Agency Best Practice

Walmart's Development and Innovations

Expert People

Host and Guest

Profile Pictures 2-1

James Dihardjo


Profile Pictures-Apr-24-2023-12-40-28-5659-AM

Nicolas Martinez

VP of Marketing

Podcast transcript

James Dihardjo 
Nicholas, thanks for making time in your afternoon, mate. I just wanted to handball straight to you and get you to tell us who you are and what it is you do at VENDO. 

Nicolas Martinez 
Yeah, definitely. Thanks for having me, James. A pleasure to be here. So yeah. I'm Nicolas Martinez. I'm the VP of Marketing at VENDO. VENDO is a 360-degree marketplace growth agency. We manage over 200 brands on Amazon and And, you know, I think what sets us apart is we have over two decades of deep-rooted relationships on the brick and mortar side with Walmart. And so bring a lot of those learnings and relationships to the forefront when we're, launching brands or growing brands on .com.

James Dihardjo 
Cool, man. Well, look, we were curious and we were reading your blog and we were looking at the recent article you guys did on the ranking on Walmart. Do you want to kind of share some, I guess, some top level about that topic?

Nicolas Martinez 
Yeah, certainly. So, I mean we have a really stellar team. A lot of ex-Walmartiants as you know, some people like to call them. And so they bring a lot of knowledge. But you know, going back to what I was talking about earlier too, about our relationships at Walmart, going over two decades. The reason why that's important is because unlike Amazon, is very much, relationship based still.

Now there is an algorithm and we can get into that and all the ways to grease up the algorithm and through Advertising, for example. Obviously through keyword and optimization and SEO. But the brands that have the relationships or have a team that have the relationships with buyers or with people internal to Walmart, they're going to get priority and preference and, you know, those aren't my rules, right? But it is very much more of like a pay to play type setup right now with Walmart. So obviously if you're in store, you're going to get a level of preference on .com. But even if you're not in store, a lot of Walmart buyers are looking at brand's performance to help influence whether or not they want to bring them in store.

So really, you know, it's kind of crazy, like, you can see a product top of search for a certain keyword and that could literally be because the brand or the brand's representatives coordinated with somebody internal to Walmart to pin their product to the top for that search term. So it literally could just be a little adjustment on the back end. And you've got your product at the top of that search for any given number of days or weeks or months even. 

Some of those, you know, opportunities will come with a bigger, with a bigger price tag. But let's say you don't have that. Advertising of course is going to be really important, really just driving clicks, driving traffic to your product page. And Walmart's still in a place right now where you can kind of come in and make some big waves pretty quickly. If you're doing the advertising, if you're delivering on the faster shipping, if you're making sure that your content is in line with Walmart's style guide. And if you guys are familiar with all the different best practices for Amazon, a lot of those best practices overlap into the world.

James Dihardjo 
Very interesting. It's a good segue into the next point which is, Where do you think Walmart as a marketplace is heading?

Nicolas Martinez 
Yeah. I mean, it's doing better than I thought I was going to be doing to be honest. I think than a lot of people thought. They've been at Amazon's heels and maybe several feet behind their heels, but now they're really catching up right? I would say right now is probably where Amazon was in like, I don't know, 2014, 2015 maybe, maybe 2016. I think I was at Prosper last year andthey made that comparison to 2014. So let's add on another year. But, you know, II think that they have a fighting chance actually of being a real contender for Amazon.

I think we're already starting to see that. I think that there's a lot of learning lessons from Amazon's evolution that they're tapping into and kind of cutting that learning curve down by looking at what Amazon did right or wrong. One example is their partnership with Impact. And for those of you who don't know what impact is, you know, an affiliate influencer kind of publisher marketing platform. And if you're a brand you could sign up for Impact. 

They have their activate platform as well, and it's kind of like a marketplace to go, partner with those different parties. And Walmart I think was really smart with this. They partnered with Impact I don't know, maybe a year or so ago and have been building out this Walmart specific platform. 

So, you know, at VENDO we can go on there, representing our brand and we can say, all right, you know, here's some influencers that we want to work with. Here's some affiliates. Here's some publishers, right? So it goes into the PR side of things. Here's some like deal sites, and we can network with them. We can communicate, we can contract, we can track, we can create trackable links, right? So kind of like the benefits of Amazon attribution but pulled  or Amazon associates, kind of all in one.

So I think something like that they're doing is really smart. I think there's going to be some news in the next week or two where Amazon's done that finally. I've gotten, some intel there, so look out for that. But look, Amazon's just doing it after however many years and, and Walmart's already on top of it. So you see instances of this with live shopping, partnerships with TikTok, and, you know, it's not always all going to work, right. You know, Amazon's been doing live and, and you know, it's arguably not working that well. But anyway I think that they're a strong contender because they are evolving and pushing boundaries quickly and they have those learning lessons to look at.

James Dihardjo 
Yeah. Cool. I think that's a great analysis. Especially that comment around Impact. My next question was going to be the latest news on Walmart that most people don't know about, but I think you've really nailed it with that insight on impact. So skipping ahead to the final thoughts, here. So what's the top tip that you and your team like can give for, for Amazon at the moment? What's the most relevant thing you're thinking about? 

Nicolas Martinez 
Yeah. Well, there's a lot, right? Top tip I would say this one has been at the top of the list for like the last year or two for our company anyway. And for the way that I look at things as a marketer, and that's really making sure you're doing everything you can to have a relationship with your customer. And you know there's a lot of different ways you can go in accomplishing that Which makes it exciting, right? It's not like you just got to do one thing, but ultimately having a relationship with your customer requires getting their email or phone number, some piece of data point.

And that's always been the struggle with Amazon, is that power dynamic, right? Is Amazon says it's their customers. But really to a brand, it's their customers. And so, you know, a lot of the different things that we do to flip that power dynamic and try to allow the brand to, you know gain control of their customer base is pre and post-purchase tactics, right?

So, pre-purchase, if you're driving traffic to Amazon, make sure you're collecting some type of data point along the way so that if they do purchase, you can communicate with them, remarket to them, build a brand, you know, a brand relationship with them. And then post-purchase, it gets a little bit more challenging. But, you know, you see brands doing things with insert cards and there's a lot of different ways, you know, and that's kind of what we specialize in. But definitely thinking about how do I even if it's just 10 or 20% of your Amazon customer base, that's still a lot of value that you wouldn't have otherwise.

James Dihardjo 
Yeah. Cool. I think that's very pragmatic and I guess a hot topic as well at the moment. So look, thank you so much for making time and I, I really enjoyed the kind of questions and you're thinking about Walmart and, yeah, hope to have you back, man. And again, appreciate your time.

Nicolas Martinez 
Yeah. Appreciate it. A pleasure to be here. Thanks, James.


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