Walmart And MillerCoors Embrace Digital Customer Engagement

The Shopper Marketing Summit, a retail networking event hosted in April 2013 by the Path to Purchase Institute, focused on collaboration, in-store activation, digital and omnichannel strategies, shopper engagement and more.

“Today’s shoppers are better-informed and less brand loyal than their predecessors,” said Peter Hoyt, Executive Director and CEO of the Path to Purchase Institute, in an interview with Supermarket News. “They have greater access to, and more control over, the information they need to make purchase decisions, and this self-learning now extends into the shopping trip itself via mobile devices. Marketers can no longer be content that their mass media advertising has done the job of effectively building brand awareness, so it has become more important than ever to ‘close the sale’ in the retail environment.”

Walmart To Focus On “Liquid Content” App Strategy 

During the summit, Walmart executives Clint McClain, Senior Content Marketing Director, and Ken Mantel, Senior Director of Marketing, offered a vendor roadmap to more effectively building brands through better engagement with Walmart.


McClain and Mantel emphasized strategic brand-building by unveiling the launch of Print Plus, a mobile app designed to bring print advertisement content to life. Print Plus creates a print-to-digital ad conversion when print ads are scanned with a smartphone. The app provides Walmart shoppers with a greater gateway for product and brand information. The retailer plans to implement Print Plus during 2013.

“We’re working on bringing liquid content off of our print pieces,” said Mantel. “We want to create demand for content that will allow us to pull people in, rather than just pushing out a message.”

Walmart also is rolling out a Scan & Go iOS app, which offers shoppers the capability to scan barcodes and complete purchases at self checkout.

MillerCoors Boosts Engagement Through Partnership

In a summit session, titled: Sell More Beer (and Other Mobile Marketing Lessons from MillerCoors), Mark Weslar, Director of Customer Marketing for MillerCoors, and Doug Stovall, EVP of Sales and Service for Hipcricket, shared a case study outlining effective mobile marketing.

The two executives discussed how to successfully integrate a shopper marketing strategy. They highlighted the importance of mobile calls-to-action and how the strategy has helped MillerCoors in developing result-driven mobile campaigns.

Weslar and Stovall described the impact of using hyper-local elements to provide a more personalized consumer experience. For example, MillerCoors leveraged local attributes by advertising on the ESPN Alumni Bar Finder, a web site aimed at helping football fans pinpoint nearby bars known for rooting for specific college teams. According to Weslar, the Alumni Bar Finder is an effective way to deliver value in the context of the consumer’s location.

 “Digital marketing is a valuable tool in motivating consumers to consider MillerCoors brands while outside the retail environment,” said Weslar. “We’ve seen off-the-charts engagement compared to typical click-throughs.” 

2013 Hall Of Fame InducteesScreen_Shot_2013-05-09_at_3.17.51_PM

During the summit each year, several industry executives are inducted into the Shopper Marketing Hall of Fame, based on their contributions to the in-store marketing industry. Selections are made by the editors of Shopper Marketing magazine.

The three 2013 inductees honored at the recent summit included: Mir Aamir, President of Customer Loyalty and Digital Technologies for Safeway; Spencer M. Blaker, Director of Global Retail Marketing for Burt’s Bees; and John Mount, VP of Retail Strategy and Marketing for Coca-Cola. 


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