A. J. (2018) The power of social media as a labour campaigning tool: lessons from OUR Walmart and the Fight for 15.
Shawky, S. and Kubacki, K. (2019) ‘Using social media to create engagement: a social marketing review’, Journal of Social Marketing, 9(2), pp. 204-224.
Vithayathil, J. and Dadgar, M. (2020) ‘Social media use and consumer shopping preferences’, International Journal of Information Management, 54, pp. 1-40.
Walmart Inc. (n.d).
Walmart introduces Walmart+ (2020).
White, W. (2020) A different kind of ad campaign for a different kind of membership. ]