Talking 'smart' at NRF

At this year’s NRF show, Peter LaFond, Walmart’s marketing director for online media and smart network, showcased how his company utilizes its in-store video network to deliver targeted, relevant messages to its customers.

At a session titled “In-store digital marketing at Walmart: Case studies from 2010,” LaFond introduced the smart network with a promotional video that explained the marketing strategy behind the network – namely, to focus on “Walmart moms,” which it claimed make the majority of purchasing decisions for their households.

LaFond went on to tout the success of Walmart.com, making special note of the fact that the site garners 32 million unique visits per month, according to comscore, and that the average user spends 15 minutes on the site per visit.

According to LaFond, together the smart network and Walmart’s online media program have a monthly reach to one-third to one-half of the U.S. population. He added that Walmart is looking for ways to integrate with multiple platforms and wants to align its program with how customers shop.

Bill McMullen, general manager of studio squared, which runs the Smart Network, spoke briefly about the history of the program and boasted that today the network runs 1,500 ad units a year.