What Your Brand Can Learn From Walmart's Evolving Marketing Strategy
The most prominent challenge marketers faced in the past year was keeping up with COVID-driven demands. Even Walmart, the largest retailer in the United States, was not excluded from this challenge, which led to a realignment of their marketing strategy.
Now, as the world makes finds relief from the pandemic, Walmart is trying to decipher which pandemic-related marketing strategies will endure and which will sunset.
Strategy one – shifting out of the lower funnel.
Walmart quickly repositioned its marketing strategy from upper-funnel to lower-funnel when the pandemic hit. However, this meant that most customers would now have the benefit of trust-driving media to justify new ways of shopping with Walmart. Although beneficial at first, a lower-funnel strategy is inefficient without balance. That is why Walmart will transition back to an upper-funnel bias, especially as the economy improves.
Strategy two – bringing the brand back into focus.
Walmart stepped up technologically and for its community members during a time of enormous societal change. They prioritized putting the needs of others first and placing their brand in the backseat. Now, as more predictable levels of demand materialize, Walmart is rebalancing its investments to focus on building strong relationships and trust with its ever-growing customer base.
Strategy three – maintaining a service-oriented approach.
Even among the pandemic chaos, Walmart was able to successfully launch Walmart+, a membership program that offers subscribers in-store and online benefits, such as unlimited free delivery and fuel discounts. This year, Walmart plans to further focus on a service-oriented approach, looking past the traditional customer journey to deliver benefits to all parts of their customers' lives.
No matter a brand's post-pandemic approach, the key takeaway should be building authentic relationships with consumers. After more than a year spent in quarantine, separation and isolation, people are yearning for brands to create and build a community that makes them feel safe, seen, and supported.