Walmart are strategically a low cost strategy store to attract customer. But this is not enough as they have to contend with fierce competition from rivals like Target and K-Mart. In order to survive, Walmart has set up a very competitive marketing and communication strategy that is integrative and distinctive from all the other market competitors. (Barwise & Meehan, 2004).
Wal-Mart’s Marketing Communication Strategy
The Walmart marketing communicative strategy is keenly built around the company’s low cost strategy. Unlike its competitors, Walmart does not concentrate its marketing communication strategy to issues like hygiene in store, aesthetics and quick service. Walmart is instead keen on marketing communication around daily prices and advertisements mixed with wide product choices. Wal-Mart’s budget on communication marketing is just 0.3% of its revenue as compared to its closest rival at 2.3% as a further testimony of cost leadership in marketing communications. (Barwise & Meehan, 2004)
Level of Integrated Approach in the communication
The level of integrated marketing communication at Wal-Mart is centred on six communication firms. These firms carry out a lot of campaigns and modern advertisement. The advertising firms carry out one advertisement per store. Walmart sticks to this marketing communication strategy perennially. Unlike their competitors, Walmart does to invest in dimensional advertising. They prefer to use conventional approaches. Walmart also keen on image branding as one of their integrated communication approach. Walmart partners with many product firms to print their brand name and enhance visibility. (Barwise & Meehan, 2004)
Walmart is aggressive in communicating to the customer that their store products are easy to return when they are not satisfied. The store workforce also helps the customers in knowledge of products that they are about to purchase. Walmart is good at advertising products is stock so that they boost sales. Other than their brand name, Walmart communicates to the customers that their store locations are convenient for their uses as well as fun to shop at. The Walmart store layout give a communication to the customers that it is an easy to shop destination. The Walmart shopping atmosphere is friendly and fairly well maintained. (Drbul, 2003).
Promotional Tools used by Walmart
Promotional tools used by Walmart for distinctive communication include discounts store, sponsorship of events, educational bursaries, collaboration with leading product firms, among others. This socio-communication process is done in an ethical manner. Walmart have a promotional motto that says “if it works for our customers, then it’s working for us.”
The promotion of Walmart products is aimed at visibility in less than 3 seconds. Wal-Mart uses IT tools to manage efficiency in their stores. This Radio Frequency Identification tool allows the consumers to pay more attention to the products and increase satisfaction and dazzle. Wal-Mart uses packaging as a tool that targets specific consumer demographics. (Wilk, 2007)
Wal-Mart uses private labels as a tool to promote the sale of their products. This strategy has been in place since 1991 and consumers are easily identifying with these private labels. (Wilk, 2007). The labels have been designed to communicate product appeal, differentiation and consumer needs. Some Wal-Mart labels appeal to low cost customers while others identify with the expensive consumers. When the consumers’ behaviour changes over time, so will be the case for Wal-Mart promotional tools. Wal-Mart does this by innovative strategies that enable it to go ahead with the cost leadership and competitive advantage. (Wilk, 2007)
Conclusion: How other main topics discussed this week apply to Walmart
This weeks other main topics discussed were marketing communication mix, changing communication environment, effective communication and marketing communication ethics. Al these are applicable to Walmart in a strategic integration manner that has seen Walmart remain as the leading retail store in an industry that has stiff advertisement and communication players.
Walmart uses communication mix to reach differentiated demographics. Walmart is adaptive to changing communication environment hence carry out one advert per store. They perceive that on big marketing communication may not be applicable to all stores. Walmart uses effective communication and marketing to dazzle consumers and maintain their loyalty along ethical environments. They avoid unethical marketing communications that target minors as this practice is unethical.
Barwise, P. & Meehan, S. (2004). Bullseye: Target Cheap Chic Strategy. Harvard
Business School. Retrieved on April 9th, 2009, available at http://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/4319.html
Drbul, R. S., (2003). Target Corporation: Review of Retail Seminar Presentation.
Wilk, D. (2007). Labels, A crucial Sale Promotional Tool. Ezine Articles. Retrieved
on April 9th, 2009, available at http://ezinearticles.com/?Labels—A-Crucial-Sales-Promotional-Tool&id=705878
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