Walmart – The Media Company

Posted By Joe Pulizzi on December 31, 2008

As soon as I looked at Walmart’s Soundcheck microsite, I immediately realized that Walmart was in the media business.

Not that any person who pays attention to marketing wouldn’t think that today. Walmart’s own in-store TV network has been going on for quite some time now. The Soundcheck site is more of the same - but better.

Walmart's Soundtrack with Beyonce

Walmart (the media company) has partnered with Unilever (the advertiser) on a co-branded website that, according to this AdAge article, is paying significant dividends in traffic and blog mentions.

They key: original content (that can’t be found anywhere else). For example, Walmart’s Beyonce feature with Unilever’s Suave includes “behind the scenes” video footage of Beyonce’s Bermuda show and of the show itself.

I’m sure your thinking that Walmart can do this because they are, well, Walmart. That’s true, but every company of every size needs to be thinking about this concept.

Do What Walmart is Doing

First, to create interest in your products and services, you need to generate consistent amounts of relevant, valuable and compelling content. You can do that by yourself through multiple channels, or you could work with non-competitive partners.

Do you have resellers or channel partners in your industry?…if so, partner with them. The same goes for partnering with associations.

Look…marketing survival today includes a solid content strategy. Finding an expert content provider is key, but it may also make sense to find a content partner/supporter as well (like Walmart has with Unilever).

Look at the Soundtrack website. Could you do something like that for your customers? You should at least be seriously considering it.

Comments (1)


Jeff Molander

January 02, 2009

Walmart.com recently shut down their internal ad sales department (where they literally sold Walmart.com space to suppliers/OEMs) and outsourced it to Yahoo. They've always been a media company when it comes to the Web. It's not very well known but true. Yes, indeed, Joe... this reeks of content marketing and proves they're still in the media business.

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