Walmart's multicultural strategy: Blow up the budget

Geoffrey Precourt

Multicultural marketing is changing fast in Bentonville, Arkansas.

At the Association of National Advertisers' 2011 Multicultural Marketing and Diversity Conference, Tony Rogers, SVP/brand marketing and advertising at Walmart Stores, announced: "We've come to the conclusion that, if we want to be serious about multicultural marketing within the company, we have to blow up the multicultural budget… And, we're about to do just that. We believe it will force behaviors that we're going to like."

Rogers recognized that such a radical realignment "may sound counter-intuitive" given that there is a lot of talk about strengthening multicultural marketing budgets. But, he explained: "We need to take the multicultural budget out of a silo to ensure that it's not just the multicultural team that has multicultural responsibilities. We need to take that business and push it out to each of our business units."