Primary Contact, R+M: Beverly Murray, President
Office: 919-677-9555, ext. 18
Cary, NC – February 29, 2012 – Walmart recently launched an online engagement strategy called Getontheshelf.com. The contest enables individuals, entrepreneurs and small businesses to pitch their product to the general, online public. The top three vote getters have the opportunity to be featured in stores, on Walmart.com and in other marketing support materials — a seemingly smart strategy.
Foodnavigator-usa.com, a leading source of breaking news in food and beverage developments, wondered whether Walmart’s new marketing strategy was reflective of an emerging consumer engagement trend or just plain gimmick.
Nationally recognized marketing experts were asked to weigh in, including Beverly Murray, president of R+M. She shared, “The question for Walmart is whether its brand is ready to play by the new rules. Consumers are savvy to sniffing out a gimmick from a commitment.” And, she added, “The social landscape has the power to topple governments and build superstars with the click of a vote. Getontheshelf.com, whereas an astute engagement strategy, will only realize its potential if the company’s future actions support it.”
Beverly, I agree that this seems like a good way for Wal-Mart to get attention.
But the company have a reputation for squeezing small suppliers, who may become dependent on high Wal-Mart revenues and then can’t afford to say “No” when Wal-Mart tells them to cut their prices or lose their shelf space. Definitely an unintended consequence.
Karl, I believe we are on the same song sheet here … “if the company’s future actions support it.” Hopefully, the “intended consequence” will be greater transparency into an improved relationship with small businesses. Time (and their actions) will tell. Thanks for the comment.