The CMO Club Dinner in Chicago last week featured guest speaker Brian Monahan, VP Marketing at, to fuel the roundtable discussion with 22 CMOs/SVPs Marketing around “Delivering Brand Relevance At Scale To Reduce Ad Waste”.   After The CMO Club Chicago Chapter President, Kim Feil, welcomed everyone Brian opened with a clear description of the Walmart core shopper: the busy mom who needs support throughout her day; meal planning, shopping lists, on-the-go reminders, in-store support, price shopping, gifting, etc. The omnichannel shopping experience, and underneath it all, a giant personalization engine.

“Sam Walton had a 10-ft rule…when you get within 10 feet of a customer, say hello”, said Brian, “At, our personalization engine needs to feel the same. Different data sources are better at predicting what customers are going to buy. Transactional data is the most powerful data for tuning ads to customers.”

What Walmart did in Supply Chain with Retail Link, is what is doing across the Demand Chain with “wmx”, the Walmart Exchange. The Walmart Exchange is a collaborative ad platform that links ads to customers, allows for custom targeting, optimizes the distribution based on forecasted ROI, and provides detailed customer performance insights.

A massive undertaking, wmx works with several partners; including LiveRamp to onboard official data, MediaMath to execute, optimize, and analyze the digital campaigns, and Triad to manage digital campaigns. Joining Brian in a unique panel were Brian Quinn from Triad, James Arra from LiveRamp and Ross McNab from MediaMath. Together they described the data journey from collection to “onboarding” (the process of eliminating data silos by anonymizing customer records and matching data to online devices) to leveraging the MediaMath platform in order to activate data and engage audiences most likely to convert, as well as the process for effectively working with suppliers.

The 22 marketing executives were quick to jump in with questions around the process, and outside the process, such as:

  • How are the results so far? So far so good!
  • How does tie back to Walmart headquarters, from a reporting standpoint, and a customer accountability standpoint? A matrixed reporting structure across the two to ensure one brand voice.
  • Does wmx work just in the US, or is it global? Currently wmx is only in the US, but looking globally.
  • How do you manage trial and repeat? Leveraging other markets, like the UK, for test and learn.
  • How does digital advertising stack-up to traditional? What’s the right mix? Verdict still out.

Throughout the dinner, the individual tables went on to discuss what’s working and what’s not working for them and how to overcome key boundaries in tackling the digital advertising space.

Want to join the conversation? Join your peers, like McDonald’s, AON, Kimberly Clark, US Cellular and Mark Anthony, at our next dinner to be the one asking the questions!

For more great insights on Programmatic Marketing, visit: The CMO Solution Guide to Programmatic Marketing