The Head of Walmart Advertising Partners discusses the benefits of working with a third-party AdTech platform, one simple action that can make a campaign successful, and what’s ahead in 2021 and beyond.
What is Walmart Advertising Partners?
In January, we launched the Walmart Advertising Partners program, which allows advertisers to launch and manage Walmart Sponsored Products campaigns through select third-party platforms. The goal of this program is to help our advertisers scale, automate and optimize their advertising presence with us.
Who are the current Walmart Advertising Partners?
Our first four partners are Kenshoo, Flywheel, Pacvue and Teikametrics. All four companies are well-respected and have built unique end to end solutions on top of our Ads API.
What do Walmart advertisers value the most about the program?
"Reporting" and "optimization" are two benefits I consistently hear.
What I love is that each Walmart Advertising Partner marries a wealth of subject-matter expertise with a platform designed to help advertisers make smart and efficient decisions. These are advanced technologies that can optimize thousands of keyword bids in seconds and then turn around and tell you what’s working and what’s not — all in a palatable, actionable format. It’s a great advantage for advertisers who work with them.
What kind of advertiser is the program best suited for?
That’s the neat thing. The partners we work with can handle a depth and breadth of businesses regardless of size, vertical or goal. The most obvious use case is a large advertiser or agency that needs advanced tools to scale. But there’s a solution for anyone who wants to grow their advertising with us. Three partners offer a choice of managed serve or self-serve campaigns to fit an organization’s needs. A fourth specializes in providing tools and services to small and medium businesses and Walmart Marketplace sellers. Any advertiser looking to grow their ad spend on Walmart should consider one of our Walmart Advertising Partners.
How should an advertiser work with Walmart Media Group and Walmart Advertising Partners to achieve their goals?
Communication is king. In the most common scenario, an advertiser works with an agency and a Walmart Advertising Partner. The agency executes the advertising buy via the technology provided by one of our partners. If they include Walmart Media Group in the process — and they should — these stakeholders all need to be in lock step on the campaign goals and direction.
I recommend establishing check-ins that include representatives from your Walmart Advertising Partner, your agency and Walmart Media Group — even if it’s just to talk strategy. If you’re more hands-off and prefer to leave the campaign to your agency or Walmart Advertising Partner, do make sure there is a symbiotic partnership, and everyone is rowing the boat in the same direction. You’d be surprised at how often this one seemingly simple thing, of being on same page, is the difference between success and failure.
You came to Walmart in late April. What excites you most about working at Walmart Media Group?
When I met our Vice President and General Manager, Stefanie Jay, I was inspired by her passion to deliver ads Walmart customers find useful and relevant. The overarching goal of Walmart Media Group, because we sell products, is full funnel. We cover the entire shopper journey from brand discovery to purchase. That's different from anywhere I've been. Walmart’s mission is to save its 160 million weekly customers time and money so they can live better. If you think about that in terms of relevant and engaging ads meeting customers at the right time, Walmart Media Group can really help drive that mission.
What’s next for Walmart Advertising Partners?
Today, we have four partners in the program. One key aspect of this program is to make ads on Walmart accessible to advertisers of all sizes. We'd like to continue to expand the partner choices we make available to reduce friction for existing and potential advertisers.
Also, currently, the program is entirely focused on Walmart’s Sponsored Products ads. In the future, there’s a whole world of partners we want to work with to deliver ads customers find useful. Creative partners, Display advertising partners — the list goes on. It will be a fun ride!