Data Redefines Kimberly-Clark and Walmart’s Co-Op Advertising

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Data Redefines Kimberly-Clark and Walmart’s Co-Op Advertising

By Samantha Nelson - 11/17/2017

ROSEMONT, ILL. — In a world where shopping trips are no longer limited to a fixed place in time, retailers and brands need to work together to reach shoppers at the right time with the right offer, appealing to those with short attention spans who can easily turn to another retailer or brand through online purchases.

And although Amazon draws in 25% of all new retailer dollars and is the starting point for 55% of e-commerce sales, traditional retailers can protect themselves by being the best they can for their current customers. Sharing customer data is a way to get there, but most brands and retailers still don’t want to do it.

That’s where Vantage comes in. At the Path to Purchase Expo in September, the Toronto-based company’s president, Aran Hamilton, and Kimberly-Clark global e-commerce technology lead Tony Long shared how Vantage served as a neutral third party for a campaign with Kimberly-Clark and Walmart that allowed the partners to combine their data to develop targeted ads.

Vantage integrated itself into Walmart’s website to try to figure out what shoppers were trying to buy, tracking products that were added and removed from their carts. They began building an audience for K-C’s Huggies based on whether a given shopper bought products from the brand or its competitors within the diaper category.

Vantage then created 1,200 variations on a digital ad and ran them all to test what kind of moms would respond to what kind of ad, using technology they developed with Facebook to track conversion. K-C wanted to drive shoppers to Walmart’s e-commerce website and remind its best customers to return.

Vantage targeted shoppers who needed to replenish or had just looked at a Huggies SKU or competing product. Vantage was able to calculate the return on ad spend in real time and drive higher conversions, order sizes, order value, subscriptions and overall revenue.

Ads retargeting past customers were especially successful, with shoppers receiving different versions based on their profile. Vantage also found that ads could have different effects based on the picture of the baby, the call to action, and whether the Walmart, Huggies or K-C logo was depicted. Other findings included that right-side ads on Facebook weren’t good for building brands but were very useful for established ones, since they make purchasing easy, and that mobile ads are more effective during the day when moms tend to be out and about.

“It enabled us to become a lot more fluent in the way we communicated with a consumer,” Long said. “We can take the data and turn it into better communications, better merchandising and a better experience.”

Long said brands and retailers need to understand that there doesn’t have to be a winner and loser in collaboration. He recommends meeting with everyone involved in a program to ensure they have a stake in it moving forward.

“We love our retailer partnerships,” he said. “We’re in a three-legged race together and we want to be coordinated and we want to be fast.”