CHICAGO: Walmart, the retailer, is taking a “lifecycle” approach to content that helps it identify the material that is most likely to deliver long-term value for its brand.

Tracy Harlow, Walmart’s VP/Digital Strategy & Brand Engagement, discussed this subject at the Brand Strategy Conference, an event convened by GSMI in Chicago.

“I think every piece of content, every story you are trying to tell, can have a lifecycle approach put to it,” she said. (For more details, read WARC’s in-depth report: At Walmart, the best stories never die.)

Not every piece of content, she cautioned, will unfold through all phases of a lifecycle – or even live very long in its first life. “It depends on the story,” Harlow said. “But give yourself a chance to apply the lens. Think about the longer term.”

Walmart uses a cycle of measurement and analysis to expand, boost and invest in strong content. With such tools, it can retire any content that’s run its course and index the outperforming messages that might be called upon to play another day.

“You may have an opportunity – based on what [the company] is doing, what business you are expanding into, or if you are reinventing yourself – to tell this story again,” Harlow said.

“So, we don’t lose it. We understand why we told the story, what are the reasons that it brought value. And we catalog it.”

Whether the content in question focuses on products that are made in America or new ways for consumers to pick up their orders, Walmart considers how it could apply to different audiences: shoppers, suppliers, in-store associates, and so on.

One example involves the content Walmart produced when it purchased, the e-commerce platform, for $3.3bn in 2016. More specifically, much of this material demonstrated the benefits of the tie-up to Jet’s internal team members.

And as Walmart has recently acquired a range of digital-first companies – including Shoebuy, Moosejaw Mountaineering, Backcountry Travel, Bonobos, and Modcloth – the content created with Jet in mind will be extremely instructive. “now has cousins … lots of cousins,” said Harlow. “We’ll be thinking of that content again.”

Sourced from WARC