Walmart Canada: how to be ‘in the moment’ with marketing

Date : 02 April 2020

Stewart Samuel

Program Director - Canada

One of the key pivots that companies have had to make quickly in response to the Coronavirus pandemic is with their marketing messages. Several companies launched eye-catching campaigns to support social distancing measures in March, with many iconic brands re-working their logos as part of similar initiatives.

The new reality

Beyond this, we are starting to see companies adapt their communications and campaigns to reflect the new reality many consumers face. For most, travel restrictions, self-isolation measures, working from home arrangements and school closures means spending more time at home.

Meeting consumers’ needs at home

One business that I’ve seen change its approach is Walmart Canada. Two mailing campaigns from the retailer highlights its consumer-led approach. While the Easter holiday will be unique this year with large family gatherings and mass egg hunts unlikely to be occurring, it’s focusing on bringing it to life in other ways. The idea of ‘Easter craft activities’ aligns with the need many parents have to keep their children entertained and educated while at home.

The retailer’s marketing also suggests getting children involved in meal preparation and points to its online recipes to offer inspiration. Recently, Conagra Brands and McCormick & Company highlighted how they had seen an increase in traffic to their online platforms as consumers sought out meal inspiration. With the focus on home schooling, there’s a great opportunity to blend elements of maths and science programmes into recipe sites.

Source: Walmart Canada

Engaging with consumers in a relevant way

A second campaign from the retailer emphasises home improvements, arts and crafts and the idea of a ‘playcation’, a great concept that I’m seeing more of. Recently, Mattel launched the Mattel Playroom, a digital destination offering play-from-home information and tips for parents and caregivers. All these elements tap into the fact consumers are spending more of their time at home and are looking for ideas. As mandatory isolation periods are extended in some countries, providing new ideas and relevant products is a great way for retailers and suppliers to engage with their consumers in a highly relevant way.

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